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.