Welcome to the AMS Bike Co-op’s Blog!


What the municipal election means for cyclists


Photo by Paul Kreuger

The municipal elections are coming up on October 20th. These elections are critical for policies that affect your daily life, especially the building of bike infrastructure and the promotion of cycling. City Council is important, but the Parks Board controls crucial links in the cycling network, like Stanley Park and Kits Beach Park, so make sure that you vote for them too.

You can find out how to vote here.

This is a fairly unusual municipal election, in a political landscape suddenly freed from corporate funds. So it’s extra important that you vote and vote carefully. To that end, we are providing some broad recommendations for candidates who care about cycling.

The slate of candidates endorsed by the Vancouver Labour Council meets our approval. In brief, this means that we recommend voting for either COPE, OneCity, The Green Party or Vision for Council, School Board and Parks Board, as well as voting for Kennedy Stewart for mayor. You can find the complete list here.

We recommend against voting for the NPA as they have a long history of opposing cycling infrastructure both in Council and the Parks Board. Hector Bremner claims to be pro-cycling, but his history with the NPA casts doubt on this. Candidates to the right of the NPA who are vowing to dismantle cycling infrastructure are obviously antithetical to everything the AMS Bike Co-op stands for, and we do not recommend voting for them if you’d like Vancouver to remain a bike-friendly city. For instance, Coalition Vancouver mayoral candidate Wai Young vowed to scrap recent 10th Avenue bike route improvements and replace the route with parking spaces.


We moved!

Dear Community,

You may have noticed that the trailer that housed the Bike Kitchen at 1896 East Mall is completely gone. Done-zo. No more. Literally vanished.

We have some news! We’re excited to announce that the Bike Kitchen has officially moved to a brand spanking new location.

You can now find us in Room 36 at the UBC Life Building, 6138 Student Union Boulevard. We can’t wait to see you at our new space!

The Bike Kitchen is still open from 10:00am to 6:00pm on Monday to Friday and 11:00am to 6:00pm on Saturday. All of our regular programs and services are available in our new home.

The AMS Bike Co-op office is now located at the back of the Bike Kitchen. Our office hours are by appointment only, between 11:00am to 5:00pm on Monday to Friday.


AMS Bike Co-op and Bike Kitchen


we’re hiring a senior mechanic

The Bike Kitchen is hirig a senior mechanic. The position is 32 – 40 hours per week, and the days of work will be steady (Monday – Friday or Tuesday – Saturday, for example). Working hours will be between 10am and 9pm.  The applicant will report to the Bike Kitchen’s manager.

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 to seven mechanics averages 15 work tickets a day, mostly small jobs, and also assist 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 and access programming. We specialize in refurbishing and selling used bicycles, and offer new and used parts and accessories for sale.  More information about our organization can be found here and here.

The successful applicant will be expected to:

  • Set and maintain standards of mechanical repairs
  • Assess and repair bicycles
  • Complete work orders, check the work of other mechanics
  • Help develop training procedures for junior staff and provide guidance
  • Provide mechanical guidance and mentorship to volunteers and customers
  • Utilize Lightspeed, our POS system, to perform retail activities
  • Front desk customer service: greeting people as they come into the space, answering the phone, resolving complaints or issues
  • Perform basic shop tasks, such as daily maintenance cleaning and organizing
  • Maintain the Bike Kitchen as a safe, professional, fun, anti-oppressive, and inclusive working environment for all staff, volunteers, and customers

The ideal candidate will:

  • Demonstrate advanced bicycle mechanic skills
  • Have 2+ years of full-time experience in the bicycle industry
  • Be familiar with the ethos of community bike shops
  • Be familiar with the Bike Kitchen’s anti-oppressive policies and safer spaces policy
  • Have effective communication skills, and the capacity to receive both instruction and feedback
  • Be legally eligible to work in Canada

Please send applications to Alex Alvarez at

Position Start Date: July, 2018
Hourly Commitment: 32 – 40 hours a week
Reporting to: Alex Alvarez
Wage: $17.00 – $19.00 per hour, depending on experience
Vacation: Standard vacation pay is paid out with each paycheque, rather than accrued
Benefits: N/A


statement of support for the SASC

To the AMS and UBC community,

Today we stand in solidarity with the Sexual Assault Support Centre, survivors, and everyone who spoke up to condemn the unilateral decision of the AMS to end crisis support services at the SASC. The AMS’s decision was enacted without the consultation or consent of UBC students, faculty, and staff. The AMS’s decision to end crisis support services at the SASC was ultimately an attack on survivors and therefore an attack on the entire UBC community. While we are glad the the AMS Executive reversed their decision, these recent events have shaken the UBC community and damaged trust in the AMS.

For the last 16 years, the SASC has been a beacon of safety and support, providing the UBC community with vital same-day support services that are not available anywhere else on campus. The SASC is trusted by community members to be trauma-informed, intersectional and survivor-centered. The AMS’ own 2018 Academic Experience Survey Report states that “One-in-ten (10%) students have personally experienced either sexual assault or another form of sexual misconduct from a member of the UBC community.” We need to ensure that trusted resources like the SASC’s crisis services are protected for years to come.

We implore the AMS to establish accountabilities so that future decisions of this nature will not be made without the votes of students. A student union should represent the interests of students, the safety of students, the agency of students. Yet, the current AMS Executive made an autocratic decision that contradicts the will of the students and jeopardized students’ security.

Today we stand in solidarity with the Sexual Assault Support Centre and all survivors.

#ChoicesForSurvivors #SavetheSASC

From the staff and board of the AMS Bike Co-op


We’re Hiring a Communications Assistant

The Bike Co-op is hiring a full time Communications Assistant for a temporary summer position via Canada Summer Jobs. This job is available to applicants who are under 30 years of age who are currently enrolled in an accredited university as a full time student and plan to return as full time students for the 2018 fall term.

The Communications Assistant will be responsible for assisting the Communications Coordinator and Programs Manager with a variety of AMS Bike Co-op communications in three main areas: Program Promotion, Member & Community Engagement, and our Rebranding Initiative.

This position provides an opportunity to represent the AMS Bike Co-op at community events, to learn about cycling and urban planning news in Metro Vancouver, to become educated in active transportation, and to learn about the inner workings of a not for profit community bike shop.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Help design posters, brochures, flyers and digital media for Bike Co-op programs, events, and social media
  • Assist with redesigning our website
  • Maintain website, add new pages and material, update existing content
  • Maintain Bike Co-op blog, write about community events and programs, coordinate volunteers to contribute posts
  • Use MailChimp to create newsletters that highlight our upcoming programs and events
  • Assist the Communication Coordinator with Rebranding Initiative as needed
  • Craft creative posts for Facebook and Instagram
  • Assist the Programs Manager as needed


  • A strong understanding of and commitment to anti-oppressive values and practices
  • Strong professional communication and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Self-motivated and can produce deliverables with minimal supervision
  • Can work both independently and with a small team
  • Meets criteria for position funding:
    • under 30 years of age
    • currently enrolled in an accredited university as a full time student and plans to return as full time students for the 2018 fall term.


  • Experience working for a non-profit organization
  • Some experience with community bike shops, either as a volunteer or staff member
  • Working knowledge of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign
  • Experience with web development, WordPress, and SquareSpace
  • Experience managing social media accounts for an organization

Job Specifications

  • Compensation: $16.50/hour
  • Hours: 30 hours/week
  • Position start date: on or before July 1, 2018
  • Duration: 8 weeks, to end before August 31, 2018

Please email your resume and cover letter to with the subject heading Application: Communications Assistant. We will be accepting applications until the position is filled, or until June 30, 2018. The selected candidate will start work by July 1, 2018 and the position will terminate on or before August 31st, 2018.

* UBC is located on unceded Musqueam territory. We encourage Indigenous people, as well as all people who are underrepresented in the cycling industry to apply for this position.


It’s the Bike Co-op’s 20th Birthday

It’s the Bike Co-op’s 20th birthday this year! The Bike Co-op was established in 1998 and began as a small student run organization with a big idea: to build an accessible volunteer-run bike share for UBC students. A lot of organization was put into finding, refurbishing, and painting bikes in our signature purple and yellow hues. These clashing colours were chosen to deter people from stealing the bikes. In the first year over 100 Purple & Yellow bikes were built!

Twenty years later, our Purple & Yellow Bike Share and volunteer night still exists and has become a permanent fixture on campus. Since 2008 we’ve built 400 P&Y bikes, sporting names like “Greasy Rust Sprinkles,” “Too bad it’s raining,” “I’d ride that,” and “Will to live.”

A volunteer spiffying up some P&Ys.

Today the Bike Co-op now runs so many more programs, like Bici Libre and Women & Queer Night. The founders likely didn’t imagine that the Co-op would go on to start a Kids Bike Library or build a partnership with the City of Vancouver to keep bikes out of the landfill. Recently, however, we resurrected a few programs from the past like Spare Parts, a workshop series that teaches folks how to make art and functional objects out of recycled bike parts.

The Bike Kitchen opened in January of 1999 on a shoestring budget. The Co-op needed a space to build and fix P&Y’s, but the Kitchen quickly became so much more. Since 1999, the Bike Kitchen has served as the hub for not just UBC’s, but Vancouver’s DIY cycling community as well.

We dug into our archives to find a few gems from the past — including Waving Wednesdays flyers and a saucy recruitment poster from the late ’90s or early 2000s. Take a rip down nostalgia lane with us.

What do you think — should we ressurect Waving Wednesday?

Just in case you were wondering how to wave, the flyer includes this fabulous instruction: “A wave ‘counts’ when you move your hand back and forth at least three times.”

The Bike Hub was established in 1999 as a resource centre for students. It’s hard to tell from this photocopy but, yes, Jason is indeed sporting a cropped T-shirt.

The first iteration of Spare Parts began in 2002. We resurrected the program 2016 to lead up to our annual art show, Pedalling Art.

One thing obviously hasn’t changed: we still have an affinity for hand drawn media.

We’re not sure what year this art show took place, but our interests have stayed the same. Our annual fundraiser is now an art show called Pedalling Art.



Bike Building Party for Bici Libre

Calling all bike mechanics! Whether you are a pro or an amateur looking to get better, we need help building bikes for an awesome program – Bici Libre!

The Bike Building Party will take place on Saturday March 17th from 10am – 4pm at Kickstand (1739 Venables Street). This event takes place on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the ʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) nations.

There will be snacks, drinks, fun, and plenty of mechanical support for those who need guidance.

We’ll be hosting this event on a regular basis. Keep an eye out for future editions! You can RSVP to the Facebook event here.

About Bici Libre
Bici Libre is a project of the AMS Bicycle Co-op and Bike Kitchen. The initiative rebuilds used bikes for the use of migrant farm workers across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Farm workers that come from other countries via the Temporary Foreign Workers Program often live at the farms on which they work, far from town centres and with limited access to basic necessities.

Their time off is limited and with mobility restrictions, workers often face difficulties accessing services like banking, medical care and groceries. Our goal is to support workers during their stay and to ensure transportation is not a limitation in their life in Canada.


Annual General Party… er, Meeting

Annual General Meeting
March 6th, 2018
6:30pm – 9:00pm
The Michael Kingsmill Forum (aka Intergalactic Space Senate)
4th floor of The AMS Student Nest.

Mark your calendars, because on March 6th we’re hosting more of a party than an Annual General Meeting. There will be games, prizes, free pizza and free drinks. Come eat, drink and get to know the staff and board of the Bike Co-op and Bike Kitchen.

Get Involved
We want to get to know you, our membership and community, a little better. This event is all about you (and a little bit about us and all the neat things we’ve been up to). Give us feedback on our programs and events, make suggestions, or join our Board of Directors. This is your opportunity to have a say in the future of our programs and events.

RSVP on Facebook here.


Pedalling Art Recap

On November 10, 2017 we held Pedalling Art: 2nd Annual Bike Art Auction at Gam Gallery. Over 150 people attended and 65 art pieces were bid on.  Between the cover, the raffle tickets, drink sales and art sales, we raised $3,537.50 for Bici Libre and Pedals for the People.

We’re feeling all of the warm fuzzies because so many people came out to support two deserving programs and so many incredible local artists contributed to the event. This is only the second year we have run this event and we didn’t imagine it would become so successful so quickly — the gallery was bursting at the seams with so many art contributions and event-goers.

West Coast Bossa played a groovy jazz set, and DJ Brian Luneza, tea sea, and DJ Wizbo kept the tunes spinning till midnight. A dance party even emerged, much to our delight.

We are looking forward to making this event an annual tradition for many years to come. Next year, however, we’ll be sure to book a bigger space so y’all will have more elbow room to bust out your moves.

Thank you to all the businesses that contributed raffle prizes, including Dunbar Cycles, A-1 Cycle, Mighty Riders, and On the Rivet.

Thank you to all the artists, volunteers, musicians, DJs, and everyone who came and donated their hard-earned dollars to support access to transportation and local art. All of you made that $3,537.50 happen. Did we mention the warm fuzzies?


The Function of Space

If you’ve been receiving our newsletters or following us on Facebook for a while, you might be wondering: Why do we use so many space backgrounds?

An easy answer could be that images of celestial bodies and formations in outer space are awe-inspiring and aesthetically pleasing. Why not use beautiful pictures of nebulas, planets, stars as background images?

But the main reason is that the Hubble Telescope has an incredible online image archive and all of the images have relaxed copyright permissions. Their images can be downloaded and freely used — so long are you are not creating a product intended for sale with the images.

From the Hubble website:

“Material credited to STScI on this site was created, authored, and/or prepared for NASA under Contract NAS5-26555. Unless otherwise specifically stated, no claim to copyright is being asserted by STScI and it may be freely used as in the public domain in accordance with NASA’s contract.”

You can simply go to their website, select an image and download a high-quality copy — they even have different file sizes and formats available to easily download. Check it out for yourself here. You’ll see a hyperlink to their copyright notice below the download options.

The STSci (Space Telescope Science Institute) wants their image archive to be used, and we’re pretty sure they’d be smitten with the way that we’ve been modifying their images for our own use. They might even say that our media is out of this world.

Interstellar images are a hallmark our of visual style, and it’s been that way for years — long before any of our current employees worked at the AMS Bike Co-op. However, current staff have kept up the tradition.

Want to learn more? You can read more information about copyright laws in Canada here.