Part of the 56a collective, the bike space is developed within the Elephant and Castle area as a workshop that trains you on how to repair your own bike. Run solely by volunteers (everyone is welcome), this space provides you with the tools as well as second-hand parts.
Created as a self-reliable and environmental sustainable space, the bike workshop requires no cost and gives people the opportunity to get to know each other through a mutual interest. Volunteering to teach bike mechanics is something the requires not much commitment, only a few hours per week for a shift and involves giving visitors advice and helping them fixing their bikes. To be a volunteer does not require expert mechanic skills, but is the passion for bikes and perseverance that make you a great volunteer at 56a.
As much as a crafty non-profit environment, 56a understands people needs and times, that is why for whoever cannot participate in the workshops, the bike-space has a detailed WordPress blog containing many pieces of information and links to how to fix your own bike. The Practical How-To’s blog section gives out clues about comprehensive mechanics, specific bike maintenance instructions, bike bling, but also cycling laws and regulations.
The bike space is as well a bike shop that whose aim is to fix abandoned or thrown away bikes and resell them for cheaper. The price of the bikes is not fixed, it can vary from £10 to £100 depending on the quality and size or on the donation proposed by the buyer. The little bike business is a way 56a uses to gain funds and awareness through the city.
The 56a bike space also welcomes other kinds of donation like general hand tools (screwdrivers, spanners, sockets), unwanted/unnecessary bicycle tools and books.
So if you find yourself cycling around the South Bank area, do not miss the opportunity to visit such a sustainable, independent and unique space that is 56a.