Free bike clinic aims to get people moving on two wheels

Stephen Dolphin would be travelling on foot or hoping on and off the TTC the rest of the summer if it wasn’t for a free bike clinic near his east-end home.

The 17-year-old says he’s grateful to the mechanics who fixed his bike at no cost at Main Square, the Danforth Avenue apartment complex where he lives with his parents.

“I haven’t ridden my bike since November when my back tire blew out,” he said. “It’s just been sitting on the balcony all in a heap since then.”

The clinic, a volunteer initiative run by the Danforth East Community Association and supported by local councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon, helped cyclists with their bike problems on July 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Main Square, a mixed-income apartment complex at the corner of Main Street and Danforth, was chosen as part of a citywide initiative that targets low-income neighbourhoods and promotes cycling.

Volunteer bike mechanics, many from non-profit bikeSauce, were on-site to help with minor brake adjustments up to replacing broken or worn parts.

“I believe in human transportation (biking, walking),” said Murray Lumley, a retired science teacher and clinic volunteer. “It will help reduce our carbon footprint.”

Teaching cyclists how to do some of the work themselves or fixing a busted bike himself is a great way to promote green transport, he said.

“This is a good place to start because getting your bike repaired is the first step to getting it out on the road,” Lumley said.