Bike mates seek community-use workshop

21:35, Feb 25 2013
ash manson, marc maskery and richard brown
SPOKES MEN: Ash Manson, from left, Marc Maskery and Richard Brown, are part of a group of cycle enthusiasts who want to start a cycle space in Timaru.

A group of Timaru bicycle enthusiasts are looking for a community space to rip bikes apart and put them back together, better.

The project, dubbed Mustache Cycle Space by Movember campaigner and bike polo player Richard Brown, began as a backyard hobby that saw Mr Brown rebuilding bikes for himself and friends.

"It's transferring a skill that my father taught me," he said. "I want to get people into doing it for themselves."

Mr Brown rescues his treasures - old, unwanted bikes - from places like the dump for just a few dollars and, with a bit of work, transforms them into customised vintage rides.

In Timaru, it's very inexpensive to do, he said. By comparison, in larger cities like Auckland, vintage rebuilt bikes are in demand and can cost hundreds of dollars.

Until now, he and friends, including bike polo team-mates, have met at his Timaru home on Mondays to "play bikes". He's now beginning to seek funding for a larger dedicated cycle space that can be opened to the community.


"There is that community here, there are lots of people who bike," he said. "But this is getting more into the do-it-yourself approach."

It's an idea modelled after other cycle spaces such as Tumeke Cycle Space in Auckland, a non- profit, community-run workshop where tools and training are provided to anyone who wants to learn how to fix their own bikes.

For now, the Timaru group's main focus is on preparing for the Australasian Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships, to be held here on March 15-17. Mr Brown hopes to begin holding weekly community bike workshops in April.

To begin, they'll meet at 2 Stags Cafe in Stafford St, though Mr Brown said he's actively seeking a dedicated space.

"It's more fun to teach people to do the work themselves than to just do the work for them," he said.

For more information go to the Mustache Cycle Space Facebook page, MustacheCycleSpace.

The Timaru Herald