In the summer of 2020, a group of caring bike mechanics came together as a response to a gap in accessible bicycle repair and maintenance caused by the pandemic.
We set up in Victoria Park every Saturday, performing small repairs and maintenance for free.
At a time when so many people were hit the hardest, this valuable resource was needed for underserved community members who may not be able to afford to have their bicycle repaired at a regular bike shop.
It felt good to be helping the community and doing what we love again, fixing bikes.
Every mechanic involved in Red Raccoon Bike Rescue (formerly Kitchener Bike Rescue) knows the benefit and freedom of a bicycle. From affordable transportation to improved mental and physical health. We want everyone to have that opportunity.
Another benefit we noticed for ourselves and the community was the social aspect of our open-air mechanic service. It was good to connect with people again, even if it had to be at a distance.
The pandemic continued, and so did we! Branching out to St. John’s Kitchen for regular repair drop ins on most Mondays. We offered our services at House of Friendship, and OneRoof. At OneRoof we also taught youth bicycle repair, empowering them to maintain their own bicycles and the bicycles of others.
This spring we are getting ready to start again and we have big hopes and ambition that we can reach as many people as possible by growing our volunteer base, hiring summer students, and widening our range to other parts of the Region, like Cambridge.
We love our community, working together and making positive change in people’s lives.
Funded by Kitchener-Waterloo, ON (April 2021)