General Cycling Discussion - Bike co-ops
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04-15-03, 09:20 PM
Can anyone lend any insight into how bike co-ops operate? I belonged to one in college and it seems like a great thing to introduce to this here community of Austin. If I remember correctly we paid a membership fee and were given access to a great little shop outfitted with most of the tools you could need. I would like to know if there are any currently operating co-ops out there and their contact info so that I could talk shop with someone experienced in organizing such a joint. I understand it would be somewhat of an endeavour but I would like to start thinking about it.
Whoa- I didn't know about these co-ops. If anyone knows anything about Chicago bike co-ops, let me know.
I'm going to check with the local Park Tool guy to see if he knows anything.
04-15-03, 09:45 PM
Thats a great idea. My LBS lets me use the shop tools on my own bike anytime, they know i dont know how to wrench and will make more money off me in the long run ;)
04-16-03, 03:58 AM
Here's a webpage (http://www.flora.org/re-cycles/en/index.html) I've come across for Re-Cycles Co-op in Ottawa. As well as working on their own bikes, volunteers refurbish donated bikes and sell them. Only costs $10 a year to join! There are contacts listed so you can ask them for details on starting one up. Sounds like a great idea.
There is a bike co-op shop in nearby Toronto, just a block or 2 SE of Spadina. I only saw it just as they were closing up for the day, though.
As far as starting a co-op, though-you need to be in a town of hard-core commuter cyclists for it to work. Where I live, most of the adults that commute by bike only do so because of poverty. $20 used bikes are plentiful here, so the idea of a co-op is probably pointless in my town.
04-16-03, 04:12 PM
D*Alex is talking about The Urbane Cyclist at 180 St. John St. Toronto.
04-16-03, 04:37 PM
I've checked the Urbane Cyclists site and have been there a number of times. I don't think they are a co-op in the sense Txthroop meant. I don't think MEC is either.
No, it's not Urbane Cyclist. This shop is down some skinny street with a youth hostel on one end.
04-16-03, 06:50 PM
I've checked the Urbane Cyclists site and have been there a number of times. I don't think they are a co-op in the sense Txthroop meant.
I was trying to put a name to D*Alex's post. I have been there a few times and a friend of a friend had something to do with it, but I never knew how it worked. I agree that MEC is a different animal altogether. Iím going to ask around Winnipeg to see if something like this exists here.
04-16-03, 08:15 PM
Well, I had no idea this was such a novel concept. Thanks for all the replies so far. Yes, I think a co-op like the one I had in mind would work best in a place where there is a high cyclist density--especially an older-type town that matured before the car culture changed the compact designs of our cities into sprawling ooze. However, here in Austin we have a huge university as well as our share of folks who just like to do the right thing. And the co-op itself wouldn't really have to be that large, just an empty garage really. I'll have to do some market research... I guess I'll give the alma mater a ring and see if the Bike Co-op is still around.
I was at a Bike Expo last Sunday near Cleveland, Ohio. These guys had a table set up and I picked up a "handout".
I finally dug it out of my pile of information, hope it will help.
This is exactly what the Park Tool guy in Chicago does here. He has the same program set up for Saturday mornings. I actually attended the kids class this past Saturday- I was going through a big discussion on what I could do within the organization, so I missed the lecture on trueing a wheel. I'll probably catch it next time.
These kinds of organizations are undiscovered jewels.
Yeah you're right Koffee, undiscovered jewels, indeed. I'd love to nose around that place sometime.
FYI, the "links" section of that website lists many more co-ops.
Cool. Thanks for pointing that out to me. I'm going to check into that link some more and see what they've got to offer!
04-18-03, 08:37 AM
Interesting links related to co-ops.
International Bicycle Fund
Here is an interesting link for the Community Bicycle Network and Bikeshare.
Koffee you may find this organization interesting.
Wenches with Wrenches
That's too funny... I'm a wench now?
I'm diggin' that name a lot! Thanks Gordon!
04-18-03, 10:29 AM
I hope I didn't offend you Koffee!
I thought I read in another thread that you were teaching a cycling course and learning bicycle mechanics.
Oh, no!!! It wasn't offensive at all... I found it pretty funny.
Thanks again for the great links.
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