Introducing The WRENCH
Winnipeg Repair Education and Cycling Hub
Opening day at The WRENCH’s repair shop at 1057 Logan Avenue, and the symbolic ribbon cutting has been replaced by a lesson in how to remove a link from a bike chain. The walls are lined with neatly organized bike parts that have been donated or retrieved from the Brady Landfill.
Staff and volunteers have been hard at work since the spring, turning the basement space into a workshop suitable for teaching bicycle mechanics. And they are eager to share their skills and enthusiasm with the public. At a work station, Jagear Muhamad beams with pride as he makes adjustments to a bike that he’ll eventually be able to call his own. He is participating in an 8-week summer program as part of The WRENCH’s ‘First Gear Initiative’, a pilot project which received a Sustainable Community Grant from ACU.
The youth in the program have learned how to rebuild bikes and will each graduate with their own bike along with a helmet, lock and safe-cycling skills.
The WRENCH is a new non-profit organization serving the growing number of bike enthusiasts in Winnipeg. In addition to the repair shop on Logan, it runs workshops for schools and community groups, helps train volunteers for community bike shops and plans to continue to work to promote bike culture within Winnipeg.
Cara Fisher, the Program Director, took the plunge to leave Vancouver’s bike-friendly climate to move to Winnipeg to set up The WRENCH. “I’m glad I moved here,” she says. “Winnipeg is very friendly and it’s great to be involved in the early stages of developing this resource. We are building the next generation of bike mechanics and volunteers to work in their own communities.”
For more information about programs offered by The WRENCH visit www.thewrench.ca