The United Nations has recognized 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives, and Nanaimo is well on its way to representing itself proudly in this regard. Opening in March, a Community Bicycle Shop will join the ranks of similarly structured organizations such as the Nanaimo Pottery Co-Op, Nanaimo CarShare Coop and the Vanisle Sailing Co-op.
Hub City Cycles Community Co-op is a non-profit organization that strives to be a resource that nourishes the neighbourhoods in and around downtown Nanaimo by providing affordable bicycle-centric services and advocacy that build, empower and support healthy and sustainable communities, providing a safe and welcoming space for people to come to learn, share skills and network with other community members.
The three founding members, Justin Francis, Jawn Lafratta and Keegan Metheringham wanted to find a different way of doing business — one focused on human need, not human greed; where users and members of the community (who own and govern the business) collectively enjoy the benefits.
The trio are all residents of Nanaimo and avid cyclists. They felt they could offer a more convenient location with the quality of services and products which best served the unique personality of the downtown area and south end community. Aside from all the stuff you can expect from a regular bike shop, this will be a place to find used parts and bikes, where members can learn how to fix their own bikes through a variety of programs, and also use the shop space and tools at their leisure. Also of note is the mobile bike mechanic that can come right to your door to fix your bike, and hopefully in the future there will be food delivery by bike too!
The shop will be located downtown in the China Steps area at 12 Lois Lane, beside CHLY radio station, and behind the Thirsty Camel and Mambo’s Pizza.
It’s not necessary to be a member to enjoy some of the services but there are benefits. Becoming a shareholder in the organization is easy. Visit the shop, fill out an application, and for as little as $5 (the cost of one share) you can become a member. A member of the co-op is entitled to use the tools and shop space provided and attend free workshops. All members have a say in how the business is run, can attend meetings of the association where they can vote for board of directors and vote on other important issues. Regardless of how many shares each member has, they only get one vote. Here, every member’s voice is equally recognized regardless of investment.
Having an active and aware community is imperative to the functioning of a well-rounded and functioning co-op. In order to serve this community best, the shop requires bike donations. In the interest of using the resources we have already produced and keeping material out of the waste stream, we will gladly accept unneeded and unwanted adult bikes and parts you would like to get rid of if they are in usable condition. Rest assured, your donation will find its way into the possession of someone who will truly appreciate and enjoy it.
You can also find Hub City Cycles Community Co-op on the internet at www.hubcitycycles.ca.