A thriving community in The Bike Shop
With weekly sessions, community members can make regular visits to The Shop, not only learning things like chain and tire repair but also building a rapport with other regular visitors and our Bike Shop team. “It’s been really nice getting to know some of the people who have been coming to our Fix-A-Thons—instead of a two-minute interaction, they can hang out and tell some stories,” Jared shared. “There’s more connection because people are working on their own bikes. It’s just better when the person is right there alongside you when you fix it.”
“No one gets turned away—anybody that comes in with a bike issue or is in need of a bike will get help. It’s an immediate way to meet community needs,” shared Open Bike Shop participant, Andrea Preciado. “Getting bike repairs can be really expensive and inaccessible, so this is a really sweet way to bridge that gap.”
Youth and adults learn bike repair for free, together
Our youth students are benefiting from Open Bike Shop Hours as well. Participants in our free Earn-A-Bike Program spend three hours each week learning to repair two bikes, keeping one and donating the other to be sold to support our Bike Shop programs. However, for some youth participants, three hours isn’t enough. “Consistently, when we’re running Earn-A-Bike, there’s a kid who wants to come back during open shop hours,” says Jared.
Jeremiah, age 11, is one of those students. He participated in the last term of Earn-A-Bike and became a regular fixture of Open Bike Shop Hours during his session. Now, after his Earn-A-Bike program has concluded he is still attending as many Open Hours events as he can.
“These kids come to Earn-A-Bike and Open Shop Hours and we become part of their social world,” explained Marcus. “They have friends here and feel welcome here. It’s awesome to see them blossom and watch their confidence grow.”