MIꞌKMAꞌKI (NOVA SCOTIA)
On Wednesday, July 23, the Pop-Up Bike Hub trailer will be starting its second, expanded, tour of Nova Scotia, beginning at Musquodoboit Harbour Public Library and will visit a total of 22 communities. With many rural Nova Scotians facing barriers to cycling, the PUBH has stepped in as a mobile, DIY bike repair space getting people back out on the road.
“We're trying to capture the moment; it looks and feels as though more people are riding their bikes,” says Simone Mutabazi, Community Cycling Activation Coordinator with Ecology Action Centre. “Bike shops are busier than ever, and bikes are hard to come by. Hopefully, our programming will encourage people to dust off an old bike that they thought was broken and bring it to the trailer at participating locations.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the interest in cycling has only grown, and Nova Scotians are keen to get out and ride. However, for those who don’t have access to a nearby bike shop, a flat tire can signal the end of the road. Visiting 22 different communities across the province, the PUBH project seeks to bring tools, basic bike mechanic knowledge and parts to people where they live, work and play.
“At its heart, the PUBH is a place for people to connect and learn. Generally, people come in for simple repairs, or aren’t sure what’s wrong with their bike,” says Mutabazi. “People may think their bike is broken but often it just takes a simple fix.”
Visitors can register or drop in for 25-minute tune-up sessions where they can access four repair stands, a wide variety of tools, degreasers, lubricants and affordable parts. PUBH staff also offer a free one-hour safe cycling course which covers essentials, from signalling to basic repairs.
In true DIY spirit, PUBH staff provide hands-off help, with the aim of helping people teach themselves how to do their own repairs. Continuing the long history of cycling advocacy coming out of the Ecology Action Center, the PUBH helps people build up their cycling skills and connect with their community in a new way.
“I'm very excited by all the partnerships and collaborations that the trailer has made,” Mutabazi says. “I'm looking forward to working with so many communities to support cycling, provide the tools and know-how for repairs and offer safe cycling education to anyone interested."
Keep an eye out this summer, you may see the trailer at a school, library, or community centre near you! To find out more and view the calendar with dates and locations, visit https://ecologyaction.ca/pop-bike-hub.
The PUBH will be visiting the Musquodoboit Harbour Public Library from Wednesday, June 23 to Saturday, June 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. People can register for a 25-minute DIY repair session using the trailer’s tools and low-cost parts, or join the PUBH staff for a one-hour safe cycling course by calling the library at (902) 889-2227.