Ecomatters Trust opens second community Bike Hub in Auckland
EcoMatters Bike Hub Henderson - Community-Led Cycling Revolution Gains New Pedal Power!
EcoMatters Environment Trust has opened a second Bike Hub in Henderson as an important next step in its quest to lead a cycling revolution in Auckland.
The Trust is operating a community-based social enterprise model to activate and support aspiring cyclists and it’s an approach that is proving popular with both local Westies and visitors from further afield.
Brent Bielby, Manager of the Bike Hubs, says that in its first year of operation the EcoMatters Bike Hub in New Lynn has seen over 1700 visitors and repaired more than 650 bikes. They’ve also been able to gift 38 bikes to individuals and families who needed extra support to get underway.
“We want to take away the barriers for people who would like to cycle and to do that we need a chain of these Hubs - excuse the pun,” says Bielby.
“So whether people have a functioning bike and just need some advice or perhaps need a hand to undertake a minor repair, we’re able to help. We have an onsite Bike Advisor and amazing volunteers who are totally committed to helping the community to get on their bikes.”
April marked the first anniversary of the opening of the EcoMatters Bike Hub at the Trust’s site at Olympic Park in New Lynn. Now the new Hub at 4 Henderson Valley Road next to the Auckland Council offices means the service is more readily available to residents in Henderson and surrounding suburbs.
Making cycling fun and accessible is also critical to Auckland becoming a more bike-friendly city, says EcoMatters CEO, Damon Birchfield. It’s a shift that is urgently required, he says, as both the Government and council want to promote more commuter cycling but recent examples of cyclists being struck by motorists also highlights there are still very real gaps in safe cycling infrastructure, which can be one of the barriers for new cyclists.
“We often get new riders or parents with young kids coming in to ask about safe routes or paths they can take while they’re just starting out. Brent and his team of volunteers are great at providing maps and advice about local cycling infrastructure and routes to suit different confidence and skills levels, and are passionate about creating fun opportunities for the community to get out together on group bike rides.”
The new service in Henderson is currently open on Tuesdays and Saturdays between 10am and 2pm and on Wednesday afternoons between 2pm and 6pm. The Hub provides free basic bike servicing advice and support, used bikes for sale and loan, fun novelty bikes to try (including choppers and a mini-pennyfarthing), new and used bike parts and accessories, organised fun rides, and information on cycling routes, maps and support groups.
The Hubs have had critical funding and support from the Whau and Henderson Massey Local Boards as well as the Lotteries Community Trust, however to meet part of their funding requirements they also operate as a social enterprise.
To do this they accept donated bikes and parts, and in turn complete a full safety check and service before offering them back for sale to the community at an affordable cost. They also sell a range of basic bike maintenance parts such as brake pads, tubes and cables. The proceeds are reinvested back into the operation of the Hubs.
Bielby says they are always grateful for more volunteer support as well and emphasises you don't have to have bike mechanic experience to help as there are many ways to contribute and training can be provided.
“We’re also looking to engage commercial sponsors, so anyone from the corporate sector wanting to support these outcomes, should get in touch.
“The feedback we get about our service, and the smiles on people faces is incredibly rewarding. Come and see us at either our new Hub in Henderson or New Lynn and help to support our cycling revolution!”
For more information contact:
Hub Manager: Brent Bielby, 021 634 689
Website URL: www.ecomatters.org.nz/bikehubs
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Damon Birchfield - 021 308 415
Contact email: email@example.com
NEW LYNN BIKE HUB HOURS
Thursday - Sunday 10am - 2pm
HENDERSON BIKE HUB HOURS
Saturday 10am - 2pm
Wednesday 2pm - 6pm