People are talking about CommuVélo!
Le vélo : au-delà du transport, by Alexandra Bahary, interview published in Graphite Publications (in French)
BQAM, February 2016.
Karl, hammer at hand, listens to Louis-Joseph who, while replacing a brake cable, shares with him his project to gather, repare avec give bicycles for Montreal’s refugees. LJ is looking for a second life to his project that he cannot carry anymore. Raphaëlle, hands and face dirty with bike grease, pops up in the conversation. Eternal enthusiasts, BQAM’s volunteers (community bike shop) suddenly get really excited by the idea of nurturing such a thrilling initiative. Words like “empowerment”, “formations”, “meeting”, “exchanges”, “mutual aid” and “community” burst like fireworks in the shop.
Raphaëlle and Karl write to Olivier who, rumour has it, is interested… and we need more brains and hands! A few meetings down the road, from a living room to a bar on Saint-Denis, the team grows!
One festive evening, glass at hand in a smoky room, Raphaëlle meets Tournesol. Learning Tournesol is a mechanic Raphaëlle’s heart pumps louder as she enters in a passionate description of the new born project. He is up for it!
And this is how CommuVélo’s bases were layed.
CommuVélo is now an organization of a little more than half a dozen interested and talented people. In their everyday life, they are students, teachers, jurists, bike mechanics… but in the end, they all have a common goal, to play a role – even if little – in the integration of refugees to the urban life of Montreal!