Wednesday, January 28, 2009


This past weekend SoPo of Atlanta hosted the very first southeast Bike!Bike! SoPo estimates about 65 people came this past weekend, representing 22 community bike repair shops and projects. And of course, yours truely made sure the 904 got repped.

Bike!Bike! is about workshops, it's about meeting people and networking, it's about sharing and disseminating different methods of doing things and the thoughts behind them. Perhaps the most beautiful thing was seeing how each of us are interacting within our own community, how we grasp the idea that different cities have different local needs, and how we all act to connect, understand and meet those needs. I realized just how much Zombie Bikes is very different than other bicycle co-ops, and yet still slightly the same. There are things we are doing well, and things we need to work on.

A big flaw at Zombie is the way we take in bikes. Often bikes taken in for repair aren't adequetly marked as to what needs to be fixed. There are some reasons for this, sometimes its not a specific Zombie volunteer who takes in the bike, sometimes we think we might get to it the day it comes in, sometimes we're just lazy, etc. There was some awesome paperwork available at the conference we hope might guide us in this organizational arena. Other times, when a person brings in a bike for repair we are sometimes too quick to just fix it, instead of aiding the person to pick up a wrench and fix it themselves. Perhaps we need to re-look at the way we present Zombie.

Another shortcoming we have compared to a number of co-ops is our focus on youth inclusion, particularily the neighborhood youth. New Orleans' RUBARB co-op is doing amazing things with the children in their area, and were able to give us a great youth packet. While our shop might never be young kid-friendly, there's no reason we can't push for high school youth days one or two afternoons a week. Joe's excited about this and has already organized our group for a library trip this weekend. But maybe we should also start talking about ways to talk with Springfield-centric public schools about promoting bikes, and talking to more neighborhood kids.

There's more to comment on, but this is going to be a two-parter.

until then, we hope to see you tonight at our workshop/movie extravaganza

hugs and kisses


duval destroyer said...

i would be glad to help with a fundraiser to help get bikes for springfield kids. let me know...


YES this would be awesome,

but maybe we shouldn't first start w/ just bikes, but fundraising to get volunteers out to the local schools. money to get copies of bike information, doing bike safety courses/electives. getting volunteers to talk with schools on giving phys ed credits to kids who bike to school. maybe organizing a bike to school program, where a volunteer bikes house-to-house to "pick up" kids and get them biking. and then getting to how we switch from outside volunteers to parents/older siblings?

jaxscene said...

psssst! pictures from Saturday: