Community Bike Shop project update

A major project for Bike Concord is to open Central Contra Costa’s first nonprofit Community Bike Shop (CBS). It will be a space where skilled volunteer mechanics will teach members of the public how to do their own bicycle maintenance. The CBS will also allow Bike Concord to accept donated bicycles and fix them up for inexpensive sale to those who need them, with all proceeds going to fund our volunteer-operated services.

The concept is also known as a bike cooperative, bike collective, or bike kitchen. Similar shops exist all over the world, the United States, and the Bay Area in particular – for example Rich City Rides (Richmond), Spokeland (Oakland), and Changing Gears (Alameda). But there is none in Central Contra Costa yet.

The remaining obstacle to opening our CBS for Concord is a location. In order to minimize costs, we have decided to launch the shop in a cargo shipping container, with improvements for security and visual appeal (example). This will save our budget a great deal on rent. But it does mean we will have to get permission from the City of Concord and a spot of land to put the shipping container on. We have a couple of locations in mind and are negotiating with property owners.

Financially, we are in good shape. Thanks to a few grants and generous contributions at our Tamale Fest fundraisers this year and last, we have more than $12,000 saved up for the Community Bike Shop budget. This doesn’t mean we will never have to fundraise for the shop again, but it will allow us to launch with confidence that we can sustain operations for several months.

Tamale Fest 2016

Tamale Fest 2016 was a big success! Our generous community donated more than $1,700 in net revenue to the fund to open the CBS. Many raffle prizes were won and lots of food was served, thanks to contributions by local businesses and partners:

Santa Claus made an appearance as promised. Here are some Tamale Fest photos by BC member Ford Tivakul. And here is a video of scenes from Tamale Fest shot by BC member and Concord Planning Commissioner Ray Barbour.

We were privileged to have among our speakers:

  • Jennifer Donlon Wyant, who worked for over a year on Concord’s Bicycle, Pedestrian, and Safe Routes to Transit Plan in her previous position with consultant Alta Planning + Design.
  • Hourig Ayanyan McCray, part of the BC leadership team.
  • Cynthia Armour, staff member with our partner and fiscal sponsor Bike East Bay, and one of the co-founders of Bike Concord.
  • Rhea Laughlin of First Five Contra Costa, sponsors of the renowned blue-shirted parent volunteers of the Central County Regional Group (CCRG).

And just like last year, a huge thanks to BC’s close partner Monument Impact for hosting the event next to their offices at Keller House on Clayton Rd, and to the hardworking promotoras who made all the tamales and champurrado at no charge to Bike Concord, allowing us to raise more funds for the Community Bike Shop.

Volunteer for the Community Bike Shop

If you are willing to contribute your time and energy to building and operating the CBS – especially if you have some bike mechanic skills – please email our Bike Works Committee and let us know we can call on you when the time comes.

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BC assists Adopt-A-Family Bikes

Bike Concord is fixing bikes for Adopt-A-Family Bikes in Alamo this Friday, 6pm. If you have any mechanical skills, or even if you don’t but are willing to clean bikes, please come on down. The more people, the more bikes we can get through their pipeline for donation to kids and adults who need them.

225 Suite A, Alamo Plaza, Alamo. It’s a couple doors down from Peet’s Coffee. 6pm this Friday, and we will be back each Friday through Dec 23.

AAFB is a volunteer-run program that repairs donated bicycles during the holiday season for distribution to low-income recipients, including in Concord via Monument Crisis Center. They have been in operation since 2002, but this is the first year Bike Concord has collaborated with AAFB. We hope to work together even more closely once we launch our nonprofit community bike shop in Concord – which could be soon if we raise a lot of funds at Tamale Fest & Bikes on Dec 3.

Tamales Fest & Bikes – A Fundraiser for a community bicycle shop

Bike Concord needs your help!  We are fundraising for one of our most ambitious projects – The Community Bicycle Shop (aka Bike Kitchen.)

Our “Tamale Fest & Bikes” fundraiser will start at 4pm on Saturday, Dec 5 at Keller House in Concord, CA, only 0.6 miles from the Concord BART station.  Come by bike, automobile, public transportation. But if you ride your bike, you’ll be able to join us afterwards at 6:00 PM for a group bicycle ride starting from the Keller House and ending at Todos Santos Plaza.   Everyone is encouraged to bring their holiday spirit and decorate their bikes, helmets and/or wear a decoration highlighting their preferred December holiday. Get creative!  Please bring your helmet and bike lights for fun and safety! Also, dress warmly. Rain or shine, tamales will be served. If it rains, check this website for updated info.

Tickets

A donation of $15 will get you a tamale plate and a drink. ($15.30 to purchase online ahead of time.) Tamales are a hot item, so purchase your tickets in advance.

Getting there

Keller House is at 1760 Clayton Rd on the north side of Ellis Lake Park, only 0.6 miles from Concord BART.  Here is the shortest bike route.

Facebook event

Please invite your friends and family!  Here is the Tamale Fest Facebook event to share.

About bike kitchens

Like existing bike kitchens all over the Bay Area, the Concord Bike Kitchen will be a place where anyone can come learn how to fix their bicycle with the help of knowledgeable volunteers, use tools, and draw from a supply of donated spare parts. It will bring together people from all backgrounds, income levels, ages, and experiences to learn about bicycles. It will provide a space for young people to learn a useful skill, build confidence in their own abilities, and take pride in being an asset to their community.

Sponsors

Thanks to the generosity of Monument Impact and Monument neighborhood residents, all proceeds will go into Bike Concord’s fund for a future nonprofit community bicycle shop, also known as a “Bike Kitchen”. We are also grateful for the support from our partner Bike East Bay.