We had a rad show on the 9th! The opening band, Subpar, kicked ass and the mosh pit was ruling! Thanks to Rat Trap for finishing off the set with awesome vocals and violin!
Rat Trap is playin' at the Church 8 - 10 pm on November 9th! Come check it out! Free! All Ages Welcome!
Rat Trap is an Indie Folk Rock band from Santa Cruz, CA. They have been together since Summer 2010 and released their debut album "The Western Boundary" on March 3rd, 2011. The band is currently promoting their release and writing material for a second album.
Please help us reinstate a valuable City program of distributing unclaimed bicycles to youth by voicing your support at City Council on Tuesday, July 9th, 4:30pm, or by contacting Council members ahead of time.
For years unclaimed bicycles were given by the Santa Cruz Police Department to the Bike Church, which in turn distributed them to various nonprofits like Barrios Unidos, Project Bike Trip, and Green Ways to School. The broken and severely dysfunctional bikes were salvaged by the Bike Church, which makes used parts available cheap-to-free to the community, giving some away through our free-to-youth and adult work-trade programs.
Over the last year, the City has given unclaimed bikes instead to a for-profit business called the Bike Dojo, which has not invited other groups to participate, and which has sold many bikes which are supposed to go out for free to youth. Despite admitting these problems, the City has not taken any action to remedy the situation.
Please ask the City Council to immediately reinstate the distribution of unclaimed bicycles to youth for free through the Bike Church or another qualified nonprofit agency, as required by the Municipal Code (SCMC 2.24.120). The Bike Church is also calling for distributions open to all interested nonprofits in the City, as they were under the Bike Church's management, and for all years prior.
For a more detailed account of the story scroll down to our last blog post.
To contact your Council Members, come to Oral Communications on Tuesday, July 9th at 4:30pm, or contact the Council on your own:
Hilary Bryant: firstname.lastname@example.org, 420-5026
Lynn Robinson: email@example.com, 420-5020
Pamela Comstock: firstname.lastname@example.org, 420-5020
Don Lane: email@example.com, 420-5022
Cynthia Mathews: firstname.lastname@example.org, 420-5020
Micah Posner: email@example.com, 420-5028
David Terrazas: firstname.lastname@example.org, 420-5020
Thanks for your support,
The Bike Church Collective
SAMPLE LETTER TO COUNCIL:
Dear Council Members,
Thanks to the City for its years-long program of distributing unclaimed bicycles to youth in need through the help of the Bike Church. These distributions helped hundreds of youth gain access to bicycles, and I hope they are reinstated without delay.
I also want to express my support for the Bike Church, which offers a great service by teaching people how to fix bikes for themselves, as well as recycling tons of usable parts which otherwise would go to the landfill. The Bike Church is the kind of positive community resource that the City should be proud to have. They have also proven to be the most effective managers of the youth bicycle distributions, coordinating with numerous other organizations to get bikes to youth, while salvaging usable parts from the junk no one else wants. Please reinstate the Bike Church as managers of the program.
Until early last year, unclaimed bicycles at the Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) were distributed through local nonprofits to youth in need. Although the program was quite successful, distributing hundreds of bikes through more than a dozen nonprofits and public agencies, the City abruptly ended the program in early 2012. Without notifying prior participants, the City began distributing bicycles to a for-profit business, since which time the original nonprofits have not been invited to participate, and some bicycles have been sold in violation of City policy. Despite admitting these failings, the City has yet to take any action to remedy the situation. Youth and bicycle advocates are calling on the City to immediately reinstate the distribution of unclaimed bicycles for free to youth through partnerships with nonprofit agencies, as required by the Municipal Code.
The City began distributing unclaimed bicycles to youth in 1996. For years the program was administered by the SCPD, sometimes very successfully, while other times only intermittently or not at all. In 2008 distributions had stopped entirely and usable bikes were being sent instead to the landfill. At that time the Bike Church—a nonprofit repair shop and recycling center—stepped in, offering to help manage the program. The Bike Church facilitated City bike distributions for the next four years, getting over 400 free bikes to youth through various nonprofits and schools, and salvaging tons of usable bikes and parts which were not functional enough to give away. Hosting the distributions on their site, the Bike Church was also able to offer assistance with checking bikes over and performing minor repairs.
Despite this successful track record, the City ended its association with the Bike Church in early 2012. Without notifying past participants the City began to distribute the bicycles instead to the Bike Dojo, a for-profit business which, according to the municipal code (SCMC 2.24.120), should not be allowed to participate in the program. Although the Bike Dojo does have a youth program, it is neither a nonprofit nor sponsored by one. Meanwhile, they sold many of the adult-sized bicycles which previously had gone out for free to high school students in need. City staff have confirmed that these sales were made in violation of City policy.
Under the Bike Church's management and for all years prior, City bicycle distributions were open to all interested nonprofits and public agencies. Although many other groups participated as well, the most consistent partners with the Bike Church were Barrios Unidos, Green Ways to School, the Western Service Workers Association, Project Bike Trip's high school repair classes, and the Watsonville Bike Shack. All five of these partners wrote to the City last fall praising the former distribution program and the Bike Church's implementation of it, and asking that it be reinstated. The City has not responded with any substantive actions, but instead continues to distribute bicycles to the Bike Dojo.
It is notable that then-Mayor Don Lane has since apologized to the Bike Church for issuing a statement which in many respects has been proven to be false. Among other things, Lane had asserted that the Bike Dojo's youth program was a nonprofit, and that they were not selling any bikes. City staff later confirmed that the Bike Dojo was selling City bicycles in violation of City code, and that their youth program is not a nonprofit. In addition, they noted that the Bike Dojo has failed to comply with City direction to invite nonprofits to participate, and has not kept records of their bike sales. In spite of all this, the City has continued to give bikes to the Bike Dojo, while denying access to the Bike Church, Barrios Unidos, and all the other organizations that would like to make use of this valuable community resource.
Former participants in the program are calling on the City to immediately reinstate the distribution of unclaimed bicycles to youth through partnerships with nonprofit agencies, as required by the Municipal Code.
Andres Ruan takes a moment of pause before the ride back to Santa Cruz.
On Saturday a group of youth left from the Bike Church heading towards Monterey. They used pedal power for transportation. Most had never rode their more than 10 miles. The trip to Monterey, about 45 miles,was a total success. A few flat tires and some tired legs were the only troubles. Thanks to all who participated!
Local News Coverage: Teens Bike the Bay
Thanks to Greenways to School Director Tawn Kennedy, PeoplePower! Director Amelia Conlen, and Bike Church Mechanic Steve Schnaar for organizing and joining along for the ride.
Trials rider Matt Meyer layed out some rad tricks at the Harbor High School Bikesplosive Assembly in December. Assistant Principal Hodges took the plunge and stared death in the face as Matt jumped back and forth.
People Power intern Cassie Monahan MC-ed for the day, weaving his wry sense of humor and awesome style of dress into the assembly. Thanks Cassie!
Greenways to School Coordinator Tawn Kennedy and Sandino Gomez, a community organizer, do track stands to start off the assembly.
Hey Everyone! The Bike Church is back after a two week hiatus in honor or the winter solstice. Come by the shop from 3 - 7 Monday through Friday for all your bikey needs.
The Bike Church set up a mobile bike stand at one end of the barricade on West Cliff Drive. Lots of folks oiled their chains and a few even trued their wheels.
BC Mechanic Steve shows a fellow volunteer the basics of wheel trueing.
A Ukelele Band was performing to a sizeable audience.
This guys helped his kid get around on the tricycle.
Indio cruised by on the back of this awesome cargo bike for a visit to Youth Hours at The Bike Church. The shop is now open the first Saturday of each month from 10 am - 2 pm for youth to explore and learn about bicycles. No experience is necessary! If you are under 18 - head on down!