Pop up bike hub trailer

Pop-up Bike Hub

Not all Nova Scotians have access to a bicycle in working condition or equal access to the tools and knowledge to maintain/repair a bike. Through this project, the Ecology Action Centre seeks to address the barrier of access to bike repair services that may prevent people from riding their bikes. Bike mechanics and bike shops tend to be concentrated in a few municipalities and towns across the province. For rural Nova Scotians, the ability to access bike repair can be limited by long distances, cost, and convenient transportation options. The Pop-Up Bike Hub provides a mobile solution to these barriers and works with communities to develop programming that promotes a culture of active transportation. 

2024 Season

2024 Season

This summer, the Pop-Up Bike Hub will be partnering with 17 communities across Nova Scotia. The trailer will be providing 25-minute tune ups, bike assessments, safe cycling education and safe cycling accessories and resources.

About the Pop-Up Bike Hub

About the Pop-Up Bike Hub

The Ecology Action Centre’s Pop-Up Bike Hub is a low-cost, high-impact program getting people back on bikes. The trailer provides access to bike tools, affordable secondhand bikes, and safe cycling education programs for youth and adults. The trailer staff provides as much hands-off knowledge and guidance as possible to allow people to work on their own bikes and learn how to do simple bike repairs. A primary goal of the trailer is to expand access to safe cycling resources and opportunities in collaboration with communities. 

Bike repairs

From comfort to dual suspension, the trailer has tools available to provide basic maintenance services to all kinds of bikes. It is equipped with four free-standing mechanic stands and a wheel truing station. All kinds of tools and pumps are available for simple repair services. Additionally, we have lubricants and degreasers for bike repair and maintenance needs. 

The use of the stands and tools is completely free. Tune-up sessions will have a time cap of 25 minutes if there is a line of people waiting to access the trailer services. The trailer mechanics will provide each person with a tool kit for repairs and will guide them through a bike maintenance checklist. The mechanics will be as hands-off as possible when helping patrons to promote the learning of basic bike mechanics. There will be a hand washing station in the trailer for public use because bike maintenance can sometimes get a little messy!

The trailer provides parts for purchase at affordable prices. This includes parts such as tubes, cables, housing, brake pads, and chains depending on stock availability. Reflectors are free upon request. Any use of the tools and stands is completely free of charge.

Safe cycling course

The trailer is equipped to run a basic safe cycling course, which has been shortened and adapted from the Making Tracks Cycling course. The course, which runs from the trailer, provides a free one-hour in-person session that goes over basic safe cycling. This ranges from learning how to fix a flat to proper road signals and trail etiquette. 

Group rides

Depending on where the trailer is located in the province, there may be organized group rides starting from the trailer. The rides are suited for all skill levels and ages. They will go for approximately three to seven kilometres depending on the location, group size, and skill level of all participants.

Why Bike? Why Bike Repairs?

Why Bike? Why Bike Repairs?

Biking offers a viable alternative to driving for shorter trips. While headway is being made to deliver a network of bike lanes, trails, and paved shoulders, not all Nova Scotians have access to a bicycle in working condition or equal access to the tools and knowledge to maintain a bike. 

Bikes require maintenance. Limited experience with bike repair, needing to drive long distances to access bike mechanics, and the cost of bike repairs are common barriers keeping people from biking. The Pop-Up Bike Hub seeks to address some of these barriers by collaborating with underserved communities across the province, offering the tools, parts, and know-how to support people through repairing their own bikes. Through this work, broken bikes will be diverted from landfill and used, while building the maintenance skills and confidence of those riding them. 

Access to a bicycle in good working condition provides more opportunities for a greater, more diverse population of youth and adults to use cycling for transportation. Additionally, cycling provides individuals a clean transportation choice to reduce their personal greenhouse gas emissions. Other benefits of cycling include the maintenance of physical, cognitive and social wellbeing. Creating equal access to active transportation options encourages a more equitable, resilient, and green transportation system in Nova Scotia.

Getting Involved

Getting Involved

Are you someone interested in bike repairs? Do you have basic knowledge of all things bike? Are you looking for a new volunteering experience? The Pop-Up Bike Hub might be perfect for you!

During the summer months, The Ecology Action Centre will be running the Pop-Up Bike Hub at various locations across the province. On open days, the trailer will be open for approximately four hours. The Pop-Up Bike Hub is always looking for volunteers to help with bike repairs, cycling leadership training, or photography and videography.

What would volunteering look like?

You would be assisting the trailer mechanics with teaching the public how to do their own bike repairs. There may be opportunities to expand your own bike knowledge and fix bikes to sell at affordable prices to the community.

Want to join us this summer?

Whether you can only volunteer for one day or would like to come as much as possible, any help is appreciated.  

For more information

If you're interested in becoming involved, please contact Matt at matt.bawtinheimer@ecologyaction.ca.

Creating Your Own Community Bike Repair Space

Creating Your Own Community Bike Repair Space

Community bike repair spaces provide a welcoming and accessible environment for people to learn how to repair and maintain their bicycles, as well as connect with like-minded individuals who share a passion for active and sustainable transportation. Check out "Repair, Recycle, Ride: A How-To Guide for Creating Community Bike Repair Spaces," a resource for individuals and groups interested in establishing community bike repair spaces in Nova Scotia!

Cover of Community Bike Repair Space How-To Guide, featuring a bicycle repair space and several children riding bikes

History of the Pop-Up Bike Hub

History of the Pop-Up Bike Hub

The project was born out of a need identified by Nova Scotian communities. Over the past 8 years, the EAC’s Welcoming Wheels program has provided over 500 bicycles to newcomer participants in the HRM area. Participants shared that a lack of access to tools and parts made it difficult to maintain and repair their bicycles, and many participants did not have access to a bike mechanic in their neighbourhood. Simple repairs like a flat tire, rubbing brakes, or a broken part are often what prevent people from riding their bikes. It became apparent that there was a need for accessible, convenient bike repair spaces in communities.  

The Pop-Up Bike Hub was created to expand the engagement and impact of our Welcoming Wheels program by creating a mobile bike repair space that provides access to tools, parts, and affordable second-hand bikes to communities across Nova Scotia. Through the Pop-Up Bike Hub, we can also offer safe cycling resources and educational programming. 

The Pop-Up Bike Hub was piloted in March 2020 during the height of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pop-Up Bike Hub pilot was enthusiastically embraced by communities. Since then, the trailer has collaborated with 24 communities across Nova Scotia: from Sydney, Cape Breton to Yarmouth. We have helped over 1,700 bikes get safely rolling in their communities. 

Program Funders 

  • Province of Nova Scotia 
  • Halifax Regional Municipality 
  • Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq
  • Halifax Climate Investment, Innovation and Impact (HCi3) Fund

Are you ready to spring into environmental action?
Become an EACer