On the way into work recently, the handlebar on my trusty old bike suddenly sheared clean off! Once I picked myself up and dusted myself (and my pride) off, I looked up how much a new set of handlebars would set me back. A lot was the answer!
However, I knew about Pro-Bike Service, situated near the Olympic Park on a meanwhile site. The Pro-Bike Service workshop offers a range of bike maintenance and repair services, including using secondhand but fully working parts, which have been donated to the workshop to provide affordable replacements and repairs. This helps reduce waste and also increases the accessibility of cycling, since repair fees can make it an expensive hobby.
I booked myself in to visit Lawrence, who runs the workshop, on a Saturday. What I found really informative was that Lawrence allowed me to work with him on my bike. I’d dabbled a bit with basic maintenance before, but Lawrence gave me tips on how to approach certain tasks, good simple tools to purchase, and the right tightness for different screws. In addition to looking at the handlebars, Lawrence gave the bike a once over, and spotted a few other bits he could help with.
The whole experience was really informative and enjoyable, and you can really see Lawrence’s passion for bikes and teaching people about getting the most out of them. My bike is running better than it has in a long while, and for less than the cost of just buying new handlebars.
While I was there, I met a volunteer who is working with Lawrence to rejuvenate and build secondhand bikes for refugees. He told me how much he enjoyed helping at the workshop, and he and Lawrence discussed which areas of maintenance he might want to work on next. The chance to learn such great skills really interests me, so I plan to start volunteering with the workshop when it has moved to its new location on the Olympic Park!