Job Title: Bicycle Mechanic/Shop Attendant
The Bike Church is a cooperatively run bicycle repair shop and educational space located in downtown Santa Cruz. We are seeking a highly motivated team player to assist with running the shop, which includes both working with the public during our open hours as well as maintaining and running the shop in the off hours. The Bike Church is a cooperative which means you will be working side-by-side with other mechanics on jobs that include but are not limited to: assisting the public in working on bikes, processing incoming donations of used bikes and parts, fixing bikes to sell, office work, cleaning, inventory, as well as one-off projects which vary.
You should be a focused individual who is task-oriented and understands the importance of communication. It is not required but helpful if applicants have some familiarity with our space. Likewise, a good working knowledge of bicycle mechanics is preferable, but as this is just one of many qualities required for the job, we invite applicants who may have less comprehensive knowledge of bicycle mechanics but are strong in other areas. Interest in bookkeeping is a plus. An important value of the Bike Church is to be a safe space for individuals from our community no matter their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, income, or ability. Thus any applicants must also be able to foster, respect and create a safe space for our community. In addition, the Bike Church is at times a very vibrant, busy space, and staff members must have strong people skills and communication about boundaries.
To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter by 2/28 to:
703 Pacific Ave
Santa Cruz CA 95060
http://www.mayapedal.org/My friend from Guatemala just shared the info with me about this rad bicycle cooperative in Guatemala called Maya Pedal.
Here's some more info. Check out their website for more!
Maya Pedal is a Guatemalan NGO based in San Andrés Itzapa. We accept bikes donated from the USA and Canada which we either recondition to sell, or we use the components to build a range of "Bicimaquinas", (pedal powered machines).
Pedal power can be harnessed for countless applications which would otherwise require electricity (which may not be available) or hand power (which is far more effort). Bicimaquinas are easy and enjoyable to use. They can be built using locally available materials and can be easily adapted to suit the needs of local people. They free the user from rising energy costs, can be used anywhere, are easy to maintain, produce no pollution and provide healthy exercise.
We make water pumps, grinders, threshers, tile makers, nut shellers, blenders (for making soaps and shampoos as well as food products), trikes, trailers and more.
Hey Bike Church lovers,
Have you ever thought to yourself, "Self, wouldn't it be rad to have a Bike Church T-shirt!?" Well behold, your dreams have become reality. The Bike Church now has super cool t-shirts available, offered at a sliding scale of $15-25.
Printed by our friends at BU Productions, the shirts are double-sided with English and Spanish, and the message, "I fixed my bike at the Bike Church/ Yo arrelgo mi bicicleta en La Biciglesia". We have shirts in blue, tan, and yellow. There is also a mix of which language is on the front vs the back.
Bike Church shirts are available at the counter during our open hours, Mon-Sat 3-7pm.
Tuesday, January 28th the Santa Cruz City Council will decide whether or not to reinstate the long-standing program of distributing unclaimed bicycles to youth in need. Please let the Council Members know you think this is a valuable program! You can let them know in person at the meeting, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. The meeting is held at SC City Hall, and it will be in the afternoon session, our item starting likely between 3:15-4:15pm.
To: Santa Cruz City Council <email@example.com>
Dear Council Members,
In this time of historic economic hardship, it is essential that we maintain programs which help meet the basic needs of low-income families and individuals. Therefore we urge you to restore the City’s youth bicycle distribution program immediately. While it is easy for many of us to take for granted something as simple as owning a bicycle, for many families the cost of a new or even a professionally-refurbished used bike is prohibitively expensive.
To own a bicycle can make a huge difference in the life of a young person, giving them freedom of transportation, as well as supporting active healthy lifestyles. This value far outweighs any minor revenue that might be generated by auctioning off these unclaimed bicycles.
Thanks for your consideration, and we look forward to the renewal of this valuable program.
Every year the City ends up with hundreds of bikes which are not claimed and must be dealt with somehow. Because the bikes are generally of moderate to low quality and many are in disrepair, they offer little cash value to the City through auctioning. Therefore in 1996 the City began distributing them to youth in need, turning these old bikes into a valuable community resource. The distributions were open to any qualified nonprofit or government agency, and got out many hundreds of bikes to youth who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to own a bicycle.
Although a valuable program, participation varied over the years and sometimes the administration felt like a drain to the SCPD, which in 2008 stopped distributions and began sending bikes instead to the landfill. At that point the nonprofit repair shop the Bike Church approached the City, offering to handle most of the administration of the program. For the next four years, the Bike Church held 16 distributions, getting out 415 bikes through a variety of nonprofits, while salvaging tons of usable material from the scraps that no one else was able to make use of.
In early 2012, the City ended this important program without any notification to the Bike Church or other participating groups. Bikes were delivered instead to a for-profit business that sold many bikes which previously would have gone free to youth, and which did not invite the former nonprofit participants to take any of the bicycles. The five groups that had matched up the most bikes to youth prior to this change—Barrios Unidos, Green Ways to School, Project Bike Trip, Watsonville Bike Shack, and Western Service Workers Association—all wrote letters to the City praising the former program and the Bike Church's management of it, and asking that it be reinstated. However no changes were made at that time.
The following summer in August 2013, acknowledging that the municipal code does not allow distributions through a for-profit business, the City suspended distributions entirely. City Manager Bernal stated at that time the intention to invite proposals from nonprofits to partner with the City in renewing the program. However due to behind-the-scenes pressure by some Council Members this plan was never moved forward, with bikes now being auctioned off for as far as we know the first time since 1996.
Fortunately, the City Council will have the opportunity to vote on this matter next week, and we hope they will listen to the overwhelming community support for giving the bikes to youth instead of auctioning them off.
Lastly, we wanted to let you know we have a discussion about this issue on the Civinomics site, which tries to foster constructive dialogues and allows you to vote on things like this: https://civinomics.com/initiative/4QQW/reinstate-distribution-of-unclaimed-bicycles-to-youth/show
Dear Unlicensed Bike Riders,
The Bike church is now cooperating with the City to offer free bicycle registration.
Currently the police end up with hundreds of bikes each year that are not registered, and no one ever claims them. Bike licensing may not solve the problem of bike theft, but certainly it will help get some bikes back to their rightful owners. Plus you get a cool sticker!
So next time you're in the neighborhood drop by and we'll get you set up with a CA bicycle license.
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.
The Bike Church Tool Cooperative is a collectively run organization. Various Mechanics update this blog and website.