Mission & History

Our mission is to offer affordable gear, teach new skills, and provide safe community spaces to help the people of Maine get outside.

Who We Are

The Portland Gear Hub is a non-profit outdoor gear and bike shop powered by Camp Ketcha, a 501c3 youth outdoor organization based in Scarborough, Maine.

The Gear Hub’s garage at 155 Washington Ave. takes in donations of used outdoor gear and fully inspects and repairs the equipment for resale at affordable prices. We aim to lower the barrier of entry for those trying a sport for the first time or looking for an affordable mode of transportation.

The Bike School at 85 Anderson St. opened in May 2017 to provide a dedicated space for bicycle education. At the bike school, we offer free and affordable youth and adult programming, including open bench time, bike maintenance classes, and group rides.

The Gear Hub is made up of a small group of year-round staff who are supported by many dedicated volunteers. Our volunteers help us sort skis, repair kids’ bikes, make improvements to our building, translate traffic safety classes, and much more. Our staff and volunteers love the outdoors and we love what we do! We hope to share the joy and knowledge of bike repair and outdoor recreation with our community.

History

The Portland Gear Hub was created in January of 2014 in the basement of the Portland YMCA. The idea originated between two youth nonprofits in southern Maine, Camp Ketcha and the Community Bicycle Center. At first, the primary goal was to provide funding for existing youth development programming, but it has grown to be so much more. After a year in the YMCA basement, the Gear Hub opened its own retail storefront in April 2015 on St. John St. in Union Station Plaza. At Union Station, the Gear Hub gained new exposure, hired new staff (former volunteers!) and began drawing in

more donations and more foot traffic.

In Spring of 2017 the Gear Hub raised about $6,000 from our community to relocate to the East Bayside neighborhood. A former auto garage at 155 Washington Ave offered a better layout and work environment. The Bike School at 85 Anderson St is situated in a residential neighborhood across the

street from Kennedy Park and Fox Field, a great location for offering youth programming. We opened our new locations in May 2017 and we continue to grow and improve. Come visit!