Nanaimo has a number of excellent bike shops catering to the roadies, tri-guys and to mountain bikers and BMX fans. Now there is a place where you can buy second-hand bikes, or even have your own bike sold on consignment.
Three months ago serendipity brought three individuals with a common vision together; opening a community bike shop in downtown Nanaimo. Jawn Lafratta, Justin Francis and Keegan Metheringham are the founding members of the Hub City Cycles Community Co-op, which just opened March 1st at 12 Lois Lane, just off Terminal Avenue opposite the library. They wanted to find a different way of doing business, one focused on human need not human greed, where users and members of the community (who own and govern the business) collectively enjoy the benefits.
The trio are all residents of Nanaimo and avid cyclists. They felt they could offer a bike shop with a more convenient location and with the quality of services and products which best served the unique personality of the downtown area and south end community. With the impending closure of the Pedal Pusher, the only other bike shop downtown, the timing was perfect.
Aside from all the stuff you can expect from a regular bike shop, this will be a place where people can find, donate and sell on consignment used parts and bikes. Co-op members can learn how to fix their own bikes through a variety of programs, and also use the shop space and tools at their leisure. Also of note is the mobile bike mechanic that can come right to your door to fix your bike, and hopefully in the future there will be food delivery by bike too!
It’s not necessary to be a member to enjoy some of the services, but there are benefits. Becoming a shareholder/member is easy. Visit the shop, fill out an application, and with the minimum purchase of one share, which costs $5 (refundable upon leaving the co-op) almost anyone can become a lifetime member.
A member of the co-op is entitled to use the tools and shop space for an hourly, monthly or annual fee and can also attend free workshops. All members have a say in how the business is run, can attend meetings of the association, run for a position on the board of directors, vote for board of directors and vote on other important issues at meetings. Regardless of how many shares each member has, they only get one vote. Here, every member’s voice is equally recognized regardless of amount invested.
Hub City Cycles is a non-profit community service cooperative who’s purpose is to be a resource that nourishes the neighbourhoods in and around downtown Nanaimo by providing affordable bicycle-centric services and advocacy that build, empower and support healthy and sustainable communities, providing a safe and welcoming space for people to come to learn, share skills and network with other community members.