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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 04-10-06, 07:34 PM   #1
Cynikal
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Co-op Info

Hey all, I need to pick your collective brains. A group of us in Sacramento are in the planning stages of starting a bike co-op and are looking for resources. I've heard many of the folks on this forum talk about being members of co-ops (thus the posting here). If the mods feel this should be elsewhere then can you let it hang out for a day or so.

What I need is a list of bike co-ops and peoples thoughts about them. Additionally, if anyone has good resources for info on how to start up a co-op or are in Sacramento and would like to be involved.

Cheers
Chris
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Old 04-10-06, 07:57 PM   #2
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I help out at one here in memphis that is based on Boston's bikesnotbombs. I also like the setup they have at bike kitchen in SF. Both those organisations have good websites with pleanty of info.

I really love the coop here (revoloutions, run by Anthony Sircusa). They helped get me on a bike when my previous ride was stolen and I've learned a lot helping out once a week. It's actually a really exciting time here: we just won a substantial United Way grant that will go towards paying several local youths for a 10 hour a week, one year apprenticeship as a wrench. The kids will learn all about bikes, help us service them within the community, and then get build up their own for a multi-state tour next summer.

This is cool because, before, we subsisted in a donated space, with no budget and bikes donated and salvaged from garbage piles. Small donations for bike work has kept us in grease and degreaser and PArk donated a set of tools when the shop was robbed. Now we can maybe buy some tubes, brake cables and 700c wheels and reach more people in the community.

Coops are awesome -- good luck getting yours going.
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Old 04-10-06, 08:04 PM   #3
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http://www.ohiocitycycles.org
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Old 04-10-06, 10:35 PM   #4
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New Brunswick Bike Library.

It's hard starting something like this, I've been at the NBBL since just about the start, and it's slow going. You really have to decide the structure first... are you going to be a non-profit bike shop? co-op owned? worker owned? Free tool space? Lending library?

Check out the Santa Cruz bike church (best model, I think) and the vancouver bike kitchen at UBC. Also, TimesUp! NYC. All great people. PM me if you have other questions...
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Old 04-11-06, 01:33 AM   #5
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PM (well, email) sent.
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Old 04-11-06, 10:17 AM   #6
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NBW
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Old 04-11-06, 10:25 AM   #7
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Deciding what services/products you offer is the easy part. Getting the paper work together and a chunk of change to start it, that's the real toughie.

Let me recommend the NCBA as a great resource for how to start-up:
http://www.ncba.coop
Their startup list is awesome. It's here:
http://www.ncba.coop/abcoop_howto.cfm

the sad thing is, co-ops need seed money, need to think about things like insurance coverage, need to write bylaws, need a way to secure a space, etc. lots of logistics to wrestle!

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Old 04-11-06, 10:30 AM   #8
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Atlanta:
http://www.sopobikes.org/- Rachael started this 1-2 years ago and I'm sure she'd be willing to offer up any tips.
decatur yellow bikes

Chicago:
http://www.westtownbikes.org/-Ask for Alex or Sarah
http://www.workingbikes.org/
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Old 04-11-06, 11:07 AM   #9
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Missing Link in Berkeley - http://missinglink.org

I like 'em, they've always been helpful and whatnot.
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Old 04-11-06, 11:33 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the info folks. This is really helpful.
Chimbly.. thanks for the realistic comment. We have a great group of people who are really passionate about starting this. We may be able to rent a space for a very reasonable amount and are aligning with current advocacy groups to assist with funding. We are taking the time to be thoughtful and setting realistic goals. You brought up one item I hadn't thought of, insurance. I'll be looking into that. Again, thanks and keep the info comming.

Chris
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Old 04-11-06, 11:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beppe
PM (well, email) sent.
Hey Beppe. Haven't received and email or PM. Use cbdougher "at" yahoo "dot" com.

Thanks
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Old 04-11-06, 11:46 AM   #12
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Take the train to Berkeley and talk with the folks at Missing Link (if you call ahead they'll probably have info ready for you.) If you come on Sat/Mon/Tues/Wed you can talk with Roger, who's super cool and rides an awesome Soma Rush w/ phil hubs and Record cranks. They are a very successful coop bike shop that's been around about 25 years (I think).

More pertinent info on starting up could be had from Box Dog Bikes in San Francisco, which just opened about a year ago on Valencia in the Mission District. They'll have more info on the trials and tribulations, as they're going through it right now.

NoBAWC (pronounced no boss) is the Network of Bay Area Worker Cooperatives. We've been around about 10 years, have about 30 member coops and are growing rapidly. We're currently going through incorporation as a non-profit to serve member coops and folks wanting to start cooperatives. Also just seated our first board of directors. http://www.nobawc.org/ is the website and you can contact folks there (probably dave, and he'll probably refer you to Missing Link and Box Dog.)
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Old 04-11-06, 01:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynikal
Hey Beppe. Haven't received and email or PM. Use cbdougher "at" yahoo "dot" com.

Thanks
Resending....Done.

(And now it's clear why it's useful to put those meaningless little messages in the threads!)

Last edited by beppe; 04-11-06 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 04-11-06, 03:35 PM   #14
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Thanks Beppe.
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