Bike New Britain (CT, USA) operates with a very tiny all-volunteer crew
of three volunteers. We're all ex-shop mechanics with an average age of about 73 years.
but it's been a struggle and we're only open for a couple of 3-hour days. COVID definitely
threw the monkey wrench into things, but since we all had COVID this past year, we are learning to live with it and all the other diseases floating around out there.
We're trying to move away from the public's conception that we are just a bike repair/used bike shop.
(Hard to get listed as something other that "Used Bike Shop" with Google Biz!)
We plan on doing a membership basis to try and cultivate new volunteers, with initially a free membership
that would allow access to a DIY night to be determined. We envision fee-based membership in the future,
as overhead keeps climbing. We just paid a bit over $1600 to Am. Specialty's LAB insurance program!
We have had little in the realm of organized rides and hope to develop that as well as Smart Cycling classes.
We do an annual Rodeo with the police dept., and have partnered with BikeWalk CT on several September
tour events. We also supply local agencies with bikes for their clients that need transportation help.
I am personally optimistic for the coming year, but only time will tell. I often wonder whether long-term viability is possible without a paid staff person, but getting into paid personnel is a bridge we don't feel we could cross at this juncture. We do offer stipends to LCIs to help with planned SC classes.