Bicycling is better for your body, mind, wallet and world
Hey everyone! So I know I haven’t posted in a while, but I want to share something awesome I’ve had the privilege to get involved with.
Does walking to class suck? Are long bus rides something you dread? Well, look no further, and check out Spokes right here on campus!
Spokes is a grass roots, volunteer and donation-run program that repairs donated bikes and loans them to UVic students at a very reasonable cost and for a very reasonable amount of time. All Spokes asks for in return is a donation to their program and a security deposit for the bike. I’ve borrowed a bike from Spokes for a semester and I cannot describe HOW AWESOME IT IS!
As a community leader who lives on campus without a car, having a bike is an amazing tool. I don’t have to wait for a bus when I want to stop by Thrifty Foods in Tuscany Village for some groceries, and when I want to get away, I can.
When the weather was a bit warmer, my favourite thing to do after class or after work was to take a bike ride to Cadboro Bay or Arbutus beach and enjoy the scenery. These spots are very close to campus, especially when you have a bike to take you there.
With a bike, getting around campus is so much easier and makes things like getting to the farthest class from my residence building a quicker process. However, I had to drop that class when I realized it wasn’t pronounced cycle-ology. AHHHH BUT I DIGRESS… that was a wheelie bad pun.
I encourage everyone to check out Spokes and support their cause. Spokes is located underneath the University Centre, in the refurbished underground parkade. They used to be in the Student Union Building, but have recently moved to this larger location.
As well as bike loans, Spokes also offers bike diagnostics for your own bikes. They’re even gracious enough to make small repairs for you. Their space also has tools to maintain your own bike, like tire pumps, pliers, screwdrivers, spanners and wrenches.
You’ll find bike lockers and bike racks to lock up your bike in a safe and secure location. Spokes also rents bikes to people visiting the campus or the Victoria area, a cheaper alternative than renting from a bike outlet downtown. These rental bikes are usually in better upkeep than the loaner bikes, but do cost more.
How to get involved
Spokes is an environmentally conscious recycling program gaining more and more traction (no pun intended) with the sky being the limit.
This is where you can help, not just by donating, but by volunteering! As Spokes grows, they need more volunteers to help with the continued success. I now volunteer at Spokes and it is a blast!
Regardless of your skill level around bike repairs, Spokes is always looking for volunteers to maintain and repair a fleet of rental bikes and loaner bikes; volunteers to help promote, plan, and run events; and other volunteers in a wide variety of positions. If you have any sort of people skills and a passion for bikes, I highly recommend getting in contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) or stopping by their workshop for a volunteer application.
I am currently a junior volunteer being mentored in bike repairs. As someone with very little knowledge about bicycle maintenance and repair I am learning a new and valuable skill while helping a great and unique cause!
Before I go, I would like to share some of the photos I took of the beautiful Spokes workshop. After seeing them, you’ll see Spokes is the real deal. Finally, check them out on the book of faces! www.facebook.com/spokesvictoria