Bici Libre Open for WrenchingMarch 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Posted in Bike News | 2 Comments
Tags: Bici Libre, bike wrangler
Behold, a new development in the on-going Bike Wrangler saga! As you will recall, the Bike Wrangler is the program (run by Jonny Green and Bobby Gadda on the LACBC side) that is working with institutions to acquire abandoned and donated bikes and provide them to folks in low-income areas. This is supported by Project RENEW and the LA County Department of Public Health. (The full history of this program is documented at length in this post). Collecting all those bikes and fixing them up called for setting up a bike warehouse/workshop space, which we did here at 1205 W. 6th st.
It soon became clear that the workshop itself was a great benefit of this project. We have had volunteers coming in to work in the shop on a regular basis, turning out over 80 bikes to folks in low-income areas. In the process we have built up a new workspace for bikes. We have a new goal now of having this space become it’s own bike co-op, similar to the Bicycle Kitchen at Heliotrope and Melrose.
To that end, we first had to come up with catchy name to for our fledgling bike co-op. Taking inspiration from our volunteers and the language usually spoken in the neighborhood, we are calling it Bici Libre (roughly translates to “free the bikes”). The idea is to free bikes from being trapped in dusty garages, basements and impound lots, and get them back with people who want to ride them! (unfortunately destroying a lot of spider habitat in the process). We had a meeting with a bunch of the regular volunteers to start to figure out how to run the space:
We decided on having volunteer night on Thursday night from 6 to 9PM. This is a time for the volunteers to get together, eat some food, and work on their own bikes, as well as help folks in the neighborhood fix their own bikes. We have had a great time the last two Thursdays getting to know each other better and learning bike repair in the process. If you need to get your bike tuned up and want to learn more about bike repair, come on down! We are also usually in the shop 10AM to 5PM Tuesday through Friday, when we are working on the bikes for the grant. Email email@example.com if you are interested in volunteering. See you in the shop!
PS: Our shop is pretty well set for tools now, but lacking one crucial item: a good vise. The old U.S. made ones are a lot better – if you have one of these you aren’t using let us know!