A DIY bicycle workshop is set to expand its services from today after securing a £10,000 grant.
Broken Spoke Bike Co-op in Oxford is extending its opening hours and training four new mechanics to help cyclists get back on the road.
The Pembroke Street drop-in workshop will now open four days a week rather than three – adding Thursday to its current Friday, Saturday and Sunday set-up.
Co-director Ellie Smith said: “We have been running our community workshops for three years and recently got a grant from Oxfordshire Social Entrepreneurship Partnership to expand our activities.
“We want to increase opening hours when members of the public can come in with their bicycles.
“We are going from three days to four days with much longer hours at the weekend and training up to four new mechanics.”
The workshop was previously open from 11am-5pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
- New faces around the county council cabinet table
- Oxfordshire detective is a contestant on Channel 4 survival show The Island with Bear Grylls
- Managing director Greig Box Turnbull to leave Oxford United at end of season
- Companies still signing up for jobs fair at Oxford Town Hall
- Hundreds will gather as soldier killed in Iraq is repatriated
The shop will now be open for people to come in and fix their own bikes with the help of a mechanic between 11am and 5pm on Thursdays and Fridays and from 10am-7pm on Saturdays and 10am-6pm on Sundays.
Ms Smith added: “We wanted to extend the weekend hours because we tend to find we are pushing people out at the end of the day – but we still want to help fix their bikes.
“The mechanics won’t just be trained to be competent professionals but competent teachers as well to increase people’s knowledge of bike maintenance. It’s a really exciting time.”
Trainee mechanic and volunteer at the shop Meike Clever said: “My fellow trainees and I are super excited to be part of the growth of Broken Spoke.
“Through this expansion we will be able to reach even more people and support them in learning how to fix their bikes.”
The staff at the workshop do not just help cyclists repair their bikes, but also offer education and support on how to use Oxford’s roads.
The team is also planning to teach Bikeability – a national cycling proficiency standard – in schools next year, although this is not part of the new grant.
Ms Smith said: “I think it’s an essential public service for everyone who rides a bike in the city. We want to promote a culture where cycling in Oxford is easy for people.
“The fact we need to expand our opening hours is an indication of how important the service is. We view it as a civic duty.”
To mark the expansion, the team is hosting a launch party tonight in the courtyard of the Story Museum in Pembroke Street. Anyone is welcome and there will be music, food, drinks and bicycle-related activities between 6.30pm and 9.30pm.