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The Vision Behind Our Social Enterprise

Hellos and Goodbyes

As we started our new social enterprise we were saddened by the closing of Ridgways Cycles after more than 45 years. Ridgways was a place where, if you put some time aside when you visited the store, you could find that very thing that you couldn't find with confidence anywhere else.

While ordering stuff online can be a wondrous and miraculous adventure, the joy of finding what you want and more in a bricks and mortar store while talking to people who are brimming with knowledge and experience transcends the short-lived thrills of buying off the internet.

We made a couple of visits to Ridgways before they closed. We said “goodbye” and in our final chats with Simon and Graham we were reminded of what was ending – the old fashioned bike shop where breadth and depth knowledge can be found. The old fashioned bike shop has been slowly disappearing, and while the range and availability of tools has increased, the range of durable bikes and accessories is now generally limited. Sadly, in this day and age, we are seeing the arrival of the Bunnings of bike shops – loaded with lots of stock, but not much variety.

The front window of Ridgways, November 2018.

Shortly after we secured our secret inner city warehouse space, we also acquired a piece of history in the form of the Park Tool double work stand that used to have pride of place at Bicycle Revolution. We said “hello”. It now sits proudly in our secret workshop, a reminder of the bike kitchen beginnings of Bicycle Revolution and the possibilities for a new bike kitchen.

Our secret workshop space in inner city Brisbane.

Our Vision

We have a vision of a bike kitchen, a place with tools to borrow and advice on hand, somewhere with a library of bike books and the opportunity to pick up skills. A bike kitchen is fuelled by the community who use it and a constant supply of old bikes.

The constant supply of bikes is crucial. Bicycles were once, and can still be, an excellently recyclable machine. No functional bicycle should end up in land fill. It is our objective to save as many bikes as possible from an undeserving fete. We will go almost anywhere to pick up a pile of old bikes and parts!

Bike repair and maintenance skills sit at the centre of our vision. To support our bike kitchen we are engaging with the community, making ourselves Useful. Outreach will be central to our success and takes many forms. Community organisations and educational institutions have varying needs and we pride ourselves on our adaptability and our passion for passion for learning.

Please get in touch with us at any time to discuss anything bicycle related. We are certain we can make ourselves Useful. 


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Who we are

Mike is a community worker who likes working with bikes and Mark is a bike mechanic who likes to work in the community. As partners in the new social enterprise Useful - Bike People Mike and Mark aim to leave the world with better, more durable bikes, and many more people who know how to maintain their ride. USEFUL is all about sharing knowledge and growing the uptake of cycling. We want young people, older people, and families to develop confidence, road awareness, and readiness for a lifetime of cycling. Keep an eye out for us on a bikeway near you.
You can find us on Instagram @usefulbike
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You can reach us by email: mail (at)