Last Sunday Poplar Ridge Meeting invited Friends Bike Clinic to hold a bike repair clinic after their meeting for worship. I brought some electric bikes there for people to try, and with them the message that reducing our dependence on automobiles is important. We had some wonderfully sincere discussions, the type of interaction that Quakers excel at. Afterthoughts (a period after meeting for worship during which people talk about messages given during meeting) centered around the topic of protest, including civil rights protest in the past and the recent climate march. There seemed to be a general feeling that protest is in the air, and Quakers are called upon to lead once again. I added that the climate issue calls for a different kind of protest; it’s less of a “speak truth to power” situation and more of a “let your life speak” situation. Translation for non-Quakers: it’s less important to appeal to authorities (the government, the fossil fuel industry, and Wall Street) and more important to lead by example.
Need a used bike?
Got a bike to sell?
Come to the Friends Bike Clinic Community Used Bike Sale!
Saturday August 23rd noon to 4pm
Sunday August 24th noon to 4pm
in Press Bay Alley at 118 West Green St.
This Saturday and Sunday Friends Bike Clinic will host a community used bike sale in Press Bay Alley located in downtown Ithaca. Bring a bike to sell, or come buy a bike! We’ll also have electric bikes you can try courtesy of Press Bay Alley’s Boxy Bikes!
Sellers: Friends Bike Clinic is not responsible for sellers’ bikes. Please come prepared to show your bike(s) in person during some sale hours. When you can’t be at the sale, lock your bike and leave price and contact information on it for potential buyers. Don’t leave your bike overnight.
Next Sunday 5/4 1pm to 5pm we’ll bring our tools to the Streets Alive event so that people can get help and help others fix bicycles. There will be many other activities including free electric bike rides by Boxy Bikes. As a consequence, we will not set up at the meetinghouse next Sunday.
Later in May FBC will host a “breakfast station” at the Quaker Meetinghouse for Bike to Work & School Day. We’ll be serving up oatmeal to all heroic bicycle commuters who stop by on Friday May 16th from 7:30 to 9:30am.
Ithaca Generator has been hosting a basic bike repair class in the new Press Bay Alley space. Students are volunteering to help out at bike clinics this spring and summer. The schedule is here; feel free to add yourself to this list as well.
FBC is proud to announce that we won a $350 Sustainable Tompkins Neighborhood Mini-grant. The grant will mainly go towards providing people with free brake shoes and brake cables. If you bike in hilly Ithaca, you know that it’s very important to have your brakes in good working order!
Friends Bike Clinic, in collaboration with Ithaca Generator, is offering a beginning bike repair class. John Guttridge of Urban Core LLC has generously allowed the class to take place in his Press Bay Alley retail space, affectionately know as the “Crystal Palace”. Students who take the class will informally serve as bike mechanics for bike clinics this summer. Details about the class are here. You are welcome to sign up late.
This month I traveled to Poplar Ridge Meeting (about half an hour northeast of Ithaca) not knowing what to expect. What I found was a vibrant welcoming meeting that had about a dozen bikes for us to work on together. One person gave me a chocolate bar, another brought bowls of soup, and my host Andrew Simkin gave me expert assistance and great conversation as we worked together. What a joy!
We held our final downtown bike repair clinic for the season on August 20th and our final meetinghouse clinic on August 25th. However, there is still work to be done! Over the season we’ve accumulated lots of bike parts and we haven’t had time to sort through them. If you’d like to help us do that, come to the meetinghouse at our regularly scheduled time of 1pm to 3pm on September 1st and 8th.
As the summer draws to a close we’ll be ramping down the number of clinics we offer. In particular, we are ending our downtown Press Bay Alley clinics a few weeks early due to construction in the alley. Our final clinics for 2013 will be on the following dates:
- August 25th 1pm to 3pm at the Quaker Meetinghouse (led by Morgan)
- September 15th 1pm to 3pm at Poplar Ridge Meeting
- Cornell campus (date and time to be determined)
- Ithaca College campus (date and time to be determined)
A big thanks to our spring interns Rosie Altucher (above) and Andrew Lem. You guys fearlessly and relentlessly helped dozens of people fix their bikes. And a big welcome to our summer interns: Morgan Michel-Schottman and (returning for a second term) Andrew Lem.