Archive for February, 2015

Bike Co-op AGM

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

The AMS Bike Co-op will be holding our Annual General Meeting in two weeks’ time. All members are invited to come to the meeting, where we will report on our programs and financials, and elect board members for the 2015-2016 year.

Date: Tuesday, March 10
Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Deets: voting! pizza! bzvzrages!

Hope to see you all there!




We’re hiring a Communications Coordinator!

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

The AMS Bike Co-op is hiring a Communications Coordinator! The position is three days a week, with room for flexibility and creativity. We are looking for someone with proficiencies in Adobe Creative Suite; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; and Communications experience—we’re also looking for someone who loves bikes and enjoys community organizing.

Hours per week: 22.5

Wage: $16-$19 hourly, commensurate with experience

Application deadline: March 10th at 5pm

Anticipated start date: March 18th (flexible if necessary)

Reports to: Programs Manager, AMS Bike Co-op

The key tasks of the position are:

Program Communications

  • Coordinates and organizes all AMS Bike Co-op communications – Designs posters, brochures, and other materials for Bike Co-op programs and events
  • Manage the Bike Co-op’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts
  • Keeps the website up-to-date, adding new pages and materials and updating existing content
  • Maintains the Bike Co-op blog, writing about community events, programs, etc. and coordinating for other volunteers to contribute posts
  • Creates and manages the weekly newsletter Bike News, collecting information for the newsletter, writing content, formatting content and sending it via Mailchimp
  • Liaises with communications coordinators from other cycling and related organizations to strategize on issues of concern to the cycling community in Vancouver
  • Keeps up to date with cycling and urban planning news in the Metro Vancouver area

Program Administration

  • Manages and maintains the AMS Bike Co-ops bike cage and bike locker programs
  • Assists with the supervision of 2-3 student employees and acts as a mentor for these students
  • Assist with program scheduling and coordination as needed
  • Assists with program resource management, ensuring that programs are stocked with the necessary materials and ordering more as needed

Member and Community Engagement

  • Represent the AMS Bike Co-op at community events, providing information about the organization and cycling in general, as well as assisting with bike tune-ups (training in basic bike maintenance will be provided if the successful candidate has no prior experience)
  • Manages volunteer rewards, ordering t-shirts and branded items as needed and coordinating for them to be given to volunteers

Other duties as assigned.


  • 1-2 years work experience in a Communications role, preferably in a not-for-profit organization
  • Experience and proficiency with the Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator)
  • Experience and proficiency with using social media tools (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
  • Ability to communicate in a professional manner through writing and speaking – Basic computer skills (word processing, email, spreadsheets)
  • Strong interpersonal and teamwork skills – Knowledge/interest in cycling culture/advocacy
  • Understanding of and commitment to anti-oppressive values and inclusivity of all genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities and backgrounds

Additional qualifications (considered assets) are:

  • Experience with public relations
  • Knowledge of basic bike mechanics
  • Experience with collective decision-making practices
  • Experience using WordPress and newsletter mailout services
  • Experience using CiviCRM or other similar constituent management software
  • Knowledge of the UBC campus and experience with UBC student life

Note: Some evening and weekend work required. Must be available to attend weekly Board Meetings on Tuesdays from 5-6 pm.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample and design sample to the attention of Aida Mas, Programs Manager. Applications can be submitted by email to, or in person at the Bike Kitchen (6138 Student Union Boulevard, Vancouver BC) Monday to Friday between 10 am and 6 pm.




A Reading Break Ride to the Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

During Reading Week, a group of AMS Bike Co-opers (and friends) went on a long ride down to the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves:

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.

Photo credit: Matthew Chow.



Food Bank Donation = 1 Hour of Free Shop Time!

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015


The Bike Kitchen and AMS Bike Co-op have partnered with the UBC Food Bank to collect donations during the month of March. Bring in a non-perishable food item on Wednesdays in March, and receive a free hour of shop time at The Bike Kitchen!

If you would prefer to donate money rather than non-perishable goods, we’ll happily accept it and forward it on to the UBC Food Bank.

Eligible Wednesdays:
Wednesday, March 4
Wednesday, March 11
Wednesday, March 18
Wednesday, March 25

If you’ve been putting off that brake cable replacement or shift adjustment, now’s the time to give a little back while giving your bike some TLC for the Spring riding season.



Transit Referendum: Voting FAQs

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

The Metro Vancouver Transit Referendum is coming up soon! The referendum question asks whether or not you support a 0.5 % sales tax increase in order to fund transit infrastructure projects. The Better Transit & Transportation Coalition has a great infographic summarizing these infrastructure projects: check it out here.

We’ve scoured the available resources and inquired with Elections BC to compile the following Q&A covering common transit referendum voting FAQs. Got a question we haven’t answered? Drop us a line at, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

How will voting work?
Voters will register to vote online or by phone; Elections BC will then mail voting packages out to voters, who will need to make their “Yes” or “No” decision, and then mail their vote back to Elections BC in a postage-paid envelope they have provided.

When does voting take place?
Elections BC will start mailing ballot packages out on March 16, 2015.

Where can I register to vote?
You can register to vote online at Elections BC’s website, or by phoning 1-800-661-8683.

When can I start registering to vote?
ASAP! Voter registration is currently open.

Is there a voting registration deadline?
Yes. The final date for voter registration is May 15, 2015.

Is there a deadline by which I need to mail in my ballot?
Yes. The ‘hard deadline’ for ballots to be received by Elections BC is 8pm on May 29, 2015.

What will the voting package and ballot look like?
Good question. Take a look at these handy images at Elections BC.

How exactly will the ballot question be phrased? What will a “Yes” vote mean? What will a “No” vote mean?
The province has approved the following ballot question for the referendum: “Do you support a new 0.5% Metro Vancouver Congestion Improvement Tax, to be dedicated to the Mayors’ Transportation and Transit Plan?” Check out our “Quick Facts” blog post for a run-down on what “Yes” and “No” votes will mean for Metro Vancouver.

Can I vote if I’m not currently living in British Columbia?
If you’re a Canadian citizen and a permanent resident of BC, you should be able to vote, but you’ll need to call Elections BC to register, and double-check. Here’s their phone number: 1-800-661-8683.

Will postage be covered for the mail-in vote?
Yes. Postage-paid return envelopes will be provided in the ballot packages.

How long does a person need to have been a resident of BC to vote in the referendum?
In order to vote, you must be a BC resident for at least 6 months prior to May 29, 2015. (This means out-of-province Canadian students who moved to Vancouver in September are generally eligible!)

Can a non-Canadian-citizen (i.e., an American citizen) vote in the referendum?
No :(. Sorry.

What if I don’t have a fixed address or know where I will be living?
The plebiscite is vote-by-mail. In order to vote, voters must be registered and registration requires an address. Voters who make use of shelters or social service agencies may use that address to register and to have a voting package sent to them at that address.

Are there *any* alternatives being offered to the mail-in vote?
According to Elections BC, after April 13, there will be eight locations throughout Metro Vancouver where voters can register, or update their voter registration, receive a voting package and drop off a completed ballot package. As of February 17, 2015, these locations are have not been determined. Check with Elections BC for more information.



Reading Week Closure: February 16-22

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

The Bike Kitchen and AMS Bike Co-op will be closed for service and regular programming for Reading Week from on Monday, February 16, to Sunday, February 22.

We’ll be back for regular 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. hours on Monday, February 23, 2015.



Family Day Closure: February 9

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

The Bike Kitchen and AMS Bike Co-op will be closed for service and regular programming for Family Day on Monday, February 9, 2015.

We’ll be back for regular 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. hours on Tuesday, February 10, 2015.



Meet a Board Member: Will!

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Will is originally from Edmonton, Alberta. He’s a third-year history and economics student. Biking is his secondary sport, in comparison to skiing, but now that he’s moved to a city where he can bike all year round, cycling has become more important to him. He commutes to campus a couple times a week and cycles for exercise with the AMS Bike Club.

Shades + cap + Will + bike!

Shades + cap + Will + bike!

How long have you been involved with the Bike Co-op?

I’ve been involved since first year, going to P&Ys, but this year I joined the Volunteer Team in September, and then I joined the Board of Directors at the Fall General Meeting, which was a few months ago I guess.

Why did you decide to get involved?

I like bikes. I wanted to keep working on bikes, but it’s expensive to keep working on your own bike, so P&Y is a nice outlet for that. That was the initial draw. I like to work with my hands.

More and more, when I started doing CRCs, it was fun to work on actual bikes, that weren’t P&Ys. Then I joined the Board.

What’s your favourite bicycle?

I have three bikes: my mountain bike; my commuter, which is a single speed; and my road bike. Obviously my road bike is my favourite. I’ve put a lot of effort into it. I built it up this summer after I cracked the head tube on my favourite bike. I bought this one on Craigslist, just the frame, and built it all up with components I chose myself. It’s fast and fun and stiff. It’s good stuff.

Where do you like riding?

In the summer, the Bike Club rode up all the mountains, for climbing, but now it’s kind of sketchy up there, so we’ve just been doing Iona Beach and Richmond loops and stuff like that.

Is there an aspect of the Bike Co-op’s programming that interests you the most?

Definitely outreach, and I guess, programs in general. I’m really excited about the Bike Club night that we’re trying to get going here.

[Side note re: The Bike Club night: the idea is that once a month, the Bike Club will have a chance to come down into the space after-hours to work on their bikes and watch cycling movies. Bike Co-op + Bike Club = Bike <3.]

I like the idea of connecting more with people who are really into cycling, on campus. I feel like we do a really good job of reaching out to new cyclists, or people who don’t know a lot about bikes, marginalized groups who need to be in cycling, and we want them to be in cycling, but at the same time I don’t think we should turn our backs on people who are more intermediate or advanced when it comes to their cycling or mechanics skills.

How comfortable are you now with bike mechanics, and how did you learn what you know?

I first started converting 10-speeds into single-speeds in my garage, that was my main introduction in Grade 12, about five years ago. At that time, they weren’t that interesting to hipsters and people were just like, here! Have my 10-speed, have my 10-speed. I’d just go grab them, strip them down to frames, and build them up. So that’s what my commuter is, one of the single-speeds I built up. I still ride that bike. I’ve painted it three or four times, it’s gone through a couple different incarnations. I love that bike.

So that was the formation, just a lot of disassembly. This September, I replaced my first headset. And that was different – I was pounding things out of the frame, it was a little more intense. So a bit of a combination of working by myself and working here.

What has been the steepest learning curve for you, in terms of learning bike mechanics?

Being patient. Because things just go wrong. And I’m kind of hard on my gear. It’s always breaking.

So maybe your brake’s rubbing a bit, and it takes a while to get it working. You need to be patient with it. I remember my first single-speed, I was replacing an axle, and it took me a week, because I had no clue what I was doing—I just couldn’t get it dished right—and I remember being very frustrated. Bike mechanics has taught me a lot of patience.

What do you think the largest barrier is to increasing cycling in UBC, and in Vancouver?

This is tough for me, because Edmonton is terrible in terms of cycling infrastructure, so when I first came here—all the routes, and how it’s all mapped out—Edmonton is just a jungle, and here it’s significantly better. I guess people who grow up in Vancouver have a different mindset.

I guess I’d say the biggest hurdle is probably cost, in a weird way, especially for students. The U-Pass is easy, it’s free, you get it every month. Whereas with cycling, not only do you have to get the bike, but you have to get these expensive panniers, and all the gear. It’s a lot of effort, and then you show up to class all sweaty.

But there’s nothing like that feeling of walking to class with that buzz in your legs, like, I just worked to get here.

Do you think there’s a way to ameliorate any of the barriers you talked about?

Definitely the shower in Buchanan’s kind of nice. When I discovered that, I was impressed. It’s nice to have the showers, and the bike cages, and the bike lockers. It just makes it easier.

Did you have a locker or a cage before you got involved with the Co-op?

Yeah, I was in the Buchanan Cage. I’ve had it for two years or so.

Cool. What upcoming event are you most excited about?

I was excited for the Brewery Tour, but I couldn’t go. I’m also super excited for the Bike Club nights.