Ordinary Spokes is a not-for-profit community cycling organization. Based in St John’s, NL, we operate a DIY community cycling repair hub and resource centre, sell refurbished bicycles, and run outreach events in the community to promote cycling as a means of transportation.
Our purposes are to:
- Support the use of cycling as a mode of transportation, and as part of an active lifestyle that minimizes environmental impact;
- Operate and maintain a community bike shop for public use that is a safer and LGBTQ2S+ friendly space;
- Operate a bike recycling program to provide affordable bikes to the community of St. John’s;
- Promote bike culture, the organization of community building initiatives, events to connect fellow cyclists, and the maintenance of a social space; and
- Provide education about bike mechanics, bike safety, and bikes as tools for radical social change.
Ordinary Spokes was first conceived of in 2009 in response to the growing local interest in cycling as well as the absence of non-profit bicycle repair shops or resource centres in St. John’s. The founding members noticed that cycling was often regarded in the city as an impractical means of transportation.
Discussions around removing bike lanes in St. John’s affirmed the need for the promotion of bike culture and the need to demonstrate that commuter cycling is possible, despite local meteorological and topographic challenges.
The volunteer-run repair shop first opened in January 2010 out of a residential basement on Pleasant Street. Ordinary Spokes became incorporated as a non-profit organization in May 2010. Later that year in June, the shop moved to a larger and more accessible space on Prowse Avenue.
In June 2011, the shop moved to a commercial space on Water St. That space was operational for two years until it closed at the end of 2012. In 2014, the shop reopened in the basement of Fixed Coffee and Baking on Harvey Road. In 2017, Ordinary Spokes teamed up with the St. John’s Tool Library and is now sharing a workshop space with them at 151 Empire Avenue.
2023 Board Members
- Meghan Hollett, Chair
- Justin Lee, Vice-Chair
- Nick van mele, Treasurer
- Joshua Mack, Secretary
- Joel Finnis
- Adrian House