Archive for March, 2015

Bike Kitchen Closed April 3-6th

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Spare pArts is cancelled, tomorrow. Regular programming will resume next month.

The Bike Kitchen will be closed for the upcoming long weekend, April 3-6. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday.



Meet a Mechanic: Young Daniel

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Young Daniel grew up in Colorado and has been a cyclist for most of his life. When he was 14, he got involved with community shops in Colorado; he moved to Vancouver in the Fall of 2012 to start school at UBC.

How did you first get involved with the AMS Bike Co-op?

Because I was an international student, I stopped by before everybody else showed up at P&Y. And then I got pulled into the board a few weeks later. I kind of went through the cycle of Board Treasurer, employee, worked for another shop, and now I’m back here.

After you were the Treasurer, you came on as our Sustainability Coordinator. Could you talk a little about that?

I guess the shop I was at in Fort Collins just had a lot higher volume of bikes, so I’d seen systems in place already to deal with recycling—how to streamline it. It came more out of necessity there. We could kind of just get by here with what was happening. It wasn’t really super organized. So I reached out to some of the people I knew back at that shop, and got some of the tags and other things that they use for all of that. There’s only two paid staff down there, so it’s a little different—they have to have systems to keep track of which volunteer builds what on a bike.

How did you learn how to be a mechanic?

Kind of just on the fly. A lot of community shops, in their early days, are all volunteers. If you stick around long enough, consistently enough, you can learn a lot. I showed up probably mid-June. I had summers off before Grade 9. So I probably put 400 hours in that summer. A friend and I just kind of decided we were going to do that. For four weeks, we just kind of took bikes apart, inspected things, and sure enough, pretty soon we were probably some of the—by hour—top volunteers. They’d put two 14-year-olds in charge of opening the shop for the first hour because everyone else was stuck mountain biking and had mechanical problems, or whatever. I learned how to do things before I learned why that would be an optimal adjustment, or the theory behind a lot of it. Basically you learn how to adjust brakes, and the next day, you’re teaching people.

How did you make the transition from volunteer mechanic to paid mechanic?

After first year of university, I went back for the summer. As much I would have liked to have stayed around the co-op there, out of necessity I had to work at another shop. I needed a job. I still hung out at the co-op when I had time, but it was definitely necessity to make money unfortunately.

So did you work at a commercial shop?

Yeah. I worked as a bike builder all summer.

Oh, interesting. So you didn’t really interact with customers?

No, I just sat in a basement and assembled bikes. Hundreds of bikes.

What’s your favourite bike tool?

Oh, that’s a tough one. Honestly it’d be either the Stein hyperhandle or Abbey tools Crombie tool. A little bit overly engineered but they just make changing cassettes that much simpler.

What was the most challenging thing for you to learn about basic bike mechanics?

Honestly probably—I mean, it’s one of those that I understand the theory—but cantilever brakes I just cannot get them perfect without squealing, basically.

You race as well, right? Could you talk a little bit about that, and if it lead you to want to learn more about mechanics?

I actually did it in the opposite order. I started at community shops and learning mechanics and then got hooked on road riding, and racing. There’s a lot more just kind of neighbourhood races in parking lots and whatever that people got permits for in Colorado. So you could show up, no entry fee, no license required. And then I got on a Junior team and kept up road and track racing for a while. I definitely didn’t enjoy the culture quite as much. Coming from a community shop, where you’re helping a lot of people maintain their bikes for transportation, to get by, and then hanging out with all of these fairly privileged teenagers who have, you know, $7000 road bikes, just kind of got to me a bit. My road bikes, I’d say half the parts were from community shops, and I pieced them together.

Are you still racing in Vancouver?

I haven’t raced since junior track nationals in 2011.

How’d you do?

7th in the world qualifier.

Holy shit, dude. Alright. Could you describe your favourite bike?

Probably my first road-racing bike, because it was such a hodge-podge of unbranded carbon, frameset, and then mis-matched everything but the drivetrain. I guess also because it was my first race bike.

What do you think the largest barrier to cycling is in Vancouver, and how can we improve it?

Drivers. I’m sure having wider streets with wider bike lanes helps, but honestly the VPD and the RCMP never enforce road rules—stop signs, right turns on red, things like that. Speeding is a lot more prevalent here. Generally just bad driving.

Our speed limits are lower, but it’s created a mentality of, “if I’m going 10 over, I’m fine.”

Exactly. You can do as many West Point Grey-Cornwalls as you want, but it’s not going to solve the problem. I’ve been cycling for 15 years. I’ve had seven car accidents on my bike, five of which have been in Vancouver in the three years that I’ve been here. It’s led me to do a few things that are a little out there. Yeah, I’m gonna build dynamo lights so I’ve got the brightest lights I can have. Yeah, I’m going to commute with a Go Pro because it’s not if but when another accident happens.



Alma under construction through the Spring and Summer

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Cyclists taking the 8th Avenue bike route up to campus will be affected this summer by construction on Alma Street between 4th Avenue and 15th Avenue (see the map below for details).

The City of Vancouver will be replacing sewer lines, and upgrading the sidewalk on Alma Street. This work is slated to begin in late April or early May, and wrap up in the Fall.

We’ve been advised that cyclists travelling on the 8th avenue bike route, crossing Alma, will face “lane closures and delays,” but there’s no word quite yet on whether this will mean a detour.




We’re Hiring a Community Bike Shop Manager!

Monday, March 9th, 2015

The Bike Kitchen is a non-profit, full service, community bike shop located on the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver (Point Grey) campus. We are a social enterprise established to support the AMS Bike Co-op (, and we function largely as a service-driven and educational shop. A team of three mechanics averages 15 work tickets a day, mostly small jobs, and also assists customers and co-op members in repairing their own bikes. Our clientele is predominantly UBC students, staff and faculty and we mostly service commuter bikes. Together with the AMS Bike Co-op, our mission is to support and expand the cycling mode share in the UBC area. We fill many different roles in the campus community and act as the hub of cycling activity in the area, with around 50 customers per day. During the day we offer repair services as well as repair instruction, and in the evenings we offer a range of educational programming on mechanics and riding skills. We specialize in refurbishing and selling used bicycles, and offer new and used parts/accessories for sale. More information about our organization can be found at and

The Bike Kitchen is seeking to fill the position of General Manager, the most senior role in the shop. The successful applicant will be in charge of managing daily operations, as well as providing business direction including seeing the shop through an upcoming period of change and growth. The Manager reports to the Bike Co-op Board of Directors, who provides broad oversight and support. The Manager of the Bike Kitchen works in liaison with the Programs Manager of the Bike Co-op, who manages the educational and outreach programming as well as overseeing 2+ programs and communications staff. The Bike Kitchen Manager must keep the organization’s mission in mind and ensure that the Bike Kitchen continues to act as an inclusive, positive space. The Manager is also expected to be a proficient mechanic and repair bikes regularly. The Manager coordinates a team of 4-7 skilled mechanic staff members and is supported by staff who contributes to shop operations collectively. Typical staff turnover is around 2.5 years. The Manager position is 40hrs/week and a 2-3 year commitment is preferable.

The Manager is responsible for:

  • Managing daily shop operations including sales and repairs
  • Managing staff including hiring, training, scheduling, etc
  • Improving and maintaining the Bike Kitchen as an anti-oppressive and inclusive space
  • Consulting and updating the business plan
  • Managing organization of finances including cashout, weekly deposits, and payroll, with the assistance of an administration team
  • Repairing bikes for customers and service writing
  • Acting as primary contact for shop communications
  • Working with the Programs Manager and the Board of Directors on programs and long-term goals

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Experience or training in small business or non-profit management
  • An analysis of oppression and privilege, and experience working within an antioppressive framework
  • Relevant work experience in the bike industry
  • Proficient bike mechanic skills
  • Experience managing staff or comparable experience in a leadership role
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Strong professional communication and interpersonal skills, including conflict resolution
  • Experience in customer service

We will like you even more if you can demonstrate:

  • Expert level bike mechanic skills
  • Teaching experience
  • Knowledge of and experience in community bike shops
  • Experience in inventory management and ordering
  • Knowledge of UBC departments and campus

Salary: $38,000 – $42,000 per year, plus bonus, commensurate on experience.

Hours: 40 per week. Specific days, including holidays, are flexible. Saturday and evening work possible but not required.

Relocation: a successful candidate from outside the Greater Vancouver area will have moving expenses subsidized.

Please email your resume and cover letter to:

We’ll be doing interviews on a rolling basis. Tentative start date is between May and August 1st, but can be earlier in the spring if needed; please include any time frame considerations in your application. The summer is intended to be a transition and training period between the current manager and the successful applicant.

Priority will be given to:

  • Candidates who have prior experience in community/non-profit bike shops
  • Candidates with identities that are traditionally under-represented in the bike industry; we invite you to apply if you experience oppression based on gender identity, race, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, disability, colonization, religion, etc.
  • Candidates who are already legally permitted to work in Canada

Only short listed candidates will be contacted, within three weeks of your application submission.



I <3 P&Y Campaign Winner!

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Congratulations to Allen Shi, who snapped this pic of a P&Y at Acadia Park and won the prize pack for our I <3 P&Y Campaign:


Allen is a regular P&Y volunteer :). He has won a Bike Kitchen t-shirt, a Bike Kitchen/AMS Bike Co-op water bottle, patches, and a certificate for free shop time.

Thanks for following our I <3 P&Y Campaign! Be sure to stop by our Purple & Yellow night Tuesday nights from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to learn basic mechanics, earn a key for our campus bike fleet, and eat free pizza.