From Right Bike’s small, brightly coloured store located on a side street in Hintonburg, you might not guess the extent of the services that they provide to the Ottawa community. If you go past the store front selling bikes and accessories, you will see a large workshop in the back where bike tune-ups are happening daily to provide affordable service and to promote the value of fixing bikes rather than replacing them.
If you step out onto the streets of downtown Ottawa, you might spot one of Right Bike’s signature purple bikes from their bike share program or visitors to the city riding one of their new Opus rental bikes. If you swing by Ottawa City Hall during Bike to Work Month (May) or a community event, you might find a crew from Right Bike offering free bike tune-ups for the public in partnership with the City of Ottawa. Right Bike’s primary mission is to train and employ individuals who are working to overcome barriers to employment. It may seem like a lot of activity for a small bike shop but Right Bike is working to become a competitive business while it serves this mission and provides an inclusive space for cyclists of all stripes to get quality service, accessories, rentals and advice.
Operational Manager Samuel Benoit says the biggest success of Right Bike has been seeing clients make progress and gain independence; "Many staff and trainees have used experience here to start new careers in bike mechanics and beyond”. While the employment piece of Right Bike may be its biggest pride, Samuel highlights that customers continue to come back not just for the good mission, but for the excellent services.
Inspired to rent a purple bike or get your own tuned up? Head over to https://rightbike.org/ for more information.