Wrench-up is here
Oliver Swainson poses inside Bike Windsor-Essex (Photo By Christina Chibani).
Bike Windsor-Essex has launched a new program focusing on helping individuals in poverty to maintain their bike in good condition at no cost.
Bike Windsor-Essex was started in 2010 by a small group of people who believed more could be done to promote cycling in Windsor.
The Wrench-Up program will include lessons on changing tires, basic emergency repairs and repairing flats.
“We have had tremendous uptick from those in our community experiencing poverty,” said Lori Newton, the executive director as Bike Windsor-Essex.
The program has now teamed up with organizations such as the Windsor Youth Centre, the Downtown Mission, New Beginnings, the Glengarry Initiative and the Ford City Renewal to help benefit those who register in the program.
Oliver Swainson is the mechanical educational coordinator for Bike Windsor-Essex and a former board member.
“Bike Windsor-Essex’s ultimate goal is to encourage more people to ride more frequently, by educating people about how their bicycle works and how to maintain it,” said Swainson. “We hope to make it easier and more enjoyable to ride their bike.”
Depending on the bike brand and the amount of gears it has, bikes can cost from $200 to $1,000 or more. However, taking the program can be beneficial due to the techniques being taught to keep bikes in good condition.
“We are also building a small network of trained bicycle mechanics to address the demand for skilled labour in our city,” said Swainson.
“The program takes an interactive and discussion based approach when learning about bike parts,” said Stephen Pitman, coordinator of the Cycle Smart Program.
“When discussing the Wrench-Up program, I focus on the value of having access to a certified and experienced bike mechanic.”
There are two classes per month with eight students in each. Classes are from 6-8 p.m.
For those wanting to join, the registration fee is $50 for all three classes and $45 for Bike Windsor-Essex members.