Who are the children of the Christmas Bike project?

A friend asked me last week what the Christmas Bike Build entails. Her question got me thinking that maybe others would also like to know, too. Each year, Revolutions receives donated kids bikes that we overhaul  for the Christmas Kids Bikes project. We work with Shelby Farms and two programs at the YMCA: Y-CAP and the Multicultural Achieves.. The folks at the Y choose the children from these programs who will receive bikes. I thought you might like to know a bit more about what these programs do.

bike giveaway 2

The YMCA says, on their website, about the Y-CAP program:

Y-CAP IS A PREVENTION AND EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAM FOR AT-RISK YOUTH

A holistic approach is used to teach positive values and behaviors. In most cases, youth are first professionally referred to the Y-CAP program from juvenile court systems, school systems and other professional agencies. They are then engaged in activities that promote positive self-worth, goal-setting, improved behaviors, satisfactory academic performance and community service. The program also includes special components for parents/guardians and family members.

The Director of the Multicultural Achievers says:

The YMCA Multicultural Youth Achievers Program originates from our national YMCA Black Achievers program established in 1971 to motivate and encourage African American teens toward academic and career success.  In keeping with the focus of the original founding model, our Multicultural Achievers remains committed to the development of all youth, and like the national Black Achievers movement, has expanded the scope of the program to incorporate all racial groups with an emphasis on minorities.

Our Multicultural Achievers Program at Health Innovations YMCA, focuses on a younger group of children so that we can instill in them at an earlier age the purpose of going to school, focusing on academic achievement and for setting educational goals beyond high school.  At the same time, we work with goals for healthy living by providing nutrition and exercise instruction.

Although the program is designed to help youth achieve academic success, the program has components for the entire family.  The program includes ESL classes for parents and we ask families to join us in financial literacy, nutrition and exercise classes, educational field trips, creative arts, fitness and career clusters.

And then there are the Revolutions volunteers who make this project possible. I counted, this week, and we have had thirty-two people help with this project. Thirty-two! And there is still time for you to help, too. We’re working on kid’s bikes on the dates, listed below. Don’t worry if you don’t know what to do. We can show you, when you arrive, what we’re working on and how you can jump in.

Upcoming Christmas Bike Build days and times:

Thursdays from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. – Nov. 20, Dec. 4

Mondays from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. – Dec. 1 and 8

Sundays from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. — Nov. 23 and Dec. 7

In December, you will have opportunities to volunteer that don’t involve turning a bicycle wrench.

On December 8, we will run a bike safety workshop with the children at their YMCA site. And then on December 11 and 15, we will host them at Revolutions and First Congregational Church for two Bike Rodeos. They will have a chance to try out the bikes we’ve been working on (fingers crossed that they fit!). And then they will practice safe road riding skills, in our parking lot obstacle course!

There will be more information, in upcoming newsletters, for how you can help with the Bike Safety and Bike Rodeo days. But mark your calendars, now!

Women’s Bike Chat, TODAY!

This month’s topic is Rules of the Road. This discussion won’t change driver behavior, but we hope to encourage each other in how we are riding (or hoping to ride) the streets of Memphis. We have some resources and visual aids to talk about. And we’ll share what does and doesn’t work on streets with or without bike lanes. Ladies, I hope you will join us with your experiences and questions.

Join us at 2:00 p.m. in Revolutions Bicycle Cooperative located at First Congregational Church (1000 S. Cooper). Enter off Cooper St. through our Bike Gate. And bring you bike, because if the weather is fine, we’ll take a short ride, afterwards, together!

 

Have You Heard? Revolutions Now Has a Booth in the Cooper-Young Farmers’ Market!

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We have bike-y gifts, books and accessories, as well as gift memberships and tee-shirts. Have you started your Christmas gift shopping, yet? Check us out for all your bike-y friends!

 

 I Can Fix That Class, TOMORROW!

This month’s I Can Fix That classes is on linear pull brakes. Not sure what these are? They look like this: Linear Brakes

 

This class has two spots left! Sign up here. (Classes are for members, only, but you can join when you arrive for class!).

Women’s Bike Chat, Sunday Nov. 16

This month’s topic is Rules of the Road. This discussion won’t change driver behavior, but we hope to encourage each other in how we are riding (or hope to ride) the streets of Memphis. We have some resources and visual aids to talk about. And we’ll share what does and doesn’t work on streets with or without bike lanes. Ladies, I hope you will join us with your experiences and questions.

Join us at 2:00 p.m. in Revolutions Bicycle Cooperative located at First Congregational Church (1000 S. Cooper). Enter off Cooper St. through our Bike Gate. And bring you bike, because if the weather is fine, we’ll take a short ride, afterwards, together!  And yes, you can ride your bicycle in the cold weather of Memphis. At least, here, it doesn’t usually look like this:

cargo bike in snow

From One Less Minivan’s post “thar be waffles at the finish line”

Do You Know How to Fix a Flat?

This week, I saw this great explanation of how to fix a flat.

how-to-fix-a-flat-bicycle-tire by Fixpert Comics

Fixpert Comics says that she developed it in

“collaboration with Common Cycle — an incredible group of cycling advocates here in Ann Arbor. They have worked with our local public library system to make a bicycle repair kit available for checkout at all Ann Arbor libraries. For the kits, I created this little comic about Dog fixing a flat. If Dog can do it, so can you!!”

Flat fix kits available at the library?! What a great idea!

Update on Christmas Bikes

We have cleaned out and adjusted all of the kids’ bike cranksets and bottom brackets. And we’ve moved on to headsets, yet another place that the bicycle has ball bearings!

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Still thinking about joining us to work on these bikes? You have choices on when to do just that, and you can read more, below.

But first, did you know that Revolutions does more than just give out free used bikes to kids? In this Christmas Bikes project, we not only clean up and rehab bikes that have been donated to us. We also do an extensive bike safety training. And in December, you will have opportunities to volunteer that don’t involve turning a bicycle wrench.

On December 8, we will run a bike safety workshop with the children at their YMCA site. And then on December 11 and 15, we will host them at Revolutions and First Congregational Church for two Bike Rodeos. They will have a chance to try out the bikes we’ve been working on (fingers crossed that they fit!). And then they will practice safe road riding skills, in our parking lot obstacle course!

There will be more information, in upcoming newsletters, for how you can help with the Bike Safety and Bike Rodeo days. But mark your calendars, now!

And speaking of the calendar

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Emily Gum, Susannah Barton and MeganMarieMiller work together to adjust a headset.

Today, November 9 will be the last Open Shop until the middle of December. We are also canceling the December I Can Fix That classes. Why?!

Because we still have some work to do on those Christmas Kids Bikes!! I’m not worried that we’ll finish, in time. Not yet, anyway. But in order to prevent a last-minute crunch, we’ll use the following extra dates to work on these great bikes:

Sundays: November 23 and December 7
2:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Mondays: November 10, December 1 and 8
6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

This extra time should be just right for finishing up our work (I hope!!). And, if you’ve wanted to help but couldn’t do Thursday evenings, now you have some other choices! As a reminder, volunteer projects like this are now a privilege of membership with Revolutions. But if your membership has lapsed, you can join when you arrive at the Shop!

November  I Can Fix That Class, Still On!

In November, the I Can Fix That classes is on linear pull brakes. Not sure what these are? They look like this:

Linear Brakes

And you may also know them by one of their alias names. They are a type of Cantilever brakes that are also called Direct-Pull or V-Brakes. November’s class covers how to change the cable and housing, evaluate the brake pads and adjust the brakes. Bring your own bike, if you have linear brakes, or use a Revolutions bike to practice.

If you would like to change out the brake cable and housing on your own bike, there will be a $10 materials fee. You can decide and pay during class.

The class sign up can be found here.

At the Farmers’ Market

Have you been to the Cooper-Young Community Farmers’ Market, lately? If you have, you’ve probably seen our new Revolutions booth! We have gift items, info and memberships to Revolutions and bikey books. Our newest book is the Bikeyface mini-comic Bike There. It would make a great gift for all of your friends who want to bike but just can’t seem to get started. You could buy it direct from Bikeyface. Or you could buy it from Revolutions and help support all of our great programs.

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Update on Christmas Bikes

This week we overhauled 15 one-piece crank sets. These are sometimes called “Ashtabula” style cranks and are supposed to be easy to work on. The three I did were, but I may have gotten lucky! A few did not want to open or adjust! But we all learned lots, together. For example, every once in a while, a chisel and hammer are bike tools. I think we experienced most of what Sheldon Brown talks about here.

Join us this Thursday for two and three-piece cranksets! Don’t know what a crankset is? No problem! We can show you when you join us!!

 

Does your polling place have bike racks?

I plan to find out, on Tuesday, if mine does.

Call me…

Revolutions has a working phone number, again. And I even know how to check the messages!! There’s no phone in my office, yet. But no matter. If you want to call Revolutions (and most like, leave a message), you can reach us at: 901-278-6786, ext. 9

Rental Fleet, now easier to maintain!

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Thanks to the fine work of David Evans, MeganMarie Miller and Ollie Anthony, our Pilgrim House Hostel rental fleet is now much easier to maintain. Most of these bikes had an improperly machined bottom bracket that made adjusting the bottom bracket almost impossible. Last week, when a group of Revolutions members attempted to service these bikes, we couldn’t properly adjust three of the five bikes we were working on. What to do? Order new bottom brackets! They arrived this week and all were changed out on Thursday morning. This change will allow our members to do regular maintenance without the frustration of a part that just can’t be adjusted correctly!

Santa’s Helpers

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Ollie Anthony, Steve Moser, Kevin Barton and Ben Andrews working hard on kids’ bike wheels!

Many of our Revolutions members have been hard at work overhauling kids bikes for our Christmas donation program with the YMCA and Shelby Farms. For some reason, the ones in this picture didn’t like my idea that they should be wearing elf hats. But anyway, for the last four Thursdays, we’ve worked on truing wheels and cleaning out and adjusting wheel hubs. We are finally ready to move on to bottom brackets and cranksets.

Have you been thinking that you’d like to join us on a Thursday? Are you worried that you don’t know how to work on a crankset? Don’t worry! We’re all learning, together! The Christmas bike build is a great time to learn some intro bike maintenance skills. And we’d love for you to join us!

Volunteering with this program is a benefit of membership at Revolutions. Not a member, yet? You can join when you come in to the Shop!

November Classes

In November the I Can Fix That classes will be on linear pull brakes. Not sure what these are? They look like this:

Linear Brakes

And you may also know them by one of their alias names. They are a type of Cantilever brakes that are also called Direct-Pull or V-Brakes. Novembers class will cover how to change the cable and housing, evaluate the brake pads and adjust the brakes. Bring your own bike, if you have linear brakes, or use a Revolutions bike to practice.

If you would like to change out the brake cables and housing on your own bike, there will be a $10 materials fee. You can decide and pay during class.

The class sign up can be found here.

And a Warm Welcome…

Ollie Anthony

to Oliver Anthony. Ollie is participating in the First Congo SOAR program (a Season of Action and Reflection). Ollie is interested in exploring the many programs here at First Congo and helping in Revolutions Bicycle Co-Op. He worked as a cycle courier in Chicago for four years, and believes in cycling as a sustainable form of transportation and promoter of general health. Ollie also worked at a small farm in Maine, apprenticing under the intern coordinator for Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, where he enjoyed learning about growing foods organically and linking interns to working farmers and gardeners.  We look forward to working with Oliver for several months! Be sure to say hello, when you see him around the Shop!

Chats and Classes

This is beautiful riding weather! Were you out, Saturday, for the MEMFix: Edge District? I checked that our early and then rode the kids to a birthday party in the park. The sun was bright and the breeze was cool. What a great way to ride.

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Women’s Bike Chat, TODAY, 2:00 p.m.

Today, Sunday, Oct. 19 at 2:00 p.m., the Women’s Bike Chat will meet in Revolutions. Our topic is commuting. I have some new Levi’s commuter pants to show off. What can you bring? We’ll have a show and tell with gear you find useful for commuting: racks, bags, shoes, whatever. And come with thoughts and questions like what if you don’t have a shower at work? Or, do you commute all year or just in certain weather? And what about riding buddies, are you interested in finding one?

Enter through the Bike Gate and the Meditation Garden. And bring you bike, because if the weather is fine, we’ll take a short ride, afterwards.

Class Full

Monday, Oct 20, we’ll continue with this month’s I Can Fix That class on Bike Assessment. This class is now full but plan to join us next month on the 1st or 3rd Monday. We’ll be covering Linear Brakes: How to change the cable and adjust the brakes. You can sign up here.

Check out the calendar, here, for more details about what is coming up this week.

In the News!

Last Sunday was a beautiful Blessing of the Bikes, at 1st Congo.

blessing of the bikes chain breaking with cheryl

It must have really struck a cord with folks because we had almost fifty bikes roll in to the sanctuary. Afterwards, Rev. Cheryl Cornish and I broke a chain (our version of a ribbon cutting) to re-open Revolutions and show it off with an Open House.

 

Revolutions in the News

This was a big week for Revolutions, in the news. High Ground Memphis wrote a lovely article about our history and what we are up to, this Fall.

greenprint

And then, I saw that the PSA I filmed during GrowMemphis’ Tour de Coop came out. It was done for the Mid-South Regional Greenprint campaign. You can see mine, and others, here.

What is a Greenprint?

The regional Greenprint will include parks, greenways, bike trails and walking paths, byways, blueways, conservation lands, natural areas, wildlife management areas, open space areas, community gardens, stormwater management areas, and other similar spaces.  The scope of this plan is defined geographically by the boundaries of the Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and West Memphis MPO, including jurisdictions in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

The development of a Regional Greenprint & Sustainability Plan will address the need for initiating long-term comprehensive land use planning in the Greater Memphis Area. The plan is designed to enhance livability and sustainability by establishing a unified vision for a regional network of green spaces in the Mid-South.

 

Volunteer Opportunities

Next Saturday, October 18, is another MEMFix event, this time in The Edge district. Revolutions will host the Bike Valet and we need a few more people to help staff our booth. If you’d like to help, please email me at info@revolutionsmemphis.com.

Even if you don’t want to volunteer, please plan to ride your bike to this fun event. MEMFix: Edge District, at the intersection of Marshall and Monroe, will have a great, family-friendly lineup of vendors, pop-up shops, live bands and artists on two stages, food trucks, and all around fun – and there’s no charge to get in. Come check out the great businesses in the Edge, a pop-up planning office with tours for youth, new murals, street fixes, and new plaza spaces. The day runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Not sure exactly where The Edge is? Check out this map:

The Edge

Check out more details and read about some of the great work that’s already happening in the Edge on their Facebook page.

 

Women’s Bike Chat, Next Sunday

WBC rideDon’t forget, next Sunday, Oct 19, is the 3rd Sunday of the month. So Open Shop will be closed but Women’s Bike Chat will be on! Our topic will be commuting. Let’s have a show and tell with gear you find useful for commuting: racks, bags, shoes, whatever. And come with thoughts and questions like what if you don’t have a shower at work? Or, do you commute all year or just in certain weather? And what about riding buddies, are you interested in finding one?

Join us at 2:00 p.m. in the Bike Shop. Enter through the Bike Gate and the Meditation Garden. And bring you bike, because if the weather is fine, we’ll take a short ride, afterwards.

Other Happenings, This Week

On Monday, Oct 12, we’ll be working on Rental Fleet maintenance, in the Shop. Members are invited to join us to take care of the rental bikes. And, if we get through that work quickly enough, we’ll probably do some more work on the Christmas bikes, too.

And don’t forget that on Monday, Oct 20, we’ll continue with this month’s I Can Fix That class on Bike Assessment: What is that squeak? Where should I begin, on fixes to my bike? Join us for this basic assessment class to find out. Bring your own bike along, if you want. And sign up here.

Check out the calendar, here, for more details about what is coming up this week.

Blessing of the Bicycles

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On Sunday, Oct. 5, 1st Congo held its first Blessing of the Bicycles. This must have really struck a cord with folks because over forty people showed up on bikes, to park them in the sanctuary and receive a blessing! During the service, we had songs, prayers and readings about how bicycles help us care for all of creation. I was particularly moved by the morning’s responsive prayer, and wanted to share it here:

“A Prayer for those who Bicycle and Those who Support Them”

One:   In a world groaning under the excesses of consumption, we acknowledge the inherent goodness of simple living and transportation. We give thanks for the beauty of the bicycle.
Many: God of life, hear our prayer.

One: In a community filled with children, we pray for those learning to ride. Keep them smart, safe, and visible on their neighborhood roads.

Many: God of life, hear our prayer.

One: In a world where climate change threatens our planet and the health of all of us who share it, we give thanks for those who make choices that respect the earth.

Many: God of life, hear our prayer.

One: In a community filled with strife, we pray for the victims of road rage and bike theft. And we ask for the strength to forgive.

Many: God of life, hear our prayer.

One: In a world of work, we pray for those who build, repair, and clean our bikes and those who rely on bicycles to earn their living. Bless those who choose to not drive to work and those for whom driving isn’t even an option.

Many: God of life, hear our prayer.

One: In a community of beautiful diversity, we ask your protection and blessing on all who ride: pedi-cabbies, weekend warriors, athletes, house-less folks, students, children, eco-warriors, bike co-op anarchists, messengers, and all the others who take to the streets, bike paths, parks and mountains. Keep us safe as we ride.

Many: God of life, hear our prayer.

One: Help us to become a community which heals the earth in the choices we make, individually and as a community. Bless Revolutions Bicycle Co-Op, Sylvia as she leads and guides, and each of us who support this ministry.

Many: God of life, hear our prayer. Amen.

–adapted from a  litany by Rev. Mitch Smith

Hours & Info

901-278-6786, ext. 9
Sundays: 2:00-6:00pm, except 3rd Sundays when the Shop is closed for Women's Bike Chat

Mondays: 6:30pm-9:00pm (check calendar for what is happening!)

Thursdays: 6:30pm-9:00pm (Xmas Bike Build!)

Wee Ride Memphis

Family-friendly rides

Women’s Bike Chat

Find out more on our Facebook group, listed as: "Revolutions' Bike Chat. For women/womyn/ladies/gals/etc."

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