Photos from Tamale Fest 2016 by Ford Tivakul

Ford is a Bike Concord member and photographer.

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.

Please vote yes on Measure X tomorrow, and come to Tamale Fest!

Bike Concord members handed out a total of 140 each of Measure X and Tamale Fest flyers at Pleasant Hill and Concord BART stations today. Quite a few people showed interest in coming to Tamale Fest to support our future community bike shop.

We spoke today with a lot of people who we believe will vote yes on Measure X tomorrow. We explained to several who had further questions that what we can expect from Measure X is protected bike lanes and protected intersections, not just more paint-only treatments. That’s thanks to the Complete Streets Policy in the measure which was won by the hard work by Dave Campbell of Bike East Bay, backed by a lot of showing up and speaking up by Bike Concord members.

BC members have also been phonebanking for Measure X, turning out seven volunteers to make a few hundred calls over several sessions. If the measure passes tomorrow, we will be watching closely to make sure the street projects it funds will deliver on the promise of protected bicycle facilities, and not just more of the cursory and inadequate treatments we’ve seen on most of Contra Costa’s streets so far.