Peterborough’s community cycling hub B!KE celebrates its 15th anniversary

Friday night celebration was also a chance to welcome new executive director Mark Romeril

The bike rack was full behind B!KE - Peterborough's Community Cycling Hub in downtown Peterborough the evening of November 5, 2021, when cycling enthusiasts gathered to celebrate the non-profit organization's 15-year anniversary. (Photo: Luke Best)
The bike rack was full behind B!KE - Peterborough's Community Cycling Hub in downtown Peterborough the evening of November 5, 2021, when cycling enthusiasts gathered to celebrate the non-profit organization's 15-year anniversary. (Photo: Luke Best)

B!KE – Peterborough’s Community Cycling Hub celebrated its 15-year anniversary on Friday (November 5) with a party and concert in the alley behind their location at 293 George Street North in downtown Peterborough.

As well, they welcomed their new executive director Mark Romeril and bid farewell to Tegan Moss, their outgoing executive director of 10 years.

The event ran from 8 to 11 p.m., with drinks donated by Publican House Brewery. Peterborough band Pop Machine began rocking the alleyway at around 9 p.m., playing a danceable mix of pop, rock, and funk.

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Romeril, excited for the event, saw it as a chance to meet some more of the community he’ll be working with.

“It’s been a long time since anything like this has really been organized by B!KE,” he said.

Although Romeril is new to Peterborough, working with cycling, advocacy, and charity is his background. He previously had a fundraising role with the non-profit Cycle Toronto, where he worked for seven years.

B!KE's 15th anniversary celebration was an opportunity to welcome Mark Romeril, the non-profit organization's new executive director, who previously worked at Cycle Toronto. (Photo: Luke Best)
B!KE’s 15th anniversary celebration was an opportunity to welcome Mark Romeril, the non-profit organization’s new executive director, who previously worked at Cycle Toronto. (Photo: Luke Best)

“When I think of B!KE, a social enterprise is one way I’d describe it, a charity is another — a community space and a bike shop as well,” Romeril said. “There’s a lot of overlap in those things, but they do have different fits and feelings.

“Each of them comes together in a really special way that I think makes B!KE not only unique, but important for the community that we’re in.”

It’s clear how B!KE sees itself is perfectly in line with his statement, with proof of this displayed on the vision, mission, and values board posted behind the bar for all partygoers to see.

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Vision:
People empowered to travel by bike

Mission:
Teach people to maintain, repair and ride bikes
Provide a workshop space and tools for bikes
Provide access to new and used bikes and parts
Advocate for people on bikes

Values:
Fun; inclusivity; self-reliance; sustainability; wellbeing.

Partygoers enjoy drinks donated by Publican House Brewery in front of a sign describing what B!KE is all about during the non-profit organization's 15th anniversary celebrations the evening of November 5, 2021. (Photo: Luke Best)
Partygoers enjoy drinks donated by Publican House Brewery in front of a sign describing what B!KE is all about during the non-profit organization’s 15th anniversary celebrations the evening of November 5, 2021. (Photo: Luke Best)

Starting in 2006, B!KE has lived up to this mandate, partnering with organizations like Peterborough GreenUP, the City of Peterborough, the Peterborough Bicycle Advisory Committee, and more to work with schools and the community to teach cycling, safety and repairs, as well as hosting events such as glow rides.

They also offer a supervised workshop space with tools, parts, and volunteers willing to guide you along the process of repairing your bike.

Although B!KE is a non-profit, they do have a full bike shop, selling bikes and parts at all price ranges. There is something for everyone, and they can feel at ease knowing that they are supporting an organization that is focused on much more than just profit.

Peterborough band Pop Machine rocked the alleyway behind B!KE during the non-profit organization's 15th anniversary celebrations the evening of November 5, 2021. (Photo: Luke Best)
Peterborough band Pop Machine rocked the alleyway behind B!KE during the non-profit organization’s 15th anniversary celebrations the evening of November 5, 2021. (Photo: Luke Best)

For more information about B!KE, visit communitybikeshop.org.