Shop News

 

 

ReBicycle logo

 

 

 

We’ve been busy!

ReBicycle is ready for spring, we just need you. We are just about a fully functioning bicycle shop! We’ve got tools, parts, and also bikes in need of work. We have also recently received a generous gift! The donor gave the money in order to fund burrito batches for sometime to come from his church, but a portion will also be allocated for supporting ReBicycle so that we can continue to provide support for the community. ReBicycle is entirely donation-based, and our motto still stands: “If we have the tools, the parts, and the knowledge… We’ll fix it for free!” This gift, and others, allow us to purchase some much needed items, such as tires, tubes, cables, housing, chains, grease and lubes, patches, and MORE. We’ll definitely have the parts!

We are always looking for bikes, adult models in serviceable condition. And we are ALWAYS looking for people who love to work on bicycles, especially when they enjoy doing so in service to their community. Volunteers wanted! If you would like to serve with the Burrito Riders and ReBicycle, we’re just an email away.

shoppan

photo 3 photo 2 photo 1

 

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ReBicycle Shop Progress

Just a quickie post to update you on the progress down at the ReBicycle shop, in downtown Huntington. You’ve probably read about our story in the Herald Dispatch this morning? Well tonight I met up with Edison, Richard, and Aaron to do some work on the shop itself. Not 20 minutes after we got started I got called away to shuttle two sick children to the urgent care (little flu-ish, but mostly okay!). I sheepishly slinked out, feeling badly that those guys were left with the heavy lifting, but man they did an AWESOME job! Check the photos… The panoramic app that I was using on my iPhone (360 Panorama) caused a couple of areas to blur together, but overall I think they capture the improvements that this guys threw down for ReBicycle! Come see it in person sometime, we’d love to say “Hey!”

We decided that the best use of space for us, as we get more bikes and prioritize what to work on first, would be to create a hanging row above and then be able to park bikes below, similarly oriented towards the wall. Nailed it. They even tailored the tiles around the chain, I probably would have just removed the affected panels… 🙂pana1

We also have a bunch of wheels, in varied states of disrepair with a couple of gems in there somewhere, and had to figure out how to store those too. Enter 2″x6″ beam with vinyl garage storage hooks spaced 6 inches apart. I had only picked up 10 hooks, but thanks to the guys the holes are pre-drilled for 14 more! (Like our milk crate stools??)pana3

Work space… Storage space… AND we were contacted today by someone (Bre!) who would like to donate the pegboard for us to get our slowly growing tools/parts collection organized. (Still gotta figure out what to do with that ungainly pile of tires. Especially since half of them are probably fairly dry-rotted…)pana4

Better view of the hanging rack. (Don’t mind all the junk beneath the bikes. Last vestiges of the former occupant. We’re just waiting for it to be picked up and taken away.)photo 1-1

Closer view of wheelsphoto 2-1

Graphically interesting from outside, a view from the street.photo 3

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Latest Press

ReBicycle logo

So, Dave Lavender has been romancing us to do a story on ReBicycle since it was first mentioned, some months ago. I was able to hold him at bay just long enough to get moved into our shop and then he was back, pen at the ready. We were pretty excited to wake up this morning and see our story in the Herald Dispatch! And by we, I mean myself and especially Brennan, who was particularly excited to wake up “famous.” The BR has been in the news a few times and every time Brennan is all about it. 🙂

The Burrito Riders see ReBicycle as a way to bridge the divide between “mercy” and “justice.” Mercy, as we view it, refers to the provision of short-term relief, a brief respite from suffering, if that’s not overstating it. We look at justice as an opportunity for us to provide a longer-term benefit to the community we serve. The hot burritos, which are central to the Burrito Riders’ mission, are wonderful for folks to have, especially when the weather is sour, but within a couple of hours we know that they’ll be hungry again. When my friend, and Louisville Burrito Rider, Ryan donated that first bicycle, rehabbed in his basement workshop, we saw the potential for helping people improve their situations.

Homeless people walk. And walk and walk… To be able to hand them a bike, empowering them to get around faster and to be able to independently get to work or reach appointments, is for some folks crucial. To provide opportunities for them to earn that bicycle is a huge benefit that goes beyond just the individual receiving it. The pride in ownership, the ability to be of benefit to their peers and neighbors, and the assistance to agencies like Harmony House.

Anyway, check out today’s story and feel free to pass it along, initial response has been positive! We are always looking for burritos, volunteers, resources, and funding so there are several ways to serve with us.

Also, feel free to check out some of our previous press adventures!

Louisville NPR affiliate WFPL – http://wfpl.org/post/louisvilles-burrito-riders-deliver-hundreds-breakfasts-and-more-homeless

Huntington’s Herald Dispatch – http://www.herald-dispatch.com/features/x1272701913/Bicycling-group-delivers-burritos-to-Huntingtons-homeless-and-hungry

Marshall University’s Parthenon – http://www.marshallparthenon.com/burrito-riders-to-start-servicing-huntington-1.2815465#.UcpYxZXT20I

Marshall University’s Parthenon – http://www.marshallparthenon.com/burrito-riders-lend-a-hand-to-the-needy-1.2834535#.Usduu5V920I

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Opening Up Shop

ReBicycle logo

The ReBicycle Shop is inching slowly closer. Our monthly sidewalk outreach has been awesome. Once a month, volunteers meet on the sidewalk in front of Harmony House with tools, parts, and passion, and we work on bikes for folks who need it. The community that we serve, primarily the homeless and recently homeless, aren’t recreational riders. These folks rely on their bicycles for function, not for fun, and they will ride them until the wheels fall off. When those wheels do, finally, fall off they usually can’t afford to take them and have them repaired by the pros. That’s where the Burrito Riders and ReBicycle come in, we may not be the professionals but the donations we receive, from you and others like you, allow us to work for free.

Today saw us moving into our new workspace. I believe that we’ve discussed this already, but for those who may not know we have been granted space next door to Harmony House (Location, location, location!) and this is where we’ll set up our shop. In the beginning it will be SPARSE for sure, a workbench, shelves, an air compressor, etc. The only tools in the shop to begin with will be brought in with the volunteers, and leave with them after finishing up. Over time we hope to, through awesome donors, be able to purchase tools and equipment in order to slowly grow into an actual working shop. Our shop, much like our sidewalk outreach, will be geared towards caring for the homeless, recently homeless, and those who need their bikes but can’t afford to avail themselves of the great professional shops (Htgn Cycle & Sport and Jeff’s) in town. For some of the people we’ve served, they might otherwise have to choose between a $10 flat fix or eating that day. Typically they are going to choose eating, as they should, and that’s where we come in. We are the folks they come see when they have no other options, although that does kind of make us sound like some sort of bicycle mercenaries! 😉

It’s not just basic repair though! When it comes to the chicken/egg debate, the ReBicycle volunteer-and-earn-a-bike program came well before any ideas about creating a shop environment for serving the community. As of this weekend, we have provided 12 bicycles to the local community and, in return, these folks have altogether contributed over 120 hours of volunteer service to agencies like Harmony House. These are hours of service helping to support non-profits who typically operate on limited resources and are at times hard-pressed to get everything done that they need to on a daily basis. It is imperative that we take care of our agencies in whatever way we are able, because they need to be freed up from some of the minutiae in order that they may focus on caring for our folks who need them.

Three Bikes

Last week we provided a bicycle for Tina. Like several that came before her, Tina provided at least 10 hours of volunteer service in order that she could earn a bicycle of her own. It was a great experience! Tina has been the most obviously excited to receive a bicycle, to date! So much fun seeing her be so thrilled to have this new bicycle. We also provided bicycles to John and Curtis this weekend. Again, another 20 hours of valuable help for our agency partners.

As we flourish and grow, our hope is that ReBicycle can go beyond just providing service and begin to provide opportunities to serve. Within our shop, we plan to begin providing volunteers with a place to learn, serve, and have fun. Again, this is reliant on growing our tools and parts inventories, but once our shop is outfitted to at least a basic level of functionality we’ll be able to invite more people in! How great will it be when the first person to earn a bike by working on their bike and others comes through our work shop? Pretty great! On that note, I also love how anytime we visit Harmony House, and now the ReBicycle space, we can’t get away without working on at least one or two bikes. Today we were able to take time out from moving, well Richard and Glen actually, in order to work on a couple of bikes that needed our attention.

So, this weekend we moved in and from there we’ll begin to get settled, organized, and operational. We’ve talked a lot on social media about needing donations of bikes, parts, tools, etc, but we also have a need for a couple of specific household/etc items for the shop:

  • A vacuum, because cleanliness.
  • A coffee maker because the folks we serve LOVE a good cup of coffee and we’d love to provide that as a “perk” (hahaha) of coming in.
  • Metal or plastic “bar” stools, nothing wood or cloth ideally.
  • Pegboard and hooks for hanging/organizing tools.

I’ll probably be at the shop, tinkering, this week, come by and say hello! And, as always, you can find us on Twitter, Facebook, here, and by email.

Street View

ReBicycle
621 Fourth Avenue
Huntington, WV 25701
Shop Flyer
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Another year, so much to celebrate!

10,000 is a big number.

Dedicated Huntington RIders

Dedicated Huntington Riders

We have been Burrito Ridin’ since March of 2012, and during that time we have been so, so, soooo blessed to have the support of a small army of volunteers and donors. These are people who have not only provided emotional support, but also material support in the form of, you name it…

Burritos, blankets and clothing, bicycles and parts, money, the list goes on and I’m sure I won’t even get close to naming half of it!

Today, we rode in Huntington. Today was, I think, our 45th Burrito Ride between our two cities. As of today, we have distributed OVER 10,600 hot breakfast burritos. 🙂

Think about that number for just a second.

It’s not possible for me to express, in words, what this service means to me because of what it has come to mean to so many people. Through this project we have come closer to people we knew and were friends with, we have come to know new friends, we have created so many relationships with the people whom we serve, and we have come to know so many other wonderful people who serve within our communities, parallel to us and in different ways. It’s been almost two years and we have achieved so much.

Thank you.

I hope you can understand what you have all meant to us and to the communities where we all serve.

What else have we been up to during the past year??

Our Latest #ReBicycle friend

Our Latest #ReBicycle friend

Huntington’s ReBicycle Shop is ALMOST open! We’ve been ReBicyclin’ without a home for a while now, and it’s been an amazing arm of the Burrito Riders. Josh (pictured above) has been volunteering at Harmony House, contributing far more than his requisite 10 hours of service needed to earn his bicycle. He’s been so energetic and dedicated to serving at HH that he’s even managed to get some temporary work out of it! Thursday night Richard, Sean, and I held our 4th once-per-month sidewalk ReBicycle Outreach and Josh was there to lend a hand and rode away on his new bike! He was pretty excited. 🙂

ReBicycle will soon have a shop, of sorts, where we will operate out of for handling donations, working on bikes, etc. Hopefully we’ll be able to move in in the next week or two! In the meantime, we’ve held sidewalk Outreaches where we work on the bicycles of the homeless, recently homeless, and basically anyone who can’t afford to have their bike worked on professionally! If we’ve got the tools, parts, and knowledge, we’re in it to help them out!

ReBicycle has also had a tremendous hand from Tom at Huntington Cycle and Sport! Tom’s been such a great person to have in our corner and we really appreciate some of the things he’s helped us with! Go see him and repay his kindness with your patronage, please!

And, as long as you’re lovin’ on the folks who have helped us love on so many, go grab a bite at Black Sheep Burrito and Brews! Pat, Jeremiah, and the team over there have been with our Huntington group since the beginning and their passion and dedication has not wavered!

Show BOTH of these awesome local Huntington businesses that you love what they’re doing in the community with the Burrito Riders!

Curt, giving out a moving blanket last year

Curt, giving out a moving blanket last year

Right now, in Louisville, we have 8 dozen durable and warm moving blankets waiting to be distributed. These blankets were the gift of an amazing donor who has given so much more than I could have imagined anyone would. 4 dozen of these awesome blankets will be distributed there in the 502, while the remaining 4 dozen will be making their way soon to our Huntington community of folks living outside. Steve, our amazing donor, had the great idea of moving blankets last winter because they’re heavy, durable, warm, and much better suited to the elements encountered living outside. Can’t wait to start passing these out!

2014 is about to happen, if you can believe that! There is still so much for us to do and so many ways we can impact the people around us. Please consider serving with us soon! And if you can’t serve, but want to support, we welcome (and appreciate) all donations!

And if it’s not the Burrito Riders, then serve where you are, with the gifts you have. No one is going to tell you that there’s a wrong way to serve if you’re helping those around you. Don’t succumb to “analysis paralysis” and let the enormity of the suffering in the world overwhelm you. Start small, serve some one close to your home.

Do for a few what you wish you could do for everyone.

It will make a difference.

I could go on, but it’s late and you’ve already read a lot. We’ll do our best to get back into the swing of blogging more frequently, AND using our email list too! (Forgot about that, didn’t we?!) As always, we’re on Twitter and Facebook (KY and WV) too, please “Like,” “Follow,” and SHARE!

#lovepeople #loveservegive

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Life gets in the way…

 

 

 

 

#ReBicycle, and everything else…

ReBicycle

So much has happened in the last couple of months and just this week I’m discovering that it hasn’t been shared much on the blog. Was our last post REALLY in August?

We are total slackers and offer our apologies.

This is where we are, give or take:

We have been so blessed to be supported within our communities. As time moves on, we continue to enjoy the support of volunteers and donors who provide the burritos and the love to enable us to serve in this way! We discover new volunteers and interested groups monthly, so keep spreading that word!

We are close to getting our application finalized for 501(c)(3) status!! Our attorneys are ready to pull the trigger as soon as we iron out the remaining few details, so that’s awesome! This application is not cheap, so we appreciate the generosity of folks that have made this possible!

#ReBicycle is off and running! We have delivered now 5 bikes to folks in our community. These are folks who have given their time and energy to help out those who have helped them out, often by helping to improve services or facilities that will benefit themselves and their neighbors. As you know, the bikes are earned through providing 10 hours of volunteer service in our community.

Our partner agencies, providing the service opportunities, so far have included Harmony House, First Steps, and the Huntington City Mission.

We hold a monthly ReBicycle sidewalk outreach as well, usually around the 3rd or so Thursday of the month. Volunteers descend on Harmony House laden with tools, parts, work stands and operate by the mantra of “If we have the tools, parts, and knowledge, we’ll fix it for free.” We’ve held three of these events and they’re awesome to be a part of. They have been host to the donating of ReBicycle bikes to volunteers, repairing of bikes for our community, and meeting and spending time with many, many great people. Last time, we met J., a guy who came along while we were serving and was intrigued with our operation as we worked on his girlfriend’s bike. Before we knew it, he had grabbed our tools and gotten to work with us. Over an hour later, J. was still with us talking about the next time he could come serve with us again. Good stuff.

We will also be opening our shop soon(?)! We hope that within the next two-three weeks we can start moving in and renovating the space. The ReBicycle Shop will be our base of operations for handling donations of bicycles and more, working on bicycles with some great volunteers, and serving as an outpost for outreach in the community. The crew at Harmony House have been such great supporters of the Burrito Riders, including providing the space that we will inhabit.

That’s it for right now, but look for more soon. And contribute! Want to share an experience you’ve had with the Burrito Riders? Tell us what you’d like to say!

We’re riding this weekend in Huntington, join us!

Where is ReBicycle right now? In this storage locker, as well as several garages around town…

storage

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Great first ReBicycle event!

Just wanted to let y’all know that yesterday was our first ReBicycle Outreach and… It was awesome. So much love for Aaron, Richard, and Sean for coming out and wrenching with us! (I say this in full acknowledgement of the fact that they wrenched considerably more than myself…) We worked on bicycles both brought to us by their owners, as well as donated bicycles inching ever closer to a state worthy of being given out.

Here’s the deal. This event was designed to be an opportunity for clients of Harmony House, as well as some of the folks living next door in the HH-owned apartments, to bring their bikes out and receive FREE health checks, adjustments, minor repairs. Basically, our motto was that if was had the tools, parts, and knowledge to fix it, we’d do it for free. We received great feedback, and were able to provide some much needed assistance, so we’ve decided that this is going to be a MONTHLY endeavor. We will probably continue to make use of Harmony House as our event venue (for as long as they’ll have us), but will spread marketing further to draw in more folks.

Also, we were able to add a couple more people to our program list. I’m also pretty thrilled to tell you that two of the people on our list have already begun their volunteer service in order to earn their bicycle! Who wants to jump in and help us get these bikes ready for them?

We’ve gone ahead and created a brief page for #ReBicycle, but will add and update it as the program blossoms. Go ahead and check out the page, some info and a definite wish-list of things we need to make this thing happen in a big way.

It’s late, because that’s apparently the only time I can get some bloggin’ done, and I abhor the way WordPress handles photos in posts, so here’s just a bunch of pictures that I’m not even gonna try to arrange prettily! 😉

Aaronback

Aaron, in search of the elusive pinhole leak! (He found that sucker too!)

loaded

 

Loaded up after the gig. You can’t see it, but there are three bikes inside the van, and another on top!

 

 

 

 

oldbike

We’ll call this one “Rough Rider” if we can find a proper tire for it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pile

Tools, tires, tubes…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sean

Kids need bikes too, so we have a couple more for Sean to rehab and donate

Timcrouched

His rear hub is fried, we’ll be revisiting Jim’s bike before too long! He did get a flat fixed and his brakes aligned and adjusted though.

photo

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