There's a growing culture of recycling and sustainable transport in Auckland. Reporter Hannah Spyksma meets bicycle enthusiast Josca Craig Smith to find out how his job taps into that market.
It's 10.30am on a Thursday morning and T White's Everyday Bikes is buzzing with activity.
There's a customer in the second-hand bike shop who needs new spokes for his wheels, someone is looking for parts and another sits on a baby blue couch reading a cycling magazine, waiting to get their bike serviced.
Josca Craig Smith chats between finishing a bite of his breakfast, fixing someone's tyre, sweeping the floor and repairing "the old hulk" of a bike that belongs to television personality Te Radar.
This is a pretty average morning at the shop, he says.
His business occupies the front of the former Ford Motors building at 132 Symonds St.
Owner Tim White opened his doors three years ago after seeing a gap in the market to repair, service, modify, and provide parts for bicycles that fit outside of the average mountain bike category.
As a former BMX rider he started with a shop focusing on parts for that aspect of the industry and through demand his second-hand everyday bike shop opened shortly after.
Mr Craig Smith has been part of the team since the store opened and previously learnt about bike mechanics under the guidance of Bruce O'Halloran at Adventure Bikes in Pt Chevalier. He says the business is a unique place to work where self expression, environmentally friendly practices and interesting and enthusiastic customers are valued.
Although his job description includes managing the store and doing repairs, it's building custom retro bikes out of vintage frames that interest him the most.
"It's quite satisfying to take an old rusty hulk and come up with something quite unique at the end of it - it's quite a creative thing to do."
As well as working on projects from the open-plan workshop and retail space he takes the odd trip to dumpsters and recycling stations to salvage parts.
"Right from the beginning we've tried to make sure we're not wasting things and also that we're preventing good bikes and good parts form being lost into the landfill," he says.
"We've always tried to save old parts that people don't want when they get their bikes upgraded so that's been a good resource," Mr Craig Smith says.
Staff focus on "the practical side of cycling and the smaller more unusual strands of the culture".
This includes people riding to university, building old-style road bikes, those into the fixed gear scene, BMX riders and people looking for cheap parts.
"We also get a lot of people coming in looking for parts for their polo bikes which is a growing scene."
It's these people who are starting to change the culture around transport and cycling, Mr Craig Smith says.
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