Open Streets has started conducting interviews of our collaborators and the amazing work that they do! This is so our readers get to learn about more exciting programs in Calgary! This new series is called Bike Warriors! Two Wheel View is a bike mechanics shop that sells used bikes that has AMAZING programs including Earn-a-Bike which is an after school program for children to learn bike mechanics! Open Streets got the honour of interviewing Laura and Rick, and some of the other amazing staff! (Neil, Luke and Bernie)
Why do you think it is important to bring more children into the bike mechanics world?
Rick: Bike mechanics teaches life skills, problem solving and builds confidence. It's not so much about the bikes, it's more about empowering kids build resiliency, and promote healthy lifestyles while giving them more freedoms.
Laura: It helps to build quick success that some kids might not find elsewhere. We have had success stories of past clients. One client still uses his earn-a-bike bike to cycle all around the world. He started from a rough part in Calgary but he figured out his potential and sought out opportunities.
What do you think the City of Calgary could do to improve the biking community?
Rick: connect the cycle tracks throughout Calgary. I would also like to see more advocacy for the biking community along with adding more questions about cyclist laws in the drivers licence test.
Laura: Access to more of the outskirts of Calgary, living really far south of Calgary there is not a bike path.
Would you like to see Calgary Have a similar transportation model as countries like Holland? Having the majority of people biking as their main source of transportation and do you think that this is possible?
Rick: I do not think it is really possible. I do think it is important to get people aware of alternative transportation options, and getting more people involved in the bike community.
Laura: We would need people to appreciate the community that biking brings.
What would your advice be for making winter biking safer or any tips to get people more interested in winter biking!?
Laura: Making sure you have lots of layers!
Rick: single speed, no gears and using studded tires (see Diana's comment to see what these are) I even have a whole different bike specifically for the winter time!
Diana (Open Streets Practicum student): I did not know this but much like a car bikes have "studded tires" that are made for bikes to grip the ice, thus making winter biking safe!
What has made you so passionate about building a better bike community?
Neil: Teaching accountability and watching kids grow from starting the program to the end of the program!
Favourite Biking spot in Calgary, Alberta and in general?
Neil: any mountain in Kananaskis
Luke: Moose Mountain
Bernie: Mt. Fromme in Vancouver!
Fun Fact: if you want to get rid of rust on your bike put coca-cola on the spot and rub it off with aluminum foil
Please visit their website http://www.twowheelview.org/ for more information about the organization!