[TheThinkTank] THE LIST

Jeff DeQuattro jeffdequattro at gmail.com
Thu May 21 10:28:03 PDT 2015


I agree with Paul. And I think it's a very fine line that is being drawn
here. My shop in Mobile, AL (Delta Bike Project) was not added to list
after I requested it presumably because we sell used bikes? We sell used
bikes below the blue book value - yes. And those proceeds pay our extremely
high rent and overhead. We might sell 6 bikes a month on a good month. We
have no employees, only volunteers. AND we are completely DIY - and not a
repair shop at all. We are a federally recognized 501(c)3 charitable
organization. In the past 19 months we've put over 250 bikes into our small
community and into the hands of the poor or homeless who have had to earn
them through our Time is Money Program in which they pick up litter around
the city, or mow the lawns on our property or adjacent properties, or help
part out bikes and help around the shop for a certain number of hours until
they earn a bike (aka: improving the quality of life). They also are taught
how to repair the bikes they earn and many have become so skilled that they
are now teaching others how to do the same. We have mechanics now that help
us out through volunteering that are there every time we are open and they
live in tents in the woods. Several of our Time is Money participants have
been able to keep a job because they could get to work on the bike they
earned from us. These are measurable impacts on the community.

So if the purpose of the list is to have a database of strictly
cooperatives that have a membership aspect that's fine, but I think you
miss out on an entire class of shops that might not fit the mold of a
cooperative. We started as a cooperative, but it didn't work on the Gulf
Coast of Alabama. It just doesn't. The concept is not something that works
here as evidenced by the almost complete lack of cooperatives (besides a
few art co-ops). It doesn't mean that we don't do good, or as much good, in
the community as a cooperative. In fact, we've won community awards and
innovation awards and we are not the voice of a large sector of the people
in bikes in our community. Our brand has been so effective at helping those
in need in the community that we've started a spinoff that helps with
healthcare and spay/neuter services for the poor and homeless that cannot
afford to property care for their pets (Delta Dogs). I understand the
anti-capitalistic angle, but I think that your notion misses a whole realm
of shops that do a lot of good in their communities.I would suggest that
all community bikes shops be added, but in an adjacent column noting the
classification of that particular shop might give you a better idea of
what's out there. My thoughts.

On Thu, May 21, 2015 at 12:11 PM, Paul Fitzgerald <paul at workingbikes.org>
wrote:

> What non profit charges high prices to "raise the perceived value of
> bikes"?  Our prices at Working Bikes are set to not have our work resold by
> for-profit individuals at the swap meet or craig's list.   I may have a
> bias but I think that a 'community bike shop' and a 'cooperative bike shop'
> are different things.  One of these titles explains a structure and the
> other suggests an open door or policy of community engagement.
>
> It's your list and these are just my thoughts, but I was a little
> surprised to see for profit shops in chicago (uptown) on the list and
> non-profits (WB and Blackstone) not.
>
> -Paul
>
> On Thu, May 21, 2015 at 12:02 PM, Eric Honour <eric.honour at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> Might be worth including them under a separate heading.
>> On May 21, 2015 1:01 PM, "Joshua Hoffman" <joshuahof at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Here is a searchable document
>>> <https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1S0FOc6ZJA-wYWo4qZ4yx75SBFq53aD8ELY1JGBt6UQY/edit?usp=sharing>
>>> if you want to check for your shop.
>>>
>>> NOTE: So far THE LIST <https://www.facebook.com/lists/792013340883812>
>>> only includes shops that run cooperatively or at very least include some
>>> DIY elements. I've done this for a specific reason.... I'm an
>>> anti-capitalist. I'm interested in how bikes build community and engage
>>> people in acts of cooperation and self-determination. There are many
>>> "non-profit" shops that sell used bikes for high prices because they
>>> believe it will "raise the perceived value" of bikes. There is nothing
>>> inherently wrong with this approach except that I'm not interested in money
>>> or perceived value. I'm interested in more people learning to do more
>>> things for themselves and for others. Cooperatives have the potential to
>>> lower costs by focusing on mission rather than profit. They can also
>>> transform the social relationships between humans by substituting hierarchy
>>> for equality. The benefits of encouraging DIY are obvious.
>>>
>>> What do you all think? Should I include all "non-profit" bike shop
>>> regardless of their mission? What are the arguments for/against?
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Wed, May 20, 2015 at 6:52 PM, Joshua Hoffman <joshuahof at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hello,
>>>>
>>>> I've put together a Facebook list of all the community bike shops who's
>>>> pages I could find. 133 in total from around the world. This list is
>>>> constantly turning up amazing stories and new insights (lots of job
>>>> opportunities as well).
>>>>
>>>> https://www.facebook.com/lists/792013340883812
>>>>
>>>> Please let me know if I need to add other shops.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
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>
>
> --
> Paul Fitzgerald
> General Manager, Working Bikes
> 2434 S. Western, Chicago, IL 60608
> 773-847-5440
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Store Hours: Wed + Thurs- 12-7pm
>                     Fri + Sat  -    12-5pm
>
> Volunteer Hours: Tues- 5-9pm
>                           Wed- 12-5pm
>                           Sat- 12-5pm
>
> “El socialismo puede llegar solo en la bicicleta."
>
> "Socialism can only arrive by bicycle."
>
> -José Antonio Viera Gallo,  Assistant Secretary of Justice in the
> government of Salvador Allende
>
>
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