In the spirit of The Bicycle Kitchen and The Bike Oven (etc.), I recently transformed my woodworking shop into a shared bicycle repair space. We’re calling it The Bicycle Lounge. Currently, we’re opening up the shop on Tuesday evenings to coincide with our regular weekly BBQ (called BBQ Tuesday, obviously enough). So far, we have established a board of directors -- ranging in ages from 18 to 55 so to represent the diverse needs of our community --, we have met once to work out a general plan of how this thing might work, and we have already gotten good response from local cycling groups. There remain plenty of untapped resources, and we are determined to get them involved.
At our next board meeting, which will be in a couple of weeks, we will start with a local bike ride, settle on a mission statement, compile a list of potential commercial spaces, compile a list of potential funding / granting sources, agree on the legal structure of the organization, agree on the curriculum for our first seminar --- which will be on emergency bike repair, like fixing flats and such, and we will probably eat a lot of BBQed meat and throw back some frosty beverages.
Our feeling is that Riverside is ripe for this sort of venture. Anecdotally, we see a lot more bikes on the streets, and talking to the folks at my favorite LBS, they report sales increases of more than 50% over last year. We are confident that this thing can work.