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  1. #1
    Senior Member kpug505's Avatar
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    Pierce County bike co-op?

    Just tossing a line out. Would anyone be interested in a co-op in the Puyallup Tacoma area? I have been contemplating organizing one for a year or so now. I have talked to several people about it lately and it seems like things are lining up that would allow it to happen soon. I'd really be interested in talking to anyone that would like to get involved or has any experience in such things. I already have a loose business plan and some curriculum for education. I am also collecting tools and parts. I have some community connections as well and experience with non profits. Any feed back?

    Thanks,
    Kelly D.

  2. #2
    stringbreaker stringbreaker's Avatar
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    Yeah I think I might be interested and one guy I work with might be too. Contact me by private message

  3. #3
    zen_ride
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    This sounds like a very good idea...would be interested to learn more...might be able to assist in accounting aspect.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mahatma Zombie's Avatar
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    I would definitely be interested in volunteering somehow... Now sure how but yeah lol. Sounds like a great idea!

    -Grant

  5. #5
    stringbreaker stringbreaker's Avatar
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    Kelly sorry I haven't gotten back to you but I'm still intersted also

  6. #6
    Senior Member kpug505's Avatar
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    Oh boy!! Some responses! I will take this oppurtunity to give you all an idea of my idea (nothing new of course). First and foremost it would be a place where people could come and work on their own bikes. So getting a repair stand or 2 and some tools are big deal. Next idea would be a place that kids or poor adults could earn-a-bike. I would not want to sell much stuff because I dont want to hurt the local shops. However I feel that there are alot of people who just trash a perfectly good bike because of flats or lack of maintenance. I would also like to host classes on maintenance and safety. Maybe host community events to increase awareness. Maybe even club rides and trail maintanance. Who knows. The sky is the limit! Care to add any ideas? Sound off! If anyone would like to meet or talk on the telly just pm me and we'll hook up!

    Thanks,
    Kelly D.

  7. #7
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    I'm in King county....but it sounds cool. I'd possibly come down for classes now and then.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  8. #8
    zen_ride
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    Great ideas K505. May I add another one - a higher end service...such as rebuilding/restoring beat up bikes to look new or unique (than original look). I haven't heard of such service yet here in Washington.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mahatma Zombie's Avatar
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    That would be cool zen ride!

    I think it should be Tacoma based to draw more publicity.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member kpug505's Avatar
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    Hmm....

    I have tossed and turned over where I should try to get this thing going. I recently moved to Puyallup and am kinda car free. Tacoma seems like the logical place but it is kinda far from me. I don't like riding to Tacoma and the buses suck! I called on a few store fronts in Puyallup and they all seem to be around $1200 a month for about 1000sq' . Ouch! If I were to go to T-town I would prefer to locate in the Stadium District, Downtown by the UW or maybe the Proctor district. I dont think Rainier bikes would like that but oh well. Any opinions?
    And as response to the previous post about restoring and or customizing bikes......That would be fun. I enjoy "recreating" bikes myself. I am gonna try a tall bike next! Anyways.......that is all for now!

    Thanks,
    Kelly D

  11. #11
    Senior Member Mahatma Zombie's Avatar
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    Yeah I hear ya!

    Those are the places that came to my mind as well... Won't be cheap either but you never know!

    I bet the bike shops would take to it decently maybe they could even get involved. It's not like there would be any dura-ace equipped road bikes for sale or fancy campy parts in glass cases... You couldn't steal too much business lol. If it went with more of an old bike resto/history museum/community involvement/charity/fun rat roddy theme then I think there would be lots of positive energy flowin! Offering different services than any other bike shop around, finding a "nitch" would be the key to it's success.

    Something like this but obviously not so grimy and unorganized so it appeals to the general public.

    http://www.rat-patrol.org/Lab.html

    this is awesome too

    http://www.ohiocitycycles.org/

    You may want to post a link to this thread in the Living Car Free forums so there can be some more input. Those people are pretty bright. I should be 100% Car Free tomorrow! Woo-Hoo! Cheers,
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  12. #12
    stringbreaker stringbreaker's Avatar
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    I recently exchanged a few e-mails with Jim Sheehan at Ohio city cycles. Super nice guy and really gives some great insite on doing a co op. One of the concerns is insurance both if someone works on a bike in your shop and if kids or needy adults fix up a bike there is the always present possibility of a law suit so there is liability insurance. They don't sell retail stuff if I remember correctly but if you e-mail him he has a lot of good how to tips and from what I recall they have bike shops they routinely send people for parts and service. They have sponsors they work with and they give classes too. They seem really well organized and look like they are a pretty big concern. Its a really good site give it a look. I think something is the Puyallup valley would work pretty well cause you can draw for not only Puyallup but Sumner, Orting, Bonney Lake, even Fife and T town itself.
    Last edited by stringbreaker; 10-19-07 at 09:25 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member kpug505's Avatar
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    Great points

    I really like the idea of the museum, retro, community thing. I also like the rat bike idea but as a safety concern I would be inclined to allow only adults with waivers partake in any of that goodness.
    As far as the insurance is involved I am strongly considering have the nonprofit under the umbrella of the YMCA. I work for a Y youth outreach program in Puyallup and also volunteer for the Trips for Kids outfit in Tacoma (at the Tacoma Center Y) so it might just fit well within the Y which would take care of a lot of problems. They just started an "Activate America" campaign to combat Americas steadily increasing weight and steadily declining health. I think a program empowering people to commute (or at least get to the Y) by bike would fit in nicely .
    As a side note. Have any of you ever been to the Y on South Hill? They have over 20,000 members and not enough parking. They are going to pave over 2 retention ponds at a cost of $10-$15,000 per parking spot! Does that make any sense? Why would you drive to the Y to work out? Most people sit on those machines doing cardio for an half hour anyways. Why not ride and get a real quality workout? (I have brought this to their attention a week after they consigned the bike rack to the sidewalk after it was under cover. Grr.....)
    Back on topic. The only problem is they don't like starting risky projects so I would have to come up with the funding and the place myself. I would also need to come up with butt loads of proof that these things are all over the place and are highly sustainable and valued in their communities. Geez.....Now I got myself worked up on this Y parking thing and it has cluttered my train of thought. Thatís all I have for now!

    Thanks,
    Kelly D.

  14. #14
    Senior Member kpug505's Avatar
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    I think I may have found a place! After getting dissapointed about the cost of commercial real estate I just about gave up. Then it dawned on me that on my daily commute there is an old storefront sitting empty downtown Puyallup. It's been empty awhile and even has a broken window. I don't know why it didn't click till yesterday. Anyways, I have done some work for the gentleman that owns it so when I find his # or see him around town I'll be all over him like stink on you know what!

    Yippee!!
    Kelly D.

  15. #15
    zen_ride
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    I hope it would have a positive turn out...good luck!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Mahatma Zombie's Avatar
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    That sucks about the Y... I go to the Morgan Family Branch in Tacoma and it seems to have just enough space... More should bike to it though!

    The place you found sounds cool, it seems like downtown Puyallup could draw a good group! Let us know how it turns out!
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  17. #17
    stringbreaker stringbreaker's Avatar
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    Lots of cyclists in the Puyallup valley area. I saw a group riding today while I was making a trip to Mclendon Hardware to pick up some necessities for one of the three other projects I have going on besides the Continental.

  18. #18
    Senior Member smurf hunter's Avatar
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    I live in Auburn and would make the trip - sounds promising.

  19. #19
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    I live in Oly but bike and work in Puyallup (just down 112th St from MacLendon's). It'd be great to be able to do some work at a real repair stand, especially if I get stuck with a mechanical problem near work!

  20. #20
    Senior Member Mahatma Zombie's Avatar
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    Hi Kelly... Any news? Here is another rad link!

    http://www.sopobikes.org/
    - Mahatma Zombie -
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  21. #21
    Senior Member kpug505's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrantParkerB View Post
    Hi Kelly... Any news? Here is another rad link!

    http://www.sopobikes.org/
    Hey, thanks for the link! I especially like the bike blender! As far as new news......Nothing much yet! I haven't run into the guy with the property so I'll have to try knocking on the door. I am also trading a car for a truing stand, some lessons on how to use it and a bunch of parts from a guy that built wheels for Klien. So I guess I am gonna edumacate myself a bit, get more parts (my girlfriend will love that! Not!) and go knock on a door!

    Thanks,
    Kelly D.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Mahatma Zombie's Avatar
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    Right on! Well when ya get the place let me know for sure! I'd be happy to come down and help clean it up, maybe get some painting and interior design ideas goin lol. Cheers,
    - Mahatma Zombie -
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  23. #23
    Senior Member kpug505's Avatar
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    The building

    I finally got a hold of the guy with the building I have in mind. He was very receptive to the idea.
    Anyways, he wants $850 a month for 800 sq. feet. Thats alot less then anywhere else I have checked. Hell one place I called wanted $1250 for 500 sq. feet and a slice of the pie to boot (percentage of sales)! Is that legal? I think I can get him down to $750. It's not on a busy road so it will be word of mouth and other advertizing not people riding/driving by that will make it work. Kinda scary! Thats alot of change to raise every month on top of utilities, insurance and so on. I've got a bit of disposable income but not that much! Thoughts?

  24. #24
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    My suggestion is to contact and or work with Bike Works in Seattle.

    They have a good model to follow especially in the area of organization, funding and programs.

    I've donated a bike and some part to them and they are always happy to get it. Especially something like a nice used lightweight frame. They sell used parts at very reasonable prices as well.

    I just tossin' out some ideas, not sure where you want to go with the idea.

    Financially, the ability to pay the rent the building will make or break the co-op .... seek some grants ???

    http://www.bikeworks.org/

  25. #25
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    Update?

    Anything new? Please count me as an interested party!

    I'm new to biking and would love to learn to fix my own. The co-op sounds like a great idea. Puyallup isn't the easiest place for me to get to, but I'd figure it out.

    For now, I'm excited to be heading to the Worst Day Ride in Portland next weekend! My second year -- first year on my own bike

    Heather

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