Tuesday, May 06, 2008

bike kollective opening!!

We're just about ready to open the doors of the Des Moines Bicycle Collective.

Our location at 617 Grand Avenue (across from the Ruan Center, next door to Boesen The Florist) gives us a great downtown street-level location in the Grand Avenue Parking Garage. We have modeled our co-op after similar non-profit bike operations in Cleveland, Madison, and Austin. We have space rent-free for the first year. We've cleaned up the space and we await a bathroom to be installed. By word of mouth, we've already collected 40 or more donated bikes-- everything from a Town & Country adult tricycle (spoken for) to youth bikes. About a dozen bikes are already tuned up and ready to sell to folks looking for affordable bike transportation.

We've sold our first bike and we have one volunteer who has prepped several bikes as part of an "Earn a Bike" program. We have a fine partnership in place with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Iowa (BCCCI). The BGCCI has a bike club that will soon meet in the space to teach older kids some wrenching skills and Earn a Bike programs. We have six workbenches built, all by donated labor.

Here's how YOU or your racing team or ragbrai team could help: A $500 donation will buy bike tools and a stand for one bench. We will buy a combination of Sears and Parks tools for the benches. This could be pretty cool--we will put a sign on the bench, "Donated by your entity here" if your club or team is able to step up. Until we receive our 501c3 status (filed) the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation is acting as our fiscal agent for tax-deductible contributions. If you would like to make an individual (tax-deductible contribution), just add "Bike Collective" in the memo area. Checks may be made out to: Greater Des Moines Community Foundation, 1915 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50309. Thanks.

We very much need to have our programs in place in the next month when summer vacation starts. Translation: we need to buy the tools now! Please stop by and see us. We will be open this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., when you swing by the Downtown Farmers Market to pick up your Bike to Work Week packet. Additional hours will be dependent on volunteers.

Oh yes. We have plenty of bikes that need to be tuned up before they are ready for sale. We welcome volunteers with all levels of skills. Look for announcements in coming weeks about classes at the Collective. Got a bike, bike parts or tools to donate? You've found the right place. We will have donation slips available, should you need one for tax purposes.

now get your ass on your bike and RIDE!!


Buckshot77 said...

Kick butt Kim! I will put a plug in here for my employer who is donating the materials to build 3 of the work benches- Architectural Arts in Des Moines. If you need any commercial millwork, give us a call 265-4441.

Anonymous said...

Kim, are you planning on starting a seperate blog for the Kollective for all the events and classes or passing along the info here?

the mostly reverend said...

we are hoping to have an actual website soon, but a blogsite will be forthcoming sooner.

watch here for details.

sda said...

in fort collins the bike against bike coop recently partnered with the city to start a bike library (much like the yellow bike project in austin). they've taken it a step beyond donations from the community and also teamed with the fascists, er i mean police, to take in bicycles (stolen property) recovered by the police and where the owner cannot be located. after 90 days, instead of sending them off to california for an auction (what the pd used to do) they go to the co-op, where they are re-tuned and either go into the bike library fleet or back into the community in the hands of individuals who need them for basic transportation needs.

its working well here. free bikes are good things. well that is depending on your perspective i guess.