Hello Think Tank!

Arik here from Bikes Not Bombs in Boston.  I've been on the list since it started but I only find time to check in occasionally and briefly.  (and I think maybe someone administering Think Tank just subscribed some more of our staff members to the list ... )

First off, the Instructor Training manual we use to prepare our teachers to run Earn-A-Bike ... sorry it was off our website for awhile at the end of last year but it is back up now.  I'm glad that you found it, and YES that is meant to share. Make copies, make use of it for any good purpose, just make sure to keep our name with the materials.  Dave gave the URL but here it is again: http://www.bikesnotbombs.org/EarnABike

Someone else mentioned the YBEN site (Youth Bicycle Education Network) http://www.yben.org, which has been a great place for resources, but the site is currently down.  Hopefully it will be back up soon.  Recycle-A-Bicycle (RAB) in NYC is managing YBEN now, right?  Our Instructor Training manual is focused on mechanics lesson plans, so it combines well with RAB's manuals which cover other, non-mechanics issues of running a youth program, at http://recycleabicycle.org/resources/publications.  

We've just recently had two short documentary movies made about BNB by some motivated volunteers.  You can see them online at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRzSvVXVYrM   and http://vimeo.com/1706577 , but note that the one on Vimeo will probably stutter - we'll be moving it to YouTube soon and also embedding on our website.

We ALMOST sent two staff members to Bike!Bike! this year: Elijah Evans our Earn-A-Bike Coordinator (and originally a graduate of the program himself many years ago), and Jasmine Laietmark is our director of Grassroots Fundraising & Events.  Then last minute we balked at buying the plane tickets.  We've had some dreams that we would love to offer to host a Bike!Bike here in Boston in some future year, but don't quote me on that.  It is really inspiring to know that there is a network of bike groups out there, and we would LOVE to be more involved.  But we had to move 2 years ago, took on debt for our new space, took our full-service bike shop to 6 days a week, we're processing 5,500 donated bikes a year and sending trainers to Africa to start new programs, supporting our existing partners in Guatemala, Nevis Island, South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, developing an appropriate technology working group to help spread knowledge about pedal-power designs, running Earn-A-Bike, summer youth programs, girls programs here, barely staying involved in official bike advocacy at the city level ... getting bigger and catching up with our growth ... basically we're overcommitted to everything we're already doing so it is hard to find any time to connect with this network.  

We're starting a new phase of updating and improving our website, and maybe we'll be able to post more resources.  The applications for programs that we usualyl have up for downloading can be useful to see how programs are structured.  It would be interesting to know what people most want to know that BNB would be better at answering than other groups.  Also if we're not so active on this list, you can email our staff directly - use the website to find the right person to ask.  We can often accommodate visitors from other programs to sit in on activities and learn here - let us know if you want to visit.

As to the nonprofit question, here's a quick answer.  Bikes Not Bombs started in 1984 as a volunteer-run solidarity effort with the people of Nicaragua when the Reagan administration was funding and running the Contra war, and the work was all in Nicaragua developing bike projects with donated bikes collected in the States.  In 1991 we started youth programs in Boston.  In 1994 we got our own physical space and added a teen-job training bike shop open a few days a week, and also started paying two staff - at that point we became an official nonprofit, and have developed that way ever since.  In December 2006 we moved a few blocks and split into 2 spaces: the Bike Shop now has its own space and is open 6 full days a week and is employing 15 people, in addition to our Hub staff of 7 running the international work, youth programs, administration, plus the 8 teens who work part-time as assistant teachers in the youth programs (this is a new exciting development - more and more .  We probably have 300 people who plug in as volunteers at some point in any given year.  Over half our budget is the Bike Shop, which covers it's own expenses thru sales and service and makes profit that goes into supporting the youth program and international work.  The rest of our budget is raised through a small amount of grant income, and much more significantly by the two to three thousand people who make a donation to support BNB in any given year.  


-Arik Grier
Outreach Coordinator, Office Manager
Bikes Not Bombs


Message: 1
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2008 15:08:14 -0600
From: "Jonathan Morrison" <jonathan@slcbikecollective.org>
Subject: Re: [TheThinkTank] Bike Education/Clinic curriculum? Bike Not
To: "The Think Tank" <thethinktank@bikecollectives.org>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

There is no question there is a tremendous amount of information that the
130+ organizations on this list could use from well established groups like
Bikes not Bombs and the Community Cycling Center.  The question is, what do
we have to offer them?

At a minimum it would be good to interview some of the longer standing
members of each of these organizations and figure out what hard decisions
they had to make and what the out come was.

One thing I have observed with some of the larger organizations is that they
went more in the direction of a traditional non-profit.  I would be curious
to find out if it started out that way, or if that was an active choice.


Jonathan Morrison
Executive Director
Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective
2312 S. West Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84115
w: 801-328-2453
c: 801-688-0183
f: 801-466-3856

Get Addicted to Crank!

The mission of the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective is to promote cycling
as an effective and sustainable form of transportation and as a cornerstone
of a cleaner, healthier, and safer society. The Bicycle Collective provides
refurbished bicycles and educational programs to the community, focusing on
children and lower income households.

On Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 2:08 PM, Rich Points <rich@richpoints.com> wrote:

So, BNB, are you out there? Lemme know.

I'm curious why BNB isn't present on the Think Tank or at Bike Bike!  I can
think of some other groups like the Community Cycling Center in Portland.
 These are groups that are way more established than most of us and have a
lot to offer.  I think the communications we have here and at Bike Bike are
what makes us a movement and these more established groups should be part of
our conversations/discussions.

How can we get these groups involved?

Community Cycles