Living Car Free - starting bike co-op
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02-17-07, 01:21 PM
I'm a college student at Ohio University and right now I'm working on starting a bike co-op on campus. I wanted to know if anyone has any experience with co-ops and can offer any type of advice. Also, does anyone know of any grants that I can apply for the co-op? PM or respond to this
02-17-07, 06:22 PM
You'll probably have better luck/quicker results emailing other college's bike coops.
02-17-07, 09:34 PM
shoot off an email to Plan B community bike project in new orleans. they might know something
02-18-07, 02:42 AM
02-27-07, 12:45 AM
I'm involved with the UAA Bike Club. We run a co-op bike shop out of a city building. Check out the forums at uaabikeclub.org for more info.
02-27-07, 04:54 PM
talk to the people at the oberlin (oh) college bike coop. i've never been to it or seed it, but i hear it pretty good.
edit: there's a good list of links and such at the end of that page.
You could probably get money from the university, since you'd be benefiting their students.
But you should think about making it self-funded. Nobody will give you money. There will always be strings attached. At the very least, you will be spending time on paper work to justify your grant and to try to get more "free" money. That's time you won't be able to spend doing things you really want to do.
Check out the history of co-operatives, starting with the name. The idea is to harness the economic power of many individuals working together for a common purpose. One example is selling shares. Another is using volunteer labor of the members.
02-28-07, 12:42 AM
search for Bike Church.
That's our collective. I'm sure we cangive you plenty of advice. :)
02-28-07, 04:57 PM
I was on the board of the Ohio City Bike Co-op (briefly).
I suggest you contact the folks at Oberlin.
Nice group of people and they will have more insight for "on campus" co-ops (just about everything on campus is a student run co-op)
02-28-07, 10:40 PM
you might check out Third Hand, and see what they're doing right.
I believe their official "goal" is to fix up old bikes and sell them cheaply.
As for starting a co-op, just find a location and a bunch of tools people want but do not have. Get a bike stand, a trewing stand, repair manuals, stuff that people need but don't have the money or apartment space to deal with.
Also, try posting this over in Fixed/SS. Lots of riders from C-Bus there.
As for money though... can't help ya
03-01-07, 02:03 PM
In a small town in Maine, I've had the pleasure of introducing a community bike program.
Think about your plan, how you'll implement it, and how you'll fund it.
Knock, door to door and ask locals if they have any old, beat up bikes in thier garage or basements they'd like to donate for your non-profit program.
Talk to your student government body informally at first. Find out what they'd like to know. Prepare and meet with them discussing your plan, implementation, and needs (repair funds, logistics, storage location).
Once implemented and sucessful, talk to your Finacial Aid Director. Ask for a Work-Study position to repair the bicycles and keep the program running smoothly.
Organize workshops for fund raising, encourage the students that volunteering in the program would earn Community Service credits (which my college required).
Before you graduate, try to find a responsible person to hand the torch over to. This, unfortunately, was a hind-site of mine and the program flopped once I graduated.
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