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Old 04-27-18, 11:30 PM
Made in Taiwan
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 162

Bikes: Camerotti ti roadbike, Old Sears Free Spirit Tange Hi-Ten Single Speed built from a 12 speed, 1997 Cannondale CAD3 r500 with Shimano 6400 groupset

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Hi Gurge,

Love the idea of you starting your own bike co-op in your home town. I volunteer at my closest bike co-op. In Vancouver, Canada, there are currently three non-profits. All kind of loosely affiliated with each other, like mechanics having worked in more than one of the shops. Here are just some of the ideas and suggestions that I have for you.

Get in touch with your local college/university, the Bike Kitchen in Vancouver is based out of the University of British Columbia. They get some funding from the university. Students can become members with a yearly membership fee, get to use a fleet of bikes with a universally keyed u-lock around campus and repair stand time. They have a special program to refurbish donated bikes for migrant farm workers so that those farm workers have a means of reliable transportation.

Another of the bike co-op, Kickstand, is entirely volunteer based with I believe one paid staff member to handle office related tasks. They are based out of the basement of a community centre. Maybe ask your city about a space out of a community centre that is not being utilised?

Then there is Our Community Bikes, where I volunteer at. We are centrally located and see a lot of traffic. The space is about helping people and education, there are stands open to the public with full sets of tools. There is a sliding scale of per hour rate for stand time, people using the stand can ask staff or volunteers for help. There is also a membership program at OCB, members are allow to vote and have members night, where repair stand times and access to tools are free. Members also get 10% discount off new merchandise or orders of new parts.

Each location have staffs that are paid and also volunteers, which does not violate the non-profit ethos. The staff members all contribute back a lot to their communities and there are loads of various social programs at all three location.

City of Vancouver, just last month is partnering with all three places to divert bicycles that end up at the city garbage collection centre into a recycling program. Bikes that pass assessments will be build back up, the ones that don't are stripped down and recycled properly rather than ending up in the landfill. See if your city would be willing to do the same.

Good luck,
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