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Old 04-15-03, 08:20 PM   #1
Txthroop
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Bike co-ops

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.

--Chris
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Old 04-15-03, 08:43 PM   #2
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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.

KB
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Old 04-15-03, 08:45 PM   #3
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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
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Old 04-16-03, 02:58 AM   #4
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Here's a webpage 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.
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Old 04-16-03, 06:32 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 04-16-03, 03:12 PM   #6
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D*Alex is talking about The Urbane Cyclist at 180 St. John St. Toronto.

Website at:

http://www.ucycle.com/
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Old 04-16-03, 03:37 PM   #7
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Gordon,
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.
http://www.mec.ca/Main/articles_main...=1050528969509
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Old 04-16-03, 05:46 PM   #8
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No, it's not Urbane Cyclist. This shop is down some skinny street with a youth hostel on one end.
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Old 04-16-03, 05:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
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. I’m going to ask around Winnipeg to see if something like this exists here.
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Old 04-16-03, 07:15 PM   #10
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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.

--Chris
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Old 04-16-03, 09:14 PM   #11
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I was at a Bike Expo last Sunday near Cleveland, Ohio. These guys had a table set up and I picked up a "handout".

http://www.ohiocitycycles.org/index.asp

I finally dug it out of my pile of information, hope it will help.
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Old 04-16-03, 09:35 PM   #12
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Louis-

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.

KB
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Old 04-16-03, 10:21 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 04-16-03, 10:26 PM   #14
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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!

KB
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Old 04-18-03, 07:37 AM   #15
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Interesting links related to co-ops.

International Bicycle Fund
http://www.ibike.org/encouragement/freebike.htm

Here is an interesting link for the Community Bicycle Network and Bikeshare.
http://www.communitybicyclenetwork.org/bikeshare.html

Koffee you may find this organization interesting.
Wenches with Wrenches
http://www.communitybicyclenetwork.org/wrench.html
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Old 04-18-03, 07:40 AM   #16
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That's too funny... I'm a wench now?

I'm diggin' that name a lot! Thanks Gordon!

KB
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Old 04-18-03, 09:29 AM   #17
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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.

Gordon p
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Old 04-18-03, 09:31 AM   #18
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Oh, no!!! It wasn't offensive at all... I found it pretty funny.

Thanks again for the great links.

Koffee
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