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.
Working Bikes is partnering with Lyft to create the Community Mechanic Training Program (CMTP), a series of workshops designed to teach community members essential bike mechanic skills! The goal of this program is to help train up future bike mechanics, focused specifically on folks who have barriers to employment and historical underrepresentation in the bicycle industry. Starting in last 2021, Working Bikes staff hosted information sessions for community members to learn more about the CMTP. Recruitment for program members is focused on the neighborhoods surrounding our shop, including North Lawndale, Little Village, and Pilsen. To do this, we’re speaking directly with customers, volunteers, and our neighborhood partners to get the word out about the program!
The first cohort of mechanics in training have already started getting their hands dirty! Xail and Sarah have been leading the group in some of bike 101 basics, including tool and part identification, flat fixes, and the beginning bike systems. After 6 weeks, the mechanics will be ready to seek out employment throughout the city’s network of bike shops, as well as with our program partners at Lyft/Divvy! The second cohort will begin later this month and will be focused on working with Spanish speaking community members. We’re excited to share skills with and support the growing number of bike mechanics in our community! We’ll be sure to takes plenty of photos along the way!
Thank you to everyone that joined us for the last general meeting of 2021! For those that weren’t able to make it earlier this month, don’t worry! Recordings of both guest speakers – Karim Kamara from Village Bicycle Project in Sierra Leone and Olatunji Oboi Reed from our local partner Equiticity – are available on our YouTube channel. You can find links to both videos below, along with the meeting minutes.
Working Bikes will also be holding elections for new board members at the upcoming Annual Meeting on February 2nd, 2022 (mark your calendars!). Interested in joining our board? Statements of interests (see link below) can be sent to Trevor or Phil prior to the February meeting.
Working Bikes is excited to invite the public back inside its space starting on July 7th!
Up to 10 customers can be inside the store at once to shop for used parts, accessories, and children’s bikes. For the comfort and safety of everyone, customers and staff will wear masks, and masks will be available at the door. Refurbished bicycles are still warehoused and available on our webstore for curbside pick-up, and we’ve expanded our 30 Day Guarantee to make the bike buying process easier. Dedicated used parts sales on Saturdays will be discontinued, with customers now having the option to shop directly for their at-home refurbishment needs. Repairs will still be scheduled for curbside drop-off and pick-up through the Working Bikes website or by contacting the Service Department mechanics at [email protected] or (773) 977-7138. Volunteers are also still welcome to schedule a time to come by and lend a hand via the Volunteer Portal!
We look forward to welcoming you back to Working Bikes!
Shopping for a bike online doesn’t have to be intimidating! We’ve updated our Bike Sizing Tips information to better assist customers looking for their perfect ride. You can read all the tips on the webstore, but a good place to start is thinking about the style of bike you’re interested in. Working Bikes lists our refurbished adult bikes in four main categories: Road, Mountain, Hybrid, and Cruiser. Each type of bike has certain characteristics that make them ideal for different styles of riding. Check out a brief description of the styles below!
The 2020 Annual Report is now available! Take a look at our year in review, complete with year-end totals, stories from our partners, and community highlights. While 2020 was certainly a challenging year, we did our part to keep folks rolling, making the necessary changes to provide a safe and accessible service.
The Working Bikes Annual Meeting recently took place as well, and we were so excited to have two of our amazing partners share a bit about their work. If you weren’t able to join us for the meeting, you can view our partner discussions, featuring Jon and Ben Voss from Africycle, and Derek Brown and Julie Globokar from Boxing out Negativity, on the Working Bikes YouTube channel.
Thank you to everyone who supported Working Bikes with your time, donations, and contributions last year, and here’s to another year of empowering individuals and communities through bikes!
Winter riding doesn’t have to be intimidating. It just takes planning and some preparedness to ensure you’re rolling safe and warm. In need of some gear to protect yourself from the elements? Visit our Winter Cycling section on the webstore to see our selection of items for your bike and your body. Looking for something special this holiday season? Check out some of the great items we currently have on the Treat Yourself or Someone Else section! We have deals on a number of our higher end road bikes (and a tandem!), along with some ways to support our community of riders that are part of our local donation program.
How to measure your inseam for a Working Bikes bike
How to choose the style and size bicycle that best suits you
Adjusting the seat to the proper height
ESSENTIAL SERVICE UPDATE
Read on for further details.
SHOP CLOSURE AND SERVICE UPDATE
UPDATED FEBRUARY 2021: Working Bikes is closed to the general public. If you are interested in purchasing a refurbished bike, our full inventory of bikes, along with new accessories and gear, is available on our online store. Our Service Department will also be open for drop-off repair services and curbside pick-ups. Contact the Service Department with questions, or schedule an appointment to drop off your bike for service. Send questions to: [email protected], (773) 977-7138.
Working Bikes wants to keep you all rolling, and we’re doing it with the help of the world wide web! Our webstore is up and running, and though it used to be focused on the hard to find specialty bikes and parts around our warehouse, we will be adding some of inventory of the affordable refurbished bikes Working Bikes is known for, along with some parts and accessories everyday cyclists need. If you are looking for used parts, please email [email protected] or give us a call at (773) 527-2949. Folks interested in purchasing items from the webstore can schedule a curbside pick-up at our home base. Contact us with questions or to schedule a pick-up! [email protected]
Working Bikes is open to receive donations Tuesday-Friday between 12pm-5pm and on Saturdays between 11am-3pm. Please give us a call or text us when you are outside so we can be sure to receive your donation! You can also check our list of partnering drop-off locations for a donation site that might be in your area.
LOCAL DONATIONS UPDATE
We believe in bikes as tools of empowerment, and through our local donation program we provide individuals in Chicago the transportation to access community resources. However, to keep people safe and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 we will be changing up our Cycle of Power program and putting a temporary halt on having recipients into the warehouse for a bike pick-up and helmet fitting. We are working to find the best way to meet the needs of the people in Chicago who need transportation. One avenue we are exploring is donating bikes in service of delivery. Working Bikes is looking to collaborate with community groups and social service organizations who are working to deliver goods and medical supplies to folks who are homebound. If you have any suggestions for how we can best support people here in Chicago email us at [email protected].
We’ve reopened to volunteers but are requiring folks to sign up ahead of time. You can sign-up for a shift on the Volunteer Portal. Contact [email protected] with any questions. We also encourage folks that have at-home workshops to take a bike or two home to repair remotely. If you are interested in taking bikes home to repair on your own, contact [email protected].
We love bringing folks together at Working Bikes, but now is not the time for gathering. All in-house events have been cancelled. However, we will still host our General Meetings remotely, with an option for electronic participation. We anticipate participating in several collection events this year, but will respond according to any updated safety guidelines. Please refer to our calendar for updates regarding upcoming bike drives.
We are so thankful for the amazing community of volunteers, patrons, donors, and staff that make-up Working Bikes. We will continue to keep everyone updated, but don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions. Be sure to follow-us on Facebook and Instagram for updates.
Stay well, wear a mask, and look out for one another.
In order to ensure the health and safety of our community, Working Bikes is cancelling all weekly Volunteer Sessions and events through the end of March. Starting today (Friday, March 13th), Brandon’s will not be open to regular drop-in volunteers or groups. Our event Global Impact Stories scheduled for Sunday, March 29th has also be postponed until further notice. Best practices with regards to COVID-19 evolve daily, so please be sure to keep an eye on your inboxes, our website, and our Facebook page for up to date announcements. We will be sure to let you know if anything changes, but for now greatly appreciate your support and understanding.
In the meantime, we want to try and keep wrenching on bikes as much as possible! That is why we are offering member volunteers the option to take home a bike to work on while Brandon’s is closed. If you are a member volunteer and have the necessary tools, please contact [email protected] and we can coordinate getting a bike to you for refurbishment. Not sure if you are a member? Get in touch with us!
The service department and shop will remain open with regular hours, but again be sure to check for updates in case the schedule changes.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
Peace + Bike Grease,
The Working Bikes Crew