Old 08-22-09, 07:54 PM
In the right lane
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I was at my local bike co-op this morning and got to ask one of the volunteers who lives in Chicago about the bike co-ops there. While there are several of them, the biggest and oldest of the lot seems to be Working Bikes.

The Working Bikes Cooperative is a not-for-profit tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization which diverts bicycles from the waste stream in Chicago by repairing them for sale and charity.

Working Bikes is now located in the big red brick two story building at the SW corner of 24th Place and Western Avenue, at 2434 S. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60608. Google Maps Link

Working Bikes is primarily volunteer-driven. Currently it receives no government or foundation money. All its operations are funded through the sale of bicycles at its storefront. Working Bikes uses that money to provide bicycles to charity organizations within Chicagoland and to ship bicycles to the Gulf Coast, Ghana, Tanzania, Angola, Cuba, Guatemala, and Peru.
Apparently, it has a huge space with literally thousands of bikes.

Our local co-op has worked with Working Bikes on some of the bike drives to Africa (at least, last year..). This year we've been struggling to keep up with the local demand...
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