Pedro Rowley is one of the many people who volunteer their time and skills to make the Aldinga Bike Kitchen a valuable community asset.

Published on 16 October 2018

Bike kitchen steers a positive path

The Aldinga Bike Kitchen is much more than a DIY bike shop. Run by volunteers, the not-for-profit organisation offers bikes for sale as well as some to give away.

You’ll also find tools and spare parts to maintain your bike and workshops to teach you how. Or if you prefer, skilled mechanics could service your bike for $40 – half price if you have a health care card.

And this is what makes the Aldinga Bike Kitchen different. Since it began in March 2017 its premise has been that no-one is turned away.

“It’s inclusive,” says founder and CEO Christiana Griffith. “Our goal is to get more people on bikes, or skateboards, or rollerblades; anything that is human-powered so we can see less cars on the road and more people being active, healthier and social,” she says.

“It’s also an opportunity to give the southern community an economic boost. For instance, Arlena, our chef, is creating a catering business, Stan builds bikes for a living, Lars sells performance bikes and Victoria invests her gardening skills into the project.

“We’re all volunteers but we want our children to see us happy and productive, creating jobs for ourselves that we are passionate about.”

Since launching the bike kitchen, Christiana’s passion has been to make it financially sustainable and to bring something unique to Old Coach Road’s creative hub. The City of Onkaparinga backed the vision, upskilling Christiana in sustainable business management and community engagement as well as providing in-kind space at Studio 20.

Local businesses and bike lovers propelled it along even further.

Today the bike kitchen is housed in a converted shipping container on Old Coach Road, Aldinga. Pedal too fast and you could miss it, so look out for its white picket fence next to Maxwell’s Café.

The vibe of the precinct makes it ideal for the bike kitchen to collaborate with Maxwell’s as well as neighbouring Home Grain Bakery, Studio 20 and Oxygen Cycles in McLaren Vale. Plans are underway for a bike art workshop, a street parade, and services to support recreational cyclists during the 2019 Santos Tour Down Under.

“I came to the area as a full-time mum not knowing a single person,” Christiana remembers. “It hit me that my daughter and I were on our own, so I started the Facebook page inviting people to join us on a ride.

“And here we are; I found my tribe. I’m not alone anymore.”

Christiana says she’s grateful to everyone who’s invested their expertise, time, resources, and encouragement into the project, giving the fledgling business wings. Or rather, wheels.

New members are welcome, as are donations of bikes and tools. For upcoming rides, communal meals, workshops, and events visit Aldinga Bike Kitchen on Facebook. Or call in on Saturdays to 11a Old Coach Road, Aldinga.