Bike Kitchen: Bicycle café for students opens at Blindern
Bike Kitchens are popular in the United States. Blindern is now the first campus in Norway to open its own bicycle café for students. The goal is to make it easier and more attractive for students to use their bikes on a daily basis.
Take care of your bike and have a cup of coffee at the same time. Photo: Agency for Urban Environment/Jarli & Jordan.
Coffee and mechanics in the Niels Henrik Abel building
“Bike Kitchen is intended to be a low-threshold amenity where all students are welcome, whether they want to fix their bike or just chat with a friend,” says bike mechanic Jørgen Høy.
“This is also going to be a meeting point for those who do not define themselves as hard-core cyclists, but who view the bicycle as primarily a cheap and environmentally friendly means of transport,” says Høy.
“We also know that many leave their bike at home because they are in need of small repairs. Here they can learn how to fix their bike themselves, as well as borrow the tools they need to get it done.”
The new Bike Kitchen at Blindern is located in the Niels Henrik Abels building and is a collaboration by the City of Oslo’s Agency for Urban Environment, UiO and SiO Food and Beverage. Here you can eat, have a cup of coffee and chat while getting help and tools to fix your bike.
Bike Kitchen Blindern
An initiative of the Agency for Urban Environment
Part of their three-year programme to increase cycling by students in Oslo
A collaboration by the Agency for Urban Environment, UiO and SiO
The goal is for the cafe and workshop to be student-run by 2020
Open 09-15, M-F
A free amenity for students
There is also a financial side to this. Maintaining a bike is expensive. Service costs, and there are a lot of things you can do yourself, if you just learn how.
That’s why this is a free amenity where the Agency for Urban Environment provides professional bike mechanics who give students tips and advice on how to extend the life of their bikes, all by themselves.
The concept is currently in its infancy and the idea is that it will evolve in collaboration with the students and associations. The goal is for the Bike Kitchen to be student-operated by 2020.
What can you get help with?
The Agency for Urban Environment provides tools to perform maintenance ranging from minor adjustments of brakes, gears and tyres to more advanced repairs such as wheel straightening and replacement of bottom brackets. They also have a small inventory of basic spare parts that they can offer the students.
Why a Bike Kitchen at Blindern?
Bike Kitchen is an international phenomenon. The goal is to make it easier for students to choose the bicycle as a means of transport – and take care of it. Now, the imitators at the City of Oslo, UiO and SiO want other campuses to get inspired to create their own bicycle cafes based on the same model.
The initiative is part of a joint multi-year programme by the City of Oslo, UiO and SiO to get more students to cycle. The rewards are many – better student health, student welfare and a vibrant campus.
The reason Blindern was selected is that UiO has the highest share of Oslo’s students. Of Oslo’s 74,000 students, just over 28,000 attend UiO.
Bike Kitchen Blindern is open weekdays from 09.00 to 15.00 the rest of the year.