Francois Berard and Simone Vandersteen are in the process of establishing the Nelson Bicycle Co-op.

Updated: New bike repair co-op set for Nelson

Francois Berard and Simone Vandersteen are in the process of establishing the Nelson Bicycle Co-op

Do it yourself bicycle repair co-ops can be found in most major cities across North America — and soon there will be one here in Nelson too.

Francois Berard and Simone Vandersteen are in the process of establishing the Nelson Bicycle Co-op in the basement of a commercial building on Lake Street, across from City Hall. They have some tools and a couple bike stands, and now their looking for members and donations to get the shop ready for an official opening this Spring.

“We want to create a bigger bike culture, especially for bike commuting,” Vandersteen explained. “A lot of people do their bike maintenance at home, and we wanted to create a welcoming space where they can share their skills and learn from each other.”

The co-op will have resources and tools on hand, as well as spare parts, to get even the rustiest, beater bike back on the road.

“If you have a $50 bike and a $5 budget, you need a place like this to be able to keep riding,” Berard said, noting the co-op isn’t trying to compete with the for-profit bicycle shops, but offer an alternative for people who can’t afford them or prefer to do their own work.

There will also be workshops and special events hosted in the space.

“It will become a real social environment,” Berard said, recalling a thriving bike co-op in Montréal called SantroVélo, which inspired him to start something similar here.

“It can be really a lot of fun to get together and fix bikes.”

To get started, the co-op will need to form a board of directors and members, who will guide the development of what will eventually be incorporated into a non-profit organization. Then there will be grant applications to send off and a website to set up — and, of course, a shop to staff with volunteer labour.

“We need people with a range of skills. This isn’t something me and Simone can do alone. It needs to be a community project,” Berard said

Nelson Bicycle Co-op is holding an info night this Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. for anyone interested in the project to drop in and see the space, and learn more about opportunities to become involved.

Membership fees start at $25 per year for an individual or $40 for high usage (i.e. mountain bikers who will be there regularly to bleed their brakes). Families can join for an annual rate of $50, or $65 for high usage.

Members get access to all tools, resources on bicycle maintenance, and a discount on parts.

The co-op is also seeking donations of unwanted bicycles that can either be fixed up and redistributed within the community, or used for parts.

Also on their wish list are: bike stands, a wheel truing stand, tools, parts, an outdoor bike rack and a computer (for members to access online resources).

Nelson Bicycle Co-op is located at 502B Lake Street, next to Tu-dor Locksmith and across from the Community First Medical Clinic. For more info call 250-352-3263 or email

Just Posted

Nelson considers amnesty on parking fines

Drivers with backlogged fines would have until January to apply

EDITORIAL: Federal NDP challenges evident on Kootenay campaign trip

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh tours the Kootenays in support of local MPs, proportional representation

Columbia Basin Trust announces grant for technology upgrades

The deadline for organizations to apply is Dec. 17

Leafs fall to Braves, Twitter fight breaks out

Nelson gave up two goals in the third en route to a 4-2 loss

Cardiac arrest survivor saved by passerby

People who know CPR can now register with a new phone app to notify them of nearby emergencies

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Kootenay music mentor crushed by stolen sax, sheet music

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers or the Trail RCMP at 250.364.2566

Most Read