Bike program gearing up youths with new skills over school holidays
TORQUAY could see a new bike hub establish itself in the shire if a pilot program becomes a success in the upcoming school holidays.
Stemming from the original Community Bike Hub in Footscray, Torquay resident Dominik Zylka is looking to head up a new branch in the Surf Coast town of Torquay, which will aim to teach young riders the practical and necessary skills to repair and maintain bikes.
To establish a new bike hub, Mr Zylka and his team will need to go through two phases.
The first being a program to alert people to what Community Bike Hub does and raising awareness. The second is to open the new branch.
To aid with the first phase, Mr Zylka was allocated $12,300 by the Surf Coast Shire’s COVID-19 Recovery Grants to help facilitate a program that would provide an opportunity for youths to engage with something beneficial to their wellbeing and fitness.
As a result, Mr Zylka will host a two-week bike program over the term three school holidays between September 20 to 30, with 10 workshops in total catering to 72 kids at the Quay Pavilion.
Each workshop contains two parts, a repair and maintenance portion named “Bike Worx” that provides participants with the necessary skills to preserve their bicycles and a riding skills and safety portion named “Ride Worx”.
Torquay Community Enterprise was also kind enough to donate $2,000 to the program.
“The program is an opportunity for kids to engage with something hands on, practical and relevant that they can take away, including things like friendships, communication and problem solving that has been limited recently due to the pandemic,” Mr Zylka said.
“We are encouraging kids to bring their own bikes purely for the purpose that we will be supplying spare parts and they will be able to service their bikes.
“That’s a win for participants as they will essentially walk away with a new bike.”
Shire councillor and deputy mayor Liz Pattison said bike sales and usage had boomed during the pandemic, which has been a “silver lining” and a good sign to support Mr Zylka’s initiative with their grants.
“Through council’s COVID recovery grants program, we’re pleased to support the Torquay Bike Hub’s series of workshops, which will help locals to gain riding skills, maintain their bikes and repurpose old bikes so that riding is enjoyable and affordable for all,” Cr Pattison said.
Bikes will be supplied if participants do not have bikes of their own.
For people wishing to volunteer with workshops or general information please get in touch with Dom at [email protected] or head to the Community Bike Hub website at communitybikehub.com.au/bike-workshops/.