Charitable Choices: Laine Hughes and Josh Manimtim of Our Community Bikes

Our Community Bikes in Vancouver is an organization aiming to solve the issue of mobility in the city. Bikes can provide amazing travel accessibility and they do not want anything to stand in anyone’s way. Their different programming offers individuals education, tools and even bikes depending on the needs. We connected with Shop Manager Laine Hughes and Senior Mechanic Josh Manimtim to learn more.

Our Community Bikes

Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.

Our Community Bikes is the bike shop component of the PEDAL Society. At OCB we use the bicycle as a tool for social change to combat oppression, increase individual opportunities and expand community boundaries. We are a fully functioning bike shop that offers service, sales of new and used parts, opportunities to use our tools and space to fix your own bike, and a variety of cycling-related educational programming and events. Our Pedals for the People Program provides bikes to people facing financial barriers preventing them from riding. This program distributes 80 – 100 bikes every year and subsidizes thousands of dollars in repairs annually.

What problem does it aim to solve?

Mobility is a huge part of living a self-actualized life, so we try to help as many people as we can get rolling under their own power. We want everyone to have equal access to sustainable transportation, employment and opportunities to build new skills, confidence and community.

When did you start/join it?

Laine: I just started in November 2023, so it’s only been a short stretch for me. But I’ve been involved with community bike shops, and an OCB shop user and supporter for many years.

Josh: I started in the summer of August 2016. I was volunteering for the Pedals for the People program for about a year prior to that, however.

What made you want to get involved?

Laine: Bikes rule!! In OCB I saw an opportunity to get on board with folks using bikes to build community.

Josh: I like bikes. I got into bicycles because of anime and haven’t looked back since. Good stuff.

What was the situation like when you started?

Laine: Starting in the fall it was a lot quieter than it is now! Spring is our busy season and the shop has been jam-packed. Everybody wants to get their spring tune-ups in. There are tons of events getting underway and lots of outreach happening. Donations are pouring in, and it’s amazing to see.

Josh: Back in 2016, quite structureless, thrown into the pot. Lots of burnout, real fun.

How has it changed since?

Josh: Structure has formed, less burnout. Still fun.

What more needs to be done?

Laine: As with any non-profit, it’s always about being sustainable and keeping things going. We have a great track record here so far, but there are plenty of people out there who need bikes that don’t have them yet, and folks who would benefit from our courses and programs that haven’t had a chance to get involved. Basically, we need to keep doing what we’re doing, getting more bikes on the road and people trained up to keep them running smoothly.

Josh: Meaningful training and workshops for our staff and the community is always something we’re working on. A lot has improved but there’s always room.

Our Community Bikes

How can our readers help?

Laine: We always accept financial donations, but we also accept donations of used bikes and parts. These donations are super important to helping us keep our programs going. Readers can also sign up to volunteer with us, and keep an eye on our calendar and attend our events: we host build parties, benefit shows, courses, rides, and more. There are tons of ways to get involved with OCB/PEDAL!

Josh: Get your tune-up and repairs done by us! Our mechanics have many years of experience at this point and we’re always open to working with what you got. Or just come out to our community events. We’re always out in the community fixing bikes and hanging out.

Do you have any events coming up?

May 10: Roll & Rock: Pedals for the People Fundraiser & Album Release Party at OCB 8-11 pm. Tickets available on our Eventbrite

May 15: Women, Trans & Queer Night at OCB – if you are a woman, trans, or queer, come and fix your bike in an inclusive environment 7:30-9:30pm

May 18: Bike Repair Stand at Steveston Community Centre 12-3pm

May 22: Deaf Access Night at OCB – if you are deaf or hard of hearing, work on your bike in a signing environment and get assistance from a deaf mechanic 7:30-9:30 pm

Where can we follow you? 

Website | Facebook | Instagram

PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?

We love the other community bike shops in town: Kickstand and UBC Bike Kitchen! We also really appreciate the good people at Food Stash Foundation, who help us get food to our community and program participants, and keep it out of the landfills.