Bicycles are just plain wonderful, and we want to provide the resources that enable cyclists to keep their bikes operating reliably. Common Cycle is a community-based collective that provides access to tools, workspace, and knowledge aimed at empowering the common cyclist.
Our first experiment, the Mobile Repair Stand, has been very successful. Using their bikes to pull trailers full of tools, tents, and parts, our volunteers can set up shop virtually anywhere, anytime. Since our first excursion to Ann Arbor's Artisan Market in April we've helped fix over 400 bikes, showing how to adjust brakes, tune derailleurs, and true wheels. Now that we know what it takes to operate the stand, we're raising the funds to make it self-sufficient.
So what does it take to keep the Mobile Repair Stand rolling? Tools, tents, and trailers! When we reach our fundraising goal, the first thing we're buying is a dedicated set of tools for our volunteers. These tools will ensure all our mechanics can help patrons learn the right ways to fix their bikes, and will ensure they can do so without wondering "Is the gal with the good chain whip showing up today?"
Working outside also means we have to deal with the weather, so a set of tents to keep the sun and rain off our heads are essential. Over the past few months we've lucked out with decent weather on shelter-free days, and timely tent borrowing on rainy and sunny afternoons. To ensure we've got a roof over our heads, we're buying two big pop-up shelters we can pull on the trailers.
Speaking of trailers, our current pair of homegrown haulers have done a great job. Unfortunately, despite their months of good service, they're not big enough or strong enough to handle our new tools and tents. Goodbye rain-soaked plywood and maxed-out axels, hello big aluminum frames!
Funding the mobile repair stand's self-sufficiency will allow us to do what we do best, but better. Not only will we be able to expand our coverage area and teach more people the basics of bike repair, we'll be able to expand our programming. A self-sufficient stand will allow us to focus on upcoming projects, such as our build-a-bike program for kids. In a very real way, funding the mobile repair stand is giving us a kick start.
To see what we're up to and find out where our (soon to be new-and improved!) mobile repair stand will be next, visit http://commoncycle.org.
- (48 days)