We’re hoping the heat breaks a little for our gathering next week; it is sweltering in the warehouse right now! The Working Bikes team — staff, volunteers, and interns — are hard at work nonetheless, and our new ice machine has been put to the test. We’re looking forward to keeping the ice flowing and gathering for some cold drinks and good company Wednesday, August 2nd, at 6:30 PM for our next General Meeting. As usual, everyone is welcome before the meeting for a potluck — please feel free to bring a dish or drinks to share — and we’ll get started with official business at 6:30 PM. This month, we’ll be joined by Sebastians on two continents — our own intern, Sebastian Ramirez, will share some of his work following up with Cycle of Power recipients, while Sebastian Pope will give us an update on the Chipego shop in Zambia all the way from Zambia! Please join us at the warehouse if you’re in town, or remotely at the link below if you can’t make it in and would like to be part of the conversation
Mark your calendars – the Working Bikes 24th Anniversary Party is coming up on Saturday, October 7th! We’ll be taking over 24th Place once again to celebrate block party style, complete with trick bike races, music, a raffle, and much more! Food and beverages will be provided by some of our favorite local vendors, including Flor Azteca—a co-operative from Telpochcalli Community Education Project, CHAOS Brew Club, and Revolution Brewing. The anniversary celebration is a time to gather with the WB community, toast to the accomplishments of the past 24 years, and raise funds to support our work as we enter into another year of giving old bikes new life. We hope to see you there!
Fresh off a visit from our partner in Sierra Leone, Karim, aka Stylish, we are in full swing at Working Bikes! We’ve got one community ride and massive donation under our belt, a new partnership with READI that’s bringing a ton of energy to the shop through the week, new regular instruction sessions in Brandon’s, and a ton of volunteer wrenches and container packers that are getting bikes out to the folks who need them. We’ll gather to talk about it all and plan more for the future, both in person and virtually, next Wednesday, June 6th, for a hybrid meeting. All are cordially invited to attend in person anytime after 6:00pm. Bring a dish or some drinks to share if you like, and though we’ve lifted our mask and vaccine mandate policy, we still want to keep our community healthy — please hang back if you’re feeling at all ill. We’ll be starting the meeting and activating the Zoom link (see below) promptly at 6:30pm. We’ll be joined by our partner Dave Simmons, head of Ride Illinois, to talk about their work and a project we’re partnering on, and just in case you didn’t get the chance to interact with Stylish when he was in town, we’ll have him remote, from DC (only 1 time zone away) to talk about all that he accomplishes in Sierra Leone AND reflect on his recent visit to Chicago. We look forward to seeing you there!
The activity is starting to pick up around Working Bikes, with spring collection season and nice riding weather just around the corner. That’s not to say we’ve had an inactive winter — we’ve been busy with strategic planning, mechanic training, organizing, and keeping bikes rolling! We’ve got a lot to discuss as we talk about what’s been accomplished and what lies ahead for Working Bikes. We’ll get together in person and virtually next Wednesday, April 5th, for a hybrid meeting — the first since we’ve lifted our mask mandate in the shop and vaccine requirements for volunteers (though both are still welcome and encouraged!). Folks are cordially invited to attend in person anytime after 6:00pm. Bring a dish or some drinks to share if you like, and please hang back if you’re feeling at all ill. We’ll be starting the meeting and activating the Zoom link (see below) promptly at 6:30pm. This time, we’ll be joined by North Lawndale’s own Derek Brown, founder of Boxing Out Negativity (and leader of Bike Out Negativity coming up in May) and our friend Jesus Mariela, Director of cycling programming at CESTA, our partner in El Salvador. We look forward to seeing you there!
A lot of us know David Byrne from his time in the Talking Heads. Lots of bike heads also know what a fan Mr. Byrne is of two-wheeled, self-powered transportation, taking his trusty Montague on tour with him and capturing his thoughts on experiencing the world from a saddle in a collection of essays called The Bicycle Diaries (or if our friends at Open Books sell that copy, here’s another link). But did you know he started a foundation, which then created a publication? Called Reasons to be Cheerful, Working Bikes was excited to be highlighted as such. Check out the piece written by Michaela Haas, who was introduced to Working Bikes by her work with Rotary International, here.