Ryan Harris has loved cycling since his days as a bike courier in the ’90s. But his passion for bicycles didn’t truly crank out of the ‘granny gear’ until he took his first bike mechanics course.
“I wanted to go out on longer rides but was worried about breaking down and getting stuck. So I took a class, and discovered that I love fixing bikes.”
Now he’s the owner of Recyclistas Bike Shop, the community hub, repair shop, recycling depot and educational workspace tucked between the Galloping Goose and Lochside Trails beside Uptown Mall. And every Thursday and Saturday he shares his passion and knowledge in beginner-friendly classes.
“The bike repair classes are an inexpensive, easy way to get to know your bike and feel more confident in your riding,” he says.
Reduce emissions, reduce waste
Harris is motivated to get more people riding bikes and is pleased to provide a welcoming place to do that.
“It’s more than just a mode of transportation. It can change your outlook on life.”
Cycling reduces greenhouse gas emissions and is a great way to get active. It’s also an effective community-builder, helping people feel more connected to their neighbourhoods. Recyclistas’ repair shop, workspace and maintenance classes are a hub where the spokes of Victoria’s grassroots cycling community can come together. The shop also pushes back on modern consumerism by helping riders learn to repair instead of replace.
“It’s nice to save as much we can from the landfills,” Harris says.
Affordable repairs, lasting knowledge
For just $30 you can work alongside Harris or one of the other two instructors to maintain, fix, or build your bike. There’s no set curriculum for the classes – you get to work on your bike. Not currently experiencing any problems? Instructors will share some common knowledge to equip you for scenarios you’re likely to face down the road. With no more than four participants in each class, you’ll get plenty of hands-on skills customized to your bike and riding style.
“There’s no skill level required,” Harris says. “We provide all the tools, all the oil and grease and shop supplies.”
Sign up for multiple classes to keep learning new skills. In just one class you can get your wheels tuned up for spring riding. If you’d like guidance building a bike from the spokes up, Harris says you can build a whole bike in about four classes.
Sign up today to feel empowered!
Classes run Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Youth aged 13 to 18 can sign up for $20, and the cost for adults is $30. Reserve online at www.recyclistas.ca, or call 250-418-8867 for more information.