In March 2021, the Latvian Fund for Nature announced a grant project competition “Climate Greetings” within the framework of the project “Game on! Don’t let climate change end the game”. Youth organisations working with young people were encouraged to apply for the project competition and submit projects related to climate issues and the involvement of young people.
Four of the 23 submitted projects received grant funding. One of them was the organisation’s Adventure Spirit project “Open bike workshop”.
The aim of the project was to promote the bicycle as a mode of transport for daily use and to teach young people to maintain and repair their bicycle on their own. This encourages a culture of repair, which means fixing items, rather than a consumer culture which is based on getting rid of damaged, broken items and buying new ones instead.
Within the framework of the project, visual material on the impact of the transport sector on climate change was also developed.
In total, 14 free open bike workshops were organised in the Lastādija Culture Quarter, where everyone had access to tools and equipment for the repair and service of bicycles, as well as the help of experienced bicycle mechanics.
During the event, the participants were welcomed by bicycle mechanics and the problems of each participant's bicycle were figured out. The mechanic helped to assess the overall technical condition of the bike and find ways to fix the technical deficiencies. The mechanics taught participants what to pay attention to when inspecting the bicycle, so that young people can assess the readiness of the bicycle before each ride.
After identifying the problems, the visitors were shown what tools and resources are needed for the repair or maintenance service procedure. The result of each repair was checked by the on-site mechanics to ensure that it was safe for traffic.
As a result of the project, the participants acquired basic skills in the repair and maintenance of bicycles, got acquainted with the structure of bicycles, the principles of brake and speed system operation, as well as the names of parts and adjustment methods.
Relatively recently, it was considered the norm to repair broken things, either on your own or with the help of professionals. But nowadays, we more often choose to throw damaged/broken things in the trash. This not only applies to goods such as bicycles, but also clothing, furniture and household appliances. As you know, discarded items don’t just magically disappear – some of them can be recycled, but many of them end up in landfills, affecting the soil, water, biodiversity and the various resources needed to produce new goods.
The next time something breaks, think about whether it can be repaired or not. You will be amazed by how much you can fix on your own and thus be satisfied with a job well done and new skills. There are countless resources on the global network for this type of knowledge.
We are happy for such active and creative young people who work in the organisation Adventure Spirit, which with its project provided an opportunity to acquire useful and practical knowledge that will be useful in the future.