Laura Istead, Executive Director with Two Wheel View. DARREN KRAUSE / LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Most of the time, it’s not even about the bikes.
“The bike is the entry point – the conversation starter,” said Laura Istead, executive director at Two Wheel View, a Sunalta-based bicycle recycler and social outreach organization.
At a recent Wednesday gathering of the Beltline Bike Club, about 10 young men were gathered around a table at the southwest Calgary location, tossing back a healthy snack before they got geared up… to learn about shifter and brake cables.
They had to disassemble the housing and replace the cables. All
part of the bike repair education they get while developing the soft skills of
interpersonal relations, confidence building, teamwork, empathy and emotional
regulation. As a bonus, it’s a safe spot to talk about the challenge of teen
life in Calgary today.
“We work on all of those different aspects while using the
bike to do that,” said Istead.
The bikes this group worked on were neatly stored on the
second tier of shelving in the back corner near the overhead door entry. The teamwork began there as one of the young
men stood on the rack and handed bikes down to each member.
They put their bikes on stands to make it easier to work
around them. They chatted, joked and then the lesson started.
Hank Hansen (right) provides instruction on how to disassemble the shift cable housing. DARREN KRAUSE / LIVEWIRE…