Hidden inside a backyard at Grünerløkka in Oslo you’ll find Oslovelo. Not that it should be too hard to find, just look for the massive colourful peacock which characterizes the front of the building, and the large white bike painted on the front of Oslovelo’s entrance.
Text: Silje Strømmen
Photos: Mari Oshaug
Since August 2014 James, Zak, Simon and Thomas (and as of lately Steffen) have helped everyone who rides a bike (and everyone who wants to start) with advice, repairs, products, information and a friendly chat. In addition they produce and design bikes (the latest being the Osloinspired OK bikes named Ola and Kari), re-build old bikes into new ones, makes wheels and host events and courses throughout the year.
- We want to be closer to the people than other bicycle workshops. It’s a bike store that’s closer to the people than to the cyclist, Zak explains as a costumer comes in. She need to fix her brakes, but don’t have that much money to spend. Zak suggests that she go somewhere and have a coffee while he takes a look at it.
Don’t toss it, fix it.
The group got together over their shared interest in cycling and urban bicycle culture, creating a friendly environment where you shouldn’t feel out of place just because your not an expert on chains or brakes. Their aim is to promote everyday cycling and develop a community for sharing skills, stories, and fun.
- Oslovelo defiantly have an environmental perspective. We don’t want people to buy a new bike every time something breaks. We want them to take the time to learn how to fix it instead, Steffen tells us while Zak takes a closer look at the brakes.
- At the same time we don’t want people to use an unnecessary amount of money.
In order to avoid just that, Oslovelo facilitate for people who want to work on their bikes, but don’t have the tools or space to do so at home.
- Our typical costumer is bike enthusiast who wants to be involved in fixing the bike, Zak elaborates.
Coffee and bikes
Celebrating their first birthday this summer, the next step is to open a combined workshop and café. The plans have been in the making since the start, and with Steffen coming in, as the “coffee-alibi”, the aim is to get the plan up and going as soon as possible.
- This is something we have been working on for a long time. It has always been our goal to have a combined café and workshop. We have yet to find the right spot though.