Tour de Fat Volunteers needed

TDF Mainstage image
Saturday, Sept. 1st – TOUR de FAT hits the streets of Fort Collins; Once again this year the Co-op will benefit from a percentage of beer sales and sales of T-shirts and New Belgium merchandise. We still have 50 shifts to fill here. Since we trained so many Co-op volunteers last year in TIPS, we won’t be requiring new volunteers to take this training this year. If you took the training last year, please signup again this year and bring that TIPS experience to the event. Note that if you plan to ride the TDF parade there are plenty of afternoon shifts when you can help and still pedal in the parade. You can sign up for shifts at Tour de Fat here:
http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0A4EA9AD2B0-20121
Volunteers receive two beverage tokens and a Tour de Fat T-shirt!!
Please try to bring a friend, Mom and Dad, or even Gramma and Grandpa – we’d love to have them help! Help the Co-op make Tour de Fat successful.
More info needed? Contact Doug at president@fcbikecoop.org

Bike Co-op recognized with Environmental Stewardship Award

Ben Gannon accepted the Environmental Stewardship award on behalf of the Bike Co-op and all of our recycling volunteers.

The Board of Larimer County Commissioners today announced the 2011 Larimer County Environmental Stewardship Awards. These awards, began in 1995, are given each year to honor the environmental efforts of county residents, businesses and organizations. To date 58 awards have been presented to programs, people and organizations since the program began 17 years ago. Today five more recipients are added.  Winning programs are innovative and proactive, and show exceptional effort and concern for stewardship of the environment of Larimer County.
The County’s volunteer-citizen Environmental Advisory Board reviews the nominations and makes recommendations to the Commissioners who determine the recipients.
The Fort Collins Bicycle Co-op, for their comprehensive actions designed to make bicycles and bicycle riders sustainable. These efforts include: bicycle safety education for children, such as the bike rodeo and helmet distribution; repairing and returning refurbished bikes that were abandoned or unclaimed to the community and to Ghana as part of the village bicycle project; recycling the steel, aluminum, and rubber from worn out bikes; and, embracing the principle of sustainability and providing an important example.

Thanks to all the volunteers who make this happen for our community!

More details about additional recipients here:

Book shows how to make Fort Collins a better bike town

Joyride: Cover ImageBy Rick Price, Ph.D. (Rick is the Safe Cycling Coordinator for the Bike Co-op; this column was published in the Fort Collins Coloradoan on January 3, 2011; Rick’s Smart Cycling columns appear the 1st and 3rd Mondays of every month in the Coloradoan)
Mia Birk’s book, “Joyride: Pedaling toward a Healthier Planet,” is a how-to manual for creating a first-class bicycle community. Both City Council and city staff would benefit from reading Birk as a way to put Fort Collins even more in the lead in this national movement.
Birk recounts a perfect storm of events when she became bicycle coordinator in Portland in 1993. Congress had just funded the first six-year federal transportation package that included a small allocation for “transportation enhancements.”
“Enhancements” were meant to fund transit, bicycling and walking facilities as Congress
attempted to counter the “roads only” policies of state departments of transportation. This enabled states and cities like Fort Collins and Portland to write bicycle plans and to hire bicycle coordinators.
In Portland in 1990, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, or BTA, had been founded, and was to become one of the most active advocacy groups in the nation. Earl Blumenauer, now Congressman from Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District and founder of the Congressional Bike Caucus, was Portland’s Commissioner of Public Utilities. With Blumenauer’s support and with the backing of the BTA, Birk set out to make Portland, a city of 500,000 people, a friendlier place to ride a bicycle.
As she explains in “Joyride,”Birk had a series of revelations during the first years of her job that opened her eyes to the challenges she faced. Despite enjoying great support in the bicycle community, she noted that “if I spend my time preachin’ to the gospel choir, the bicycle revolution isn’t going to spread very far.” Additionally, when Portland’s traffic engineers suggested that rather than stripe bicycle lanes, they get the police to enforce the law to encourage more cyclists, she noted “the police won’t even talk to me (as bicycle coordinator),” let alone enforce the rules of the road to protect cyclists.
Another revelation came after her third bike-to-work day,when Birk asked herself, “is this helping to get more people out riding? Is my time best spent running events like his, or working on bikeway projects?” The answer, she found, was that she needed to mobilize the non-bicyclists in town, build bike paths and lanes and to become more of a catalyst in bringing people together to change the culture in order to get reluctant cyclists on their bikes. “It’s not enough to adopt a Bicycle Plan, she wrote, “we’ve got to retrain all the humans involved, both inside and outside government.”
So Birk began with neighborhood meetings at Denny’s. Then she met with the Lions Club. Once she was fully under way, she was meeting with “business groups, ethnic groups, neighborhood associations, school groups, churches” and, as she explains it, “pretty much anyone who” would listen in a series of 60 meetings across Portland.
The results of Birk’s work are impressive to the degree that “Joyride”should be required reading for anyone who wants to see bicycle ridership double in Fort Collins.

Get plugged in

1081546_e0b93f4514There are a lot of different ways for you to keep up with the Co-op these days.  We thought we would list all of the different methods here.  Then you can go ahead and pick your favorite.

Mailing lists

News– This list is to keep the general public up to date with things happening at the co-op.  This list receives 2-3 emails a month on average.  To join, just send an email to news-join@fcbikecoop.org with nothing in the subject or body.
Volunteers – This list is to keep Co-op volunteers up to date with all of the internal happenings at the Co-op.  This list receives 1-2 emails per week on average.  To join, sign up as a volunteer over at the volunteers page.

The Blog

Since you’re reading this post, I’ll assume you know about our blog.  You might like to keep up to date using the blog rss feed.  You can also have emails sent to you each time a new blog entry is posted.  Sign-up for that over on the left side of the blog page, under the “Follow Us” heading

Facebook

Of course we have a Facebook page, everyone has a facebook page.
Fort Collins Bike Co-op Facebook page

The blog posts end up there as well, but feel free to subscribe to both if you’d like

Co-op Contacts

If you’re looking to get in touch with us here at the Co-op, check out the Contact page.

Co-op cycles into new locale

Rick Price, safe cycling coordinator at Fort Collins Bike Co-op, checks a bicycle at the co-op's new facility at 331 N. College Ave. (Dawn Madura/The Coloradoan)
Rick Price, safe cycling coordinator at Fort Collins Bike Co-op, checks a bicycle at the co-op's new facility at 331 N. College Ave. (Dawn Madura/The Coloradoan)

Question: What services does the Bike Co-op offer?
Answer: The Bike Co-op does everything it can to keep our community bicycling, including those who can’t afford to buy a bike. We try to educate our neighbors in all things bike-related including bike maintenance, bicycle education and safety. We keep good bikes out of the landfill and recycle poorly built or unsafe bikes. We refurbish and donate bicycles for a wide variety of charity events and programs for those in need, including the Earn-a-Bike program.
Q: How long has it been in existence?
A: (The co-op has been open) since spring 2003.
Q: When and where did the co-op move?
A: (The co-op) first moved from its original location in the winter 2007-08 and to its current location, 331 N. College Ave., in late August.
Q: Why did the co-op decide to relocate?
A: Adequate space for the Co-op means enough room for workspace, offices and storage as well as heated quarters to allow for full operational mode through the winter months; we didn’t have either of these at our last location. That’s the reason we moved to a temporary heated space last winter, and we’d rather not do that again as this is like moving three or four houses. Until late August, we were housed in city space linked to our work for the city with the Bike Library and the Found and Abandoned bikes for the city’s police services.
Q: What advantages/disadvantages does the new location offer?
A: Advantages: The entire operation is under one roof, we have heat, and we have great visibility on College Avenue. The disadvantages are that we now have to pay rent. Since we can sell services and bicycles from our new location, though (we were not allowed to do so from the city space) we hope to sell a few used bikes to cover the rent. (But donations are welcome to help pay that, too).
Q: How has the public reacted to the move?
A: With excitement and enthusiasm as most folks around town knew our last situation was no good, especially during the winter months. We are now outfitted in every aspect to better serve the community within this new format. People seem to love our new home as much as we do. Now that we are open (from) 2 to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, we are attracting more and more people to sign up as volunteers, to register for our Earn-a-Bike program and those just looking for bike parts.
Q: What will the open house on Saturday entail?
A: Short, informal guided tours of our new facility (8,600 square feet). Come and see how many bikes get thrown away in this community annually. Ask questions about our programs and learn how you can help as a volunteer. Oh yeah, did we say that we’ve got Christmas presents? Pick up three helmets for the entire family for $25 (yes, that’s a package of three for $25), lights and locks as stocking stuffers as well. Or maybe you need mountain bikes? We’ve got a bunch.
Q: How will the new building lend to future growth?
A: For the most part, our programs are not tied to a place. That said, having winter space to work in will allow us to prepare Earn-a-Bikes for the public throughout the winter and to teach bicycle maintenance year-round.
Q: What is the Earn-a-Bike program?
A: People in the community can earn a quality, fully refurbished bicycle from the co-op by volunteering 20 hours at any nonprofit in town; those in need referred by a social work agency only need to volunteer 10 hours to receive a bike from the co-op.