Spotlight on Bikes – So good for the planet!
by Sasha Mainsbridge
ZEB Community Engagement Officer, founder of Mullum Cares Inc and mother of two almost teenage boys.?
Thinking about getting yourself or the kids a new bike (either new or second hand)? That’s a carbon busting idea!
Bikes are an awesome, low carbon transport option and a great way to get exercise into your life – if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere they are useful.
Last week I had to get a new crank for my bike and took the opportunity to have a chat with Dave at True Wheel Cycles and Northern Rivers Electric Bikes in Mullum – about all things great and frustrating in his industry at the moment.
Don’t buy bling off the internet
“The one thing I highly recommend locals completely avoid is buying new bikes online that you haven’t been recommended by a friend or seen a version of in real life. There are bikes for sale on line that look amazing in the pictures but they don’t all end up meeting peoples expectations” Dave said. He told me that there’s been a recent increase in customers asking to pay his team to assemble bikes that have been purchased online.
Dave went on to say that on some occasions, due to the poor quality of the bikes and their fixings, he didn’t feel comfortable charging for the assembly because he didn’t want to be responsible if the bike failed.
My boys recently needed to upgrade from the bikes they’d had since we first arrived in time for Christmas 2014. They were only 5 & 7 then so it was time for bigger bikes! With a little effort and some spit and polish we’ll be proud to pass their old bikes on to another pair of young boys:)
Buy new or well loved second hand – then LOOK AFTER IT
I pushed Dave to tell me more about the habits of his customers that make his life less fun than it could be. I could tell he was reluctant, and later I realised it’s because he knows I’m a waste warrior, but he finally conceded that when people bring in bikes that have been long neglected it’s a massive pain for his team because they are stuck between wanting to get the customer up and riding and not encouraging waste but having to deal with the reality that these bikes are often riddled with rust and need lots of hours of work which he finds it impossible to charge for.
The moral to this story really is that if you buy a new bike or well loved second hand bike and LOOK AFTER IT Dave’s team or any other bike shop isn’t going to be expected to work for slave labor to help you feel like an eco warrior. You are very welcome of course, to do the work yourself and that would absolutely earn you the title of Eco Warrior.
Places to buy push & e-bikes locally
Mullum Cares will run a Basic Bike Maintenance Workshop In January at the Library of Stuff
When participation restrictions lift, Mullum Cares will restart its Salvage Culture activity that inspires and enables attendees to Make & Mend and Care & Repair at Workshops and Working Bees that double as routine maintenance tasks that the Library of Stuff need to undertake to keep the lending inventory in tip top shape and as an opportunity for members and the broader community to come, help or get help and learn by participating how to care better for their stuff. Emissions generated from the extraction, manufacturing, distribution and disposal of goods made from human consumption amounts for more than 50% of global emissions. So if we buy less and buy better we directly reduce the emissions our consumption behaviour is responsible for.
The bike maintenance is a random Care & Repair requested by a few of our Library members (including me!). If you have any topics you would like covered that directly improve resource conservation outcomes please let me know via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next week we’ll look at Bike Hire and Award Winning E-Bike Tours in our Region