The Community First! Village Bicycle Hub is a bicycle maintenance space and lending library located at the Community First! Village in northeast Austin. Housed in a 20’ shipping container owned and managed by Ghisallo Cycling Initiative, the hub will provide an array of tools, stands, and parts for residents to use to repair their personal bicycles as well as a fleet of bicycles and safety gear available for residents to check out on a temporary basis for transportation purposes.
Half the hub will be devoted to a bicycle lending library with bicycles outfitted with racks, panniers, locks, helmets, and lights available to residents to use for transportation and recreation. Ghisallo staff and volunteers will handle fleet management and provide residents with instruction on safe riding, route mapping, and equipment usage to enable them to safely and effectively use the bicycles for transportation.
Residents can use the bikes to run short errands around the neighborhood or make longer trips that might ordinarily be completed by bus. For example: a bus ride from Community First! to the ARCH or City Hall takes between 1-2 hours, depending on traffic. The same distance can be traveled by bicycle on the Southern Walnut Creek Trail in 50-60 minutes. Plus, with the bike, the rider can easily make stops at multiple destinations with little extra effort and without worrying about catching the next bus.
The other half of the hub will serve as a maintenance facility where experienced Ghisallo mechanics will provide instruction on how to use the provided bicycle tools, stands, and parts to do basic maintenance and repairs on the library fleet and residents’ own bikes.
Interested residents can also participate in free, ongoing bicycle mechanic clinics and training. As residents become more proficient, they can begin staffing the hub, leading eventually to a possible income stream from performing maintenance on bikes for neighbors and fixing up donated bikes for sale to other residents.