The Bike Foundry is a Not-for-Profit co-operative bike repair shop, based in Stirchley. Their goal to encourage as many people as possible in Birmingham to ride bikes rather than drive cars, as a healthy, fun, affordable and environmentally friendly means of both transport and leisure. They do this by breaking down barriers that may prevent people from cycling.
They do this in a number of ways:
- Repairing & refurbishing: the bike shop repair bikes, but only by doing the work that needs doing, meaning that they both reduce unnecessary waste, and the repair is cheaper for the customer. They also throw away as little as possible, and refurbish parts, rather than automatically replacing with new
- Selling: they take donations of bikes (those that people are no longer using) and refurbish and sell them on. As these bikes are second-hand, they are cost-effective, but customers are safe in the knowledge that they are fully working & safe
- Training: as people are more likely to carry on using a bike if know how to fix it, they offer workshops, catering for any size or kind of bike, and from basic through to extreme mechanics. They also run charity funded events so often maintenance or training is given for free to members of the public.
We asked Joe, one of the directors of The Bike Foundry, a few questions:
What do you love about running your business?
“I love that I work directly with the community on a day-to-day basis, and see the same people come to training courses, and then to social events, so I really see us having impact and helping people fall in love with cycling. I also love encouraging the community to be more sustainable, by being able to offer a great service at a decent price.”
And finally, what do you love about Birmingham?
“Each part of the city feels like its own little community, meaning you always bump into people you know”
You can check them out on Instagram (@birminghambikefoundry), or via their website (https://birminghambikefoundry.org/) to book repairs or courses, or pop into the shop in Stirchley and say hello.