By Jenny Burr –
Right Bike is moving out of Hintonburg.
Knowing that their lease was expiring, Samuel Benoit, Operational Manager of Right Bike, investigated various options and locations for Right Bike.
“One area of Ottawa which didn’t have a cycling shop was Lowertown,” says Samuel. “While attending a meeting I mentioned that we were looking for a new location, and a friend from EnviroCentre who was also at the meeting thought Right Bike would fit in with their mission.”
Right Bike is known around the city for its bike sharing (you’ve probably spotted their bright lavender-coloured bikes) but also as a social enterprise. Right Bike offers job training to their referrals from Causeway Work Centre. Training may be in the form of customer service, or as a bike mechanic. After their training, some clients might decide to further their education while others are ready to apply for work in retail or other industries.
During the winters of 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, Right Bike received funding for a 17-week, full-time course for vulnerable youth. The course trained them in bike mechanics, which upon completion, enabled many to transition into jobs throughout the city.
The training course, like all of the Causeway social businesses, followed their mission of providing excellent service and job training. Building one’s self-confidence and offering hope are two key aspects of the social businesses. Although funding for the two winter courses was not available this year, Samuel plans to apply again in the future.
Currently, only two places are interested in bike sharing, so with fewer bike shares happening, Right Bike’s focus has shifted. Many of the lavender bikes are now for sale.
Right Bike has closed up the Hintonburg shop and relocated to EnviroCentre at 366 Rideau St. The launch party will take place on March 31 at 4 p.m.
The new location, although smaller, will allow Right Bike to sell bikes and bike accessories such as gloves and helmets, in addition to continuing to offer tune-up services, bike rentals, bike sales, and training in bike repair.
Samuel wishes to acknowledge the Kitchissippi-area supporters who have supported Right Bike over the years: former Councillor Katherine Hobbs, current Councillor Jeff Leiper, Bread by Us, Bridgehead, Maker House, the Kitchissippi Times, Dovercourt Recreation Association, the Wellington West BIA, The Hintonburg Community Centre, Cycle Logik, MEC, and the West End Well.
“Hintonburg has been good to us,” says Samuel. “We have also been embraced by [people in the wider] neighbourhood, who have been bringing their guests to us for rentals, donating bikes and coming for tune-ups and used bikes.”
As Right Bike cycles away from Hintonburg, they would like to thank everyone who has passed through their doors and invite them to the new location in Lowertown.
Right Bike needs you (and your old bike)!
Right Bike is marking the occasion of Canada’s 150th birthday with a special fundraiser. The social enterprise is collecting 150 second-hand bicycles to help raise awareness for their programs and provide an opportunity for others to purchase and make use of refurbished bikes.
Kitchissippi residents can drop their bikes off at Dovercourt Recreation Centre or the Causeway Work Centre (22 O’Meara St.).