The Online Voice of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Community Bike Shops

What do you do with the bike that your 10-year-old has outgrown?  Or perhaps you've just upgraded to a fancier road bike and you'd like to find a good home for your trusty old steed.

Maybe you're a student on a tight budget and you'd like to do some simple repairs on your bike, but you live in a dorm and don't have the right tools.  Maybe you live in your own home and regularly host out-of-town guests and it might be nice to have an inexpensive bike in the garage to lend to them.

It's time to check out a community bike shop.

Community bike shops are nonprofit groups, often run by volunteers, that refurbish and recycle bikes at low-cost or free to the community.  They're appearing all across Washington State and there may be one or more in your town.

Bike Works, in Seattle, operates a full service bike shop.  They sell refurbished bikes, offer maintenance and repair services, and sell accessories and parts.  They also offer an earn-a-bike program for kids.

Live in Everett?  Check out Sharing Wheels. Besides refurbishing and reselling bikes at low-cost, Sharing Wheels has earn-a-bike opportunities for troubled teens and low-income adults.  They also have a co-op program where members have access to shop space and tools for do-it-yourself bike repair.

Pedals2People is a do-it-yourself community bike shop in Spokane. They provide low-cost access to shop space and tools and they offer a variety of bike repair and maintenance classes, including a Ladies Mechanics Class. Like the other community bike shops, P2P also sells used bikes.

These three programs are a sampling of community bike organizations in our state.  The Bike Collective Network has a listing of community bike shops in Washington State.  Do you know of a community bike shop that's not on the list?  Tell us about it.

1 comment:

  1. The Marine View Presbyterian Church Bikes for Kids shop is located in an old house behind the church in the Dash Point area of N.E. Tacoma. Staffed at least two days a week by volunteers, their primary business is to refurbish cast-off bikes and return them to the Federal Way community. The operation won a Tacoma "City of Destiny" Award last year for its public service. There is some current discussion about starting a DYI bike shop on the premises. Volunteers are always welcome! More info at