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winters there is a DIY studded tire building night where a parts list is distributed and participants meet and create their own winter tires. There is nothing like knowing you are not the only person out riding in that much snow and ice, except doing so with studded tires.

BikeWorks has been a very transient community shop, located in no less than six places over its near 30-year history. Most notably it was once in a tile factory with no heat. Winters here are cold, -40°F kind of cold.
Apparently humans can live at such extremes; I was as surprised as you are. A wood stove was installed and by burning scrap paper and other flammables the shop continued to offer services with its hardy mechanics. During an earlier especially transient period the shop was even run out of a car. Tools and parts were loaded into the back and it would arrive at a known location and set up a street side shop. Only through the tremendous dedication and tenaciousness of its members and volunteers has it been able to survive.

Like many cycling institutions, BikeWorks has seen an immense increase in interest over the last year. Not only have one time visits increased, the overall membership has ballooned. It is encouraging to see such resurgence in cycling, and thankfully BikeWorks was ready and waiting. Its volunteers have created a better cycling community by offering safe bicycle parking at major events besides their mechanical help. No doubt this work has elevated the collective consciousness about BikeWorks. Excitement is keenly felt when talking with people new to the scene. I had recommended that Toshi, a University student, go to BikeWorks to pick up a replacement for his stolen ride. What I thought would be drudgery after that heinous crime elevated his spirit. He told me, “Thanks, Samuel! I went today and got a new bike. I made!” It was an excellent reminder of how empowering it is to build your own transportation.

Cycling societal towers such as BikeWorks are the emulsifier that brings all kinds of cyclists together. They are where the knowledge transfer from hardened riders to newbies takes place. We make them into our club houses, party venues and staging centers. Their visibility helps with advocacy and builds a higher awareness with non-cyclists. Get out there, spend some time at your community bike shop and improve cycling culture.

10047 – 80 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta