Community Bikekitchen

Format Neighbourhood Platform

City Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava - A parking lot on the Riverbank. – This tool will try to show you how we started it, what we needed in the beginning and how we solved the problems. Our goals and values. However, every Bike kitchen is different. It depends on the country, city and most important - people. Some of the bike kitchens are quite professional, some are DIY and some are very punky. Choose your life.

All the cycling movement started in 2010 on a bike ride Critical Mass. After some months we started an NGO that is uniting people and organizations that are making the cycling more popular. A half year later after lots of meetings, elections and tons of computer work, we started this DIY project.

People Power Volunteers needed!

Volunteers are the basic stone of our work. All the work has been made voluntarily, all the containers, insulations all the stuff. We also cooperate with volunteers from the private sector. It's a win-win situation. They have an office free day, they love to be with us and we give them work, we are happy when the things get done! But obviously, most of the volunteer hours were spent by us, the core, the heart of the team.

Location Residential area or not

We started as a very small project just for friends. This was crucial to building a community of core members. This can be a garage, even a flat on the second floor of a (more open-minded house). Later we moved to a square that was in a residential area. Here is very crucial to set up regular opening hours. For example, we are open every Wednesday after 6 pm. Lots of neighbors came with kids or elders and we were helping them to repair their bikes. Now we are out of a residential zone, but we are on the riverbank, that gives us new possibilities. We do concerts, fire shows, weird music events and we can stay there much longer and much louder than in residential area. Very important for us now is an international bike route that is near us.

Things you need Bike tools.

You have to start somehow. You can start just with a backpack and a regular place, but you need some tools. At least basic tools for repairing bikes. Don't specialize in new bikes, new front forks, etc. These are the things that are often changing depending on trends. Try to have to tools that are suitable for older bikes, ideally city bikes and roadies. First tool what you need is a wrench no. 15 for putting the wheels down. You can find some nice ones even with a beer opener on another side over the interwebs. Then you need to build your first case with tools. You can search scrap yards and ask for used tools in bike shops. After some time, you can write to a manufacturer for a better price for your community nonprofit project. We have a good experience with this.