Bike!BIke! is an annual gathering of community bike projects.
Recyclery staff and volunteers joined a bunch of others for Bike!BIke! in Columbus, Ohio. Bike!Bike! is an international gathering of community bicycle projects similar to the Recyclery. It’s a great time to learn from each other, compare notes, and see what is going on in other parts of the bike world.
Nern gives us directions to the bike trail.
To get there, Tomas and Jesse packed up their bikes and took buses to Cincinnati. In Cincy, we stayed with Nern Ostendorf, director of the advocacy organization Queen City Bike. Nern started off at the Recyclery when it was in an Evanston basement, so it was great to catch up!
We met Darren and Taylor at Alex’s place.
Darren and Taylor joined us for the ride to Columbus. Former Recyclery mechanic Darren is now wrenching and probably planning a revolution from his new home in New Orleans. Taylor runs amazing youth programs at Philly’s Neighborhood Bike Works. They had stayed the night with Alex who was super friendly and provided us with tasty, cold beer.
We took the Little Miami Scenic Trail.
From Cincinnati we rode north along the Little Miami Scenic Trail. There is an impressive amount of Rails-to-Trails bike paths in Ohio. Our path was mostly flat, straight with trees — boring but pleasant. We ate lunch at a lovely picnic area and cooled off in the Little Miami River.
Biker Bob greeted us at Yellow Springs.
Camping at Yellow Springs.
At Yellow Springs we met many friendly locals eager to share their cycling enthusiasm. Biker Bob seemed to be the local bike path caretaker. He told us about a “hellacious” music festival we’d be missing. Another character shared about his terrible touring experience with a mountain bike and a bag of charcoal. We camped at John Bryan State Park.
We made it!
We the following day we arrived at the Third Hand Bicycle Co-op! Third Hand folks did an excellent job of making sure everything ran smoothly and hosting several hundred attendees. The conference was packed with too much info to fully cover, but here are some highlights:
- I attended a workshop led by some Bike Pirates on the need for Women and Trans shop times.
- We checked out the tall bikes of the Righteous Mothers Bike Club.
- Another workshop discussed the importance on keeping your hands off during Open Shop. Like many other bike projects, our primary goal is education and empowerment rather than the efficient completion of bikes.
- Taylor shared about her work at Neighborhood Bike Works. I was impressed by their extensive tiered levels of youth programming.
- Bike!Bike! Zine!Zine! was created. We’re excited about this collaborative media outlet for bike projects and co-ops.
The best part of Bike!Bike! is really just meeting so many inspiring people working for bike projects around the world! It’s great to feel that we are not the only ones facing challenges while working to better the world through used bicycles. There’s a lot of support out there and BIke!Bike! is a treasure of experience and insight.
Tomas rode a tall bike at the Righteous Mothers Bike Club.
Third Hand has a beautiful shop space!
We shared experiences and learned things at workshops!
We listened to music with a bike-powered amp and speakers.
Critical Mass in Columbus!
Next year’s Bike’!Bike! will be held Guadalajara, Mexico. Time to get out that passport!