The history of Community Spokes has its origins in two different places in two different times. In part, it's the story of the building within which Community Spokes operates, as well as the history of the people who began the internal workings of a cycling and repair collective. It's a story of determination and hard work, planning and passion, and it's been slightly embellished for entertainment purposes.
Once Upon a Time....
All the way back in November, 2003, the events that brought about the construction of the LU Bike Shelter were a-brewin'. Crime was on the rise; good will and benevolence were weak and unskilled fighters in the well-educated ring that was Lakehead University, and they were quickly being knocked back by the doers of evil. Thefts and assaults were a nightly occurrence. The streets weren't safe to walk after dark! Artists and musicians had turned to into junkies studying "lines" and sensory crossover; engineers turned into masterminds of thieving brilliance, and the term Recr' had taken on a whole new meaning. Things were looking grim. What was to be done when the Water Resource Managements students were dumping their water bottles out after only one sip? What was to be done when the geologists only threw the rocks rather than analyzing them? What was to be done when all those over-stressed students turned to crime because they had nothing to look forward to? Because the weight of environmental degradation, something which they strove so hard to reverse with their youthful enthusiasm, seemed to be a crushing, inexorable force?
Lakehead needed a Hero. Someone to snap these folks out of their doomsday mentalities, and bring peace to their stressed minds. It was none other than Captain Krupper (Adam Krupper), leader of the mighty Lakehead University Superhero Union (LUSU), who had risen to save the day! With the power of determination, and the support of the citizens of Lakehead University, Adam spear-headed a campaign to solve the criminal problem. BAM! Through this campaign, he raised awareness about the issues, taught the students to be kind, support the ethical programs, look toward the future, and fight the good fight. Then he began a capital campaign in order to raise enough money for the erection of a new base of operations. This new base would surely turn the tide of the times, as we shall see, but the evil doers weren't to be so easily overcome. They attacked Captain Krupper from all angles, undermining his vision and calling down his plans.
The struggle continued for a long time. after three years of planning and $150,000.00 raised by the students, the Fortress of Cycling was finally built in the summer of '06. The Fortress of Cycling still stands today, and is an ever-growing hub of cycling activity and bicycle repair. The dark clouds have since parted and sun shines on the cycling-friendly grounds of the campus; the veil of crime has been lifted and students can finally store their bikes in a safe zone. The current inhabitants of the Fortress are known as Community Spokes, and their story begins elsewhere in the metropolis of Thunder Bay.
In the garage of one known as Jonathon Chester, there were satisfactions waning - as they often are in the minds of young anarchists. Something wasn't right with the world, and while he didn't know exactly what it was, he decided to think of a solution anyway. Clouds? No.... Those little plastic ties that hold tags onto sweaters! No.... The Ultimate Fighter Championship? Nah.... He called his friends, Lucas Johnson, Rita Murphy and the rest, and they began to formulate, collectively, ideas on what the solution might be. Like mold in a tupperware container filled with last week's lunch, ideas began to appear. Slowly at first, but as things got more and more collective, ideas got more and more formulated.
Arranged in a circle, to increase their capacity to plan logically, and also to stick it to the architects who think squares are easier to draw, they thought really hard. ...And then it collectively hit them! But that thought vanished as quickly as it had appeared since Lucas was distracted by something shiny. And then it collectively hit them again!
It would be.... a collective! A collective of bicycles. And people who rode bicycles. MAN! This was a good plan. The power of collection! And the first order of business would be to collect the tools for a repair shop, so that those who were a part of the collective could fix their bikes without having to take it to the shop. Chester's garage would be the place and Lucas the ace, but... he didn't know anything about fixing bikes. "Oh well", they said, and soldiered on. Tools were gathered, guidelines were written, and after a while there was only one thing missing. Before they even had a chance to arrange themselves in a circle, a name floated down from the heavens and came to rest atop the garage for all to see. Community Spokes.
They learned as they went, and, in 2011, a deal was struck between Lakehead University, The Sustainability Initiative and Community Spokes allowing them to move into the new-fangled bicycle storage facility. At that moment everything congealed and the community bike shop you know and love was born.