Friendly police, combining advocacy with cooperatives, maximizing use of centralized space, bike index spoke card

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Colin Leath

May 4, 2015, 9:31:43 PM5/4/15

I wanted to pass on the following:
HPD asked KVIBE to handle impounded bikes, and the KVIBE guy said no, too much for him to handle, according to a guy who volunteers there, Chico of Cycle Manoa. So perhaps Patti Dunn got it backwards?

Second: I'm not sure it pays to be pessimistic about how helpful HPD might be. . . You've probably heard the term "self-fulfilling prophecy". Perhaps if approached by the right person with the right attitude a lot could be done with their cooperation.

The combined advocacy+bike cooperative organization in Santa Barbara is one of the best I've seen recently.

In Atlanta the main cooperative, Sopo, only operates during non-working hours. People who work/volunteer there may not be very aware of Atlanta area advocacy efforts (vision zero, complete streets). A separate org works on that.

In SB, you can put in volunteer time any time the Bicicentro building is open. Helping with advocacy or with bike building.You can use volunteer time as credit in the cycle shop/cooperative.

At Sopo in Atlanta the bike cooperative space sits unused for the majority of the week!

In Kaka'ako, a parallel situation is the Kaka'ako Agora. Ben of Bike Share Hawaii helped establish that space. But as with Sopo, it appears to sit unused most of the time.

In SB, meetings for organizing open streets, for hearing presentations on back country biking, for lessons on bike maintenance, for preparing for "light up the night" light  distribution were all in the same building as the bike showroom, bike library, and the bike cooperative work stations.

Every place is different, of course.

Sopo has a particular program on Saturdays just for homeless people (from one shelter) to learn to work on bikes and to volunteer (40 hours?) to earn their own bike. During regular open shop hours they ask $5 per hour and per part, if you've got it. Grants fund the homeless program. And grants also fund at least one other apprenticeship program they run with the international rescue committee.

I've yet to figure out the advocacy scene in Knoxville, but the cooperative there is quite separate from that as in Atlanta and Honolulu. It is small, not very busy/impacted, and doesn't really ask for donations for shop time or parts, but they do sell bikes they fix up to cover rent. And they donate a bunch to the boys and girls club too.

Oh yeah, one last thing I managed to test out with the bike index site before I left:

The spoke card. I made a laminated spoke card for my bike at FedEx kinkos for less than $2.50. The card has a QR code on it which, when scanned, gives you the URL for my bike's page on I left that bike at the airport. There was another unlocked bike there too, but in worse shape than mine. I didn't mark my bike stolen though, have yet to test that out. And I've not heard from anyone about the bike.

Until next time,

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