So much of capitalism is about disempowering people, distancing them from a hands-on, working knowledge of their stuff. Electronics are burying function in micro-circuitry, objects are losing their openings beneath seamless formed plastic and aluminium. The edges are being hidden, mechanisms obscured. This is beginning now in the bicycle. We have electronics beginning their creep into the holy mechanics of the bike. Mechs with servos in them, USB ports and fucking wifi. This is the beginning.
Clearly, we’re all being repositioned as consumers, with future maintenance of bicycles being professionalised by force. For now, we can choose not to buy into systems that attempt to lock us out.
This is to tell the context of where London Bike Kitchen sits in the bike world.
LBK is a workshop for anyone to come in and use the tools to fix their own bike. It’s a people’s workshop. Free of any attitude that only a professional can fix something, LBK shows us an alternative to the traditional bike shop.
LBK has suffered from high and volatile rent in the past. But there’s some great stuff happening, and LBK is now crowdfunding. They’ve reached their target, and just need a last push to help them fix up another shopfront. Support your real bike community.