Sunday, December 13, 2015

Come in Out of the Basement

Bicycle mechanics are an interesting breed.  These mechanically inclined tinkerers spend a lot of time in their workshops and garages.  They may be putting together esoterically interesting bicycles, or salvaging a bicycle hub with cones from a pile of other hubs collected over years of gathering parts.  Unless they lucked into a friendship with a nearby neighbor that also shares their bicycle addiction, much of this time is spent in solitary.  All that time spent alone can be a detriment to health and social well being.  It doesn't have to be that way.  Other cities have community bicycle spaces, and now there is one in Hartford - BiCi Co.!

If you hang out too long in your basement, you'll end up getting reabsorbed.
BiCi Co. is inviting fellow basement mechanics to join us and enjoy the benefits of being a more socialized human.  Last week we hosted our first Tuesday night "Mechanic's Night".  We tuned up bikes, BS'd about bike designs, talked about rides coming up.  It was great!  The volunteer mechanics repaired five used bikes for Hartford shelter residents.  That's the project BiCi Co. is working on in December.  Bicycles are amazing tools for increasing mobility and jobs access for the most vulnerable in our population.   We'll be holding Mechanic's Night on one more Tuesday in December, 5:30-8:30pm - 12/15.  If Mechanic's Night goes well, we'll start it back up in 2016.

Steven getting tips on wheel truing from a voluntary mechanic.
Volunteer mechanics have also been helping at the DIY Member Hours to guide those that are looking to learn more about fixing their own bicycles.  The DIY hours are Wednesday (5:30-8:30pm) and Saturday (1:30-5:30pm).   Pairing up a mechanic with a newbie is a great way to skill share and get more independent and confident bicycle commuters onto the streets in our city.  A quick thank you to the volunteer mechanics that have been very helpful thus far - Dwight Teal, Ryan McMahon, Chris Brown, Javi and Henry, Steve Leonforte, Damien Stewart, David Blatt, Jesse Varrell, Rich Allen, Mike Zager, Alinafe Tengatenga, Michael Barr, Jeremy Gantz, and Tracy and Ethan Frankel.  We couldn't do it without you.  A rock star team for such a new bike space venture and we're thankful that you've jumped in with us. Our social skills are off the charts in the last two months!
Eva Dougherty - Replaces a fork on a touring bike.  First time!  
Perks? - In addition to the feel goods and the socialization, BiCi Co. will recognize volunteer staff (> 10 hrs per month) with a healthy discount on used and new bike parts.  Because we have an addiction to bikes, this is unreasonably important perk.

Holiday Hours Notice - BiCi Co. will have no hours December 20th through December 29th.  We'll hold DIY Member Hours on Wednesday, December 30th.  5:30-8:30pm.
Henry and Javi - Volunteer mechanics.  Learning the ropes.


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