Forget the Superman cape, the new beacon of social change and equality comes in a metallic disguise. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of a bicycle, they’re everyday and easily accessible superheroes. From kids being able to get to and from school in Cambodia, to bicycle lanes representing cities for people and an easy win for the planet, there’s no doubting their revolutionary potential.
Here at Five At Heart, we’re (unsurprisingly) big believers in the whole ‘freedom machine’ thing and we’re equally big proponents of the belief that cycling is for everyone. That said, when we found out about an organisation called Good Cycles, a bicycle-based social enterprise here in Melbourne, our interest was well piqued.
Good Cycles is a retail bike shop/service centre in Docklands, a location they moved to earlier this year in order to expand their shop size. They need this extra space for the bike based programs and workshops they run, with all profits going to community programs and initiatives including youth unemployment and youth mental health.
On top of this, Good Cycles run social programs with a focus on encouraging engagement and developing social skills. Of the many, one example goes something like this: Old, abandoned bikes are donated to a bike maintenance program held at the North Melbourne Community Centre. Participants are invited to drop-in, and if they show up regularly they get to keep the bike they’ve been fixing up. There are also school-based and women’s only programs. To get the full story on available programs, go here http://www.goodcycles.org/social-enterprise/
It’s been pretty hectic at Good Cycles HQ lately, as they’ve been busy working to open their newest project on the Esplanade not far from their Docklands location. The Good Cycles Community Bike Hub came about through a combo of grants, crowd-funding and donors to launch a few weeks ago on 10th November.
The idea behind this bike workshop, service centre and cycling hub is multi-faceted. Firstly, it’s location along the Capital City Trail, otherwise known as the 2nd most frequented bike track in Australia, means it can see more traffic and thus generate more business to keep doing good things. Secondly, it provides another location for program participants to gain hands-on experience and thirdly, it’s a Hub! Somewhere for the growing community of Melbourne cyclists to come together and continue to grow, by encouraging more people to get involved. It’s the perfect spot to set your inner-bike geek free over some quality coffee from the nearby café because let’s face it, if there’s one thing cyclists (and people who live in Melbourne) like to do, it’s drink coffee.
So next time you need some work done to your treadlie (which is what the cool kids call bikes!), pop down and visit the folk at Good Cycles. Or better yet, get involved in a program with them and you might be able to fix it yourself!
For more info on Good Cycles, click here: http://www.goodcycles.org/
For all you London dwellers out there, NipNip are doing good stuff in the bike world too: https://www.nipnip.co.uk/nipnip-supporting-st-mungos-broadway