The heart and soul behind Good Cycles
In the heart of Docklands sits a brightly patterned free-standing shed which is home to Good Cycles Hub.
Instead of being just a typical bike repair shop, Good Cycles is a not-for-profit social enterprise with a mission to bring about great change in the lives of disadvantaged youth.
“Our main job as a social enterprise is to help young people who face barriers to employment, and we try to create jobs of the future for them,” Good Cycles brand and marketing advisor Adam Lana said.
“We feel bike mechanic is a job of the future and we determine this by it being a job that creates meaningful employment which helps the community, and one that can help the environment along the way.”
Speaking with Docklands News, Adam explained that Good Cycles had a youth employment program for people between the ages of 18 and 29, where they could get coaching support and on-the-job training.
“The support from coaches is to help the youth to see what pathways they may want to take in the future,” Adam said.
If we can fulfil a pathway within Good Cycles then great, or [alternatively] a success story for us is also for someone to leave Good Cycles with another job.
The idea to use bicycles as vehicles for positive change came about in 2013, by founders Loretta Curtin and Luke Wright, and today the enterprise continues to thrive at the hands of its determined and passionate staff members.
Among the enterprise’s current 150 employees are mechanic Byron Richardson, and retail stock supervisor and mechanic Abby Pruijmboom, both of whom can be found at the Docklands shop.
Before finding work with Good Cycles more than a year ago Byron had been working as a bike mechanic elsewhere, but it is the opportunities that can be found in Good Cycles that makes the shop so “special” and “enjoyable”.
“I find this place actually creates the opportunity to upskill employees, whereas in other places there can be limited opportunities to be upskilled on certain levels of knowledge and tasks,” Byron said.
“I find this place gives a lot of time to allow staff to learn under seniors and create opportunities to upskill so you can end up running your own shop in some instances.”
“A lot of people can stay at a lower level of development in other places, whereas this place finds or creates the time for its employees to discuss things.”
This purpose to equip workers with the knowledge and skills they need to progress is something that is made a priority, and Abby can attest to this.
Coming to Good Cycles through the youth employment program, Abby went from trainee to full-time mechanic, before settling into her current position of retail stock supervisor.
“It’s kind of cool that I have gone from the bottom to all the way up,” she said.
“I think what makes Good Cycles so special is the wanting to help anyone, and this whole atmosphere we have of showing people how to look after their bikes instead of yelling at people for not looking after their bikes. We show people exactly what is wrong with their bike and why it is important to fix the problems or do general maintenance.”
While things have been a bit calmer at the store since the pandemic and during the cooler months, Adam, Byron and Abby are keen to remind residents and visitors of Docklands to get in now with their bike repairs before the busy summer period.
“Come in here to support Good Cycles and its strong social conscience, have professional mechanics repair your bike at a standard rate, become a member for discounts, and support young people,” Adam said.
Ahead of summer, the Good Cycles Hub team is also looking forward to having a stronger representation down at the water’s edge, and to focus on having both a supporting head mechanic and a trainee in the space.
Good Cycles Hub at Docklands is open from 8am till 4pm, from Tuesday to Friday. •
For more information: goodcycles.org.au