Bike Lab 2.0 opens for business
Donuts, coffee, and bike-talk marked the grand re-opening of the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association Bike Lab on Thursday.
The student-led bicycle workshop and cycling education centre was closed throughout the summer and into the fall term this year to allow for several building and technology upgrades. The main goal of the upgrades were to improve accessibility and safety in the space.
Located between Wesley Hall and the Axworthy Health & RecPlex, the re-purposed shipping container that houses the Bike Lab now boasts a wheelchair ramp, improved storage space, a new security system, and WIFI.
Bike Lab general coordinator, Robin Bryan, hopes the upgrades will help solidify the workshop as a welcoming, open and diverse place.
“This is really about accessibility for more people in our Bike Lab,” Bryan said. “We were faced with recognizing that we had limitations in who could meaningfully participate in our programming and it’s always been our intention to be a convergence of people from all walks of life and all backgrounds.”
The final piece to the accessibility puzzle is a soon-to-be-installed height adjustable work bench that will better accommodate participants in wheelchairs.
In addition to the revamped work space, the Bike Lab is asking the for input on programming through an online survey that will be posted here Monday.
The UWSA Bike Lab opened in 2011 and has become a hub for cycling education and advocacy in the downtown core. Volunteers and staff members host regular cycling repair, bike building, and bike safety workshops as well as community outreach programs and open drop-in sessions.
Bryan says the feedback gathered through the survey will also help in appealing to those who might be interested in, but intimidated by, the workshop.
“We want this to be about everyone feeling safe and welcome and to try and break down some of those barriers or inhibitions people might feel about picking up a tool or being a part of this community,” Bryan explained.