08/05/13

Lessons Learned: Creating a Successful Community Bike/Walk CenterLessons Learned: Creating a Successful Community Bike/Walk Center

By Joan Pasiuk, Program Director

 


Photo courtesy of SPOKES Bike Walk Connect.

 

In 2011, TLC awarded funding through Bike Walk Twin Cities for a new, nonprofit community bike center in Minneapolis. Submitted by the Seward Neighborhood Group, the plan included strong partners: Sibley Bike Depot (now Cycles for Change), The Hub Bike Co-op, and Redesign. The opportunity was great. The proposed location, between Minnehaha Ave. and the Hiawatha LRT Trail, would serve an area with a significant number of low-income residents and where 25 percent reported themselves as foreign born. The adjacent neighborhoods have significant East African immigrant populations in particular.

 

There were some hurdles along the way, but SPOKES Bike Walk Connect opened in August 2012 with fanfare of the community--local bands, local food, and many, many neighbors.

 

Learn-to-Ride class. Photo courtesy of SPOKES.



Open Shop. Photo courtesy of SPOKES.

 

This summer, the center continues to thrive. Learn-to-ride classes, group rides, group walks, an earn-a-bike program, open shop times, and other offerings draw new and returning patrons. Even in bicycle-crazed Minneapolis people will show up to walk together. At a recent event at Brian Coyle Center, with SPOKES as one of the organizing partners, about 100 elders came out of their apartments to walk the neighborhood; the Oromo, Korean, and Somali populations were all well represented.

 

SPOKES 2013 Spring Kickoff event. Photo courtesy of TLC/BWTC.


At the one year mark, director Sheldon Mains submitted a lessons-learned report to help spread the word about creating successful community bike/walk centers. A few highlights include the following:

  • Don't try to start a new community bike/walk center as a new nonprofit organization
  • Build a buzz in the community.
  • It shouldn't look like a typical bike shop.
  • Have regular hours and publicize them.
  • Try to get started in the late fall.
  • Plan for earned income.
  • Use concrete examples and explain what you are doing.
  • Create partnerships.
  • Fail fast. Learn as you go. Be flexible.

 

There are many more insights in Sheldon's report. Take a look here. Congratulations to SPOKES, all the partners, and all the residents enjoying this community asset. 

 

 

Comments

Enlightening story about a

Enlightening story about a successful bike community! Such a close knit community would be needed in many places. I hope this will be an inspiration to us all.

Reply to comment | Bike Walk Twin Cities

Excellent article. I am going through some of these issues as well..

Reply to comment | Bike Walk Twin Cities

Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying this information.

Lessons Learned: Creating a Successful Community Bike/Walk

Hello are using Wordpress for your blog platform?

I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to
get started and create my own. Do you require any html coding knowledge to make your own blog?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Lessons Learned: Creating a Successful Community Bike/Walk

Instead of wasting rpg stickman time to update. That these games,
board games are generally used as a special hardware. Playing poker online has taken its turn.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • No HTML tags allowed
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Email addresses will be obfuscated in the page source to reduce the chances of being harvested by spammers.

More information about formatting options

Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.