Bike Explosion is a workshop and teaching space which works out of Dartington, South Devon. We run regular bike maintenance and repair workshops for everyone regardless of ability, age and experience. As an educational project we've been demystifying and simplifying bike maintenance since 2010. Over this time we've sent hundreds of folks back into the surrounding neighbourhoods and beyond with the ability to fix their own and other people's bikes. Breaking this relationship of dependency on bike shops is a radical gesture which puts skills and know-how into the community as a shared, common resource. Our small workshop offers open- access to specialist tools and a wide array of spare parts and as much or as little guidance as is required. We think our maintenance workshops are a great way to learn together amongst fellow cyclists and democratise repair skills. Visit here for forthcoming workshops.
As a school, we always encourage folks to come to a workshop and learn how to fix bikes for themselves. This way we're exponentially growing outwards to the point where every postcode around our workshop has someone who can help teach others how to repair their bike. Of course we appreciate that for some people it's not so easy to make it to our workshops. If you can't make it to us then we can, to a limited extent, book your bike in for a repair or service with our volunteer mechanics. We will give your bike a thorough inspection and report any major defects which go beyond the scope of the service and/or agreed repair. As a non-profit we are generally cheaper than bike shops although the turnaround may be a little slower. Drop us a line at the contacts below to ask about repairs and servicing.
Bike Explosion also offers cycle training for cyclists of all ages and experience levels. Elliot is a National Standards cycling instructor with five years of experience teaching the Bikeability programme to beginners at Level I through to experienced cyclists at Level 3. Bikeability is a nationally recognised qualification which has superseded older training programmes which some of us might remember as Cycling Proficiency which was frequently taught in schools. Find out about Bikeability training here.
Bike Explosion – How We Roll.
Bike Explosion is a non-profit bike maintenance school and workshop situated directly on the National Cycle Route 2 in Dartington. Run entirely by volunteer cyclist-educators, our work takes a practical, do-it-ourselves approach to fixing and maintaining bikes. For us it's all about demystifying bike mechanics which are often unnecessarily thought of as complex or highly technical. We set the workshop up in 2010 to bring about a radical shift in thinking and practice around accessibility to cycling sharing our collective knowledge and experience with hundreds of other cyclists over the last decade.
In the first instance we're all keen cyclists but what we do goes beyond the simple enjoyment of riding and staying healthy. Our work espouses a serious commitment to community education and self-reliance and draws from a desire to fight transport poverty, income inequality and how these are compounded by the rural environment and the often prohibitive costs of professional cycle repair. A critique of oil dependency and car culture structures the work we do and finds us at the intersection of environmental and social justice, education, health and community resilience. Being able to fix your own bike and keep yourself on the road is a radical, yet everyday gesture anyone can make regardless of experience, fitness or age.
Unlike bike shops which seek to complicate and monopolise technical knowledge and skills we take a collective, problem-solving approach to our workshops and don't see ourselves as "experts" rather we encourage a more discursive and participatory learning and a bit of experimentation. We think that the bicycle is one of the most amazing items of open-source technologies in existence with access to a few common and even fewer specialist tools, bike maintenance can be a common resource for everybody. The school is equipped with specialist tools and parts for a group of up to six participants.
Workshops are always informal, we get dirty, take stuff to bits, experiment with different techniques, talk about all manner of stuff. We plan workshops so that there is space for practice until a technique 'feels right' and can be performed without further assistance. Above all we try to make things fun in atmosphere which doesn't intimidate and encourages cooperation amongst the learners.
We're always looking for volunteers to help out with all aspects of our work so if you would like to join us get in touch. You don't need to be experienced in cycle mechanics - you can pick that up along the way by just helping out. We could also use some help with admin, design and other tasks which help us to do what we do.
Become a Bike Explosion member. Over the past decade we have assembled an impressive collection of specialist tools for community use. Many of these would be prohibitively expensive for the average cyclist and some may only be needed once in the lifetime of a bike. In addition to these tools we also always have a good range of consumables on hand all in one place. Add to this guidance and help with diagnosing and fixing problems, membership is a great way to stay on top of your own bike maintenance and keep using and building skills and to show your support for the work we do.
Bike Explosion members can:
use our community tool bank with help and guidance on any workshop day or by arrangement
get assistance and advice with maintenance and repairs
enjoy a 20% discount on parts and consumables and specialist workshops
support the work our school and workshop does in the neighbourhood
Membership Details Here
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