Hello from the New Director
Greetings! My name is Sylvia Crum and I am the new, just announced, Executive Director of Revolutions Bicycle Cooperative. I am so pleased to have the opportunity to step into this incredible work. Revolutions has a long and impressive history of helping folks learn to repair their own bicycles. And I look forward to continuing to build the bicycling community of Memphis. My husband is Teddy Crum, a teacher at Snowden School, and we have two children under five years old! My family moved to Memphis two years ago, and a big part of our decision to come here, instead of another Southern city, was the growing bicycle infrastructure. We were pleased that by living in Cooper-Young, we could, again, be a one car family. And we intend to decrease our car usage even more, now that we have a family bike that can haul the kids along with all of our stuff!
I come to Revolutions with an eclectic job history, all of which adds to my skill set to do the wide and varied work of this bicycle cooperative. In rural and urban Alabama, I worked to establish farmers’ markets and decrease food deserts. And for a time in Malawi, in Southeastern Africa, I coordinated development and youth empowerment projects. I also have a great love of sewing. My grandmother, who always sewed my halloween and ballet costumes, instilled this love in me. But by the time I was ready to learn, her arthritis was too severe to teach. So instead, I learned to sew clothes by reading patterns and asking lots of questions of older women at church. And I learned to quilt in a very small town in Missouri with a group of little old ladies who quilted with their United Methodist Women’s circle. For many years, I even ran my own sewing business, providing stoles and paraments to clergy around the Southeast!
All of this hands on work made for an easy leap to bicycle maintenance and repair. I spent the month of June in Oregon at the United Bicycle Institute. I received a solid education, there, and had a chance to practice my skills for the month of July with our friends at the Peddler Bike Shop. I know I have much more to learn, but I look forward to doing that alongside all of our Revolutions members!
We have much planned for Revolutions for the Fall, and I hope you will join us in classes, projects and Bicycle Chats! Please watch this newsletter and the Revolutions Calendar for ways you can continue to get involved!
We had Kidical Mass
Kidical Mass! Kids and grown-ups out on the road with their bicycles! On Friday night, we had forty-five folks out to ride! It was slow, and there was some veering to the left (see walking mom, above, helping with corralling!). But there were also lots of smiles, both from the riders and the restaurant patrons along Cooper! The second time around the block, some cars behind the group were honking, but surely it was only to encourage us along, right?!
If you missed this ride, plan to join us for the next Kidical Mass ride on Saturday, September 20. We’ll join GrowMemphis’ Tour de Coop for their Mini-Tour. More info here.
Women’s Bicycle Chat
Ladies, please plan to join us next Sunday, Aug. 17 from 3 to 5 p.m. for a Women’s Bike Chat! We will gather at 1st Congo on the North Deck (unless the weather is bad! Then, find us just inside the deck).
I came back from my month in Oregon with lots of ideas for how Revolutions Bicycle Cooperative could do more to reach out to women through rides, classes and other gatherings. I’d like to share a few of those ideas. And I would also like to hear how you might like to connect more, too.
When you think about bicycles, are you thinking about riding bikes for recreation or transportation or both? Are you thinking about health and safety? Are you thinking about how to carry stuff or people by bike? How do you use your bike or how would you like to? Do you feel supported in your bike use and would you be interested in knowing more women on bicycles?
These are the types of questions I would like to chat about. Would you be interested in gathering with me?
Bicycle Shop Refurbishment and Temporary Closing
For the last seven months, Revolutions has been kept running by three extremely dedicated volunteers. I want to send out a huge THANK YOU to Keith Norman, Mark Allen and Gene Carkeet for running the Shop, finding work for volunteers and members and cleaning up the floods after the deluges of June and July! These three worked so very hard and we all owe them a standing ovation for their tireless work!
On Friday, August 15, Revolutions will close the Shop temporarily to do some refurbishment of our space. Hopefully this short closure will give everyone a time to rest and me the time to re-envision the space! Don’t be surprised, though, if I call on you to come help sort tools, parts or wheels!! We plan to re-open by the Cooper-Young Fest. And we’ll keep you posted via this newsletter, on our progress!