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Fix Shit Up (continued)

The weekend was broken up between workshops and discussions that covered everything from the nuts and bolts of running a shop to the larger issues such as combating the permeating machismo and sub-cultural vibe of the bike scene. Collectively the goal is to improve a bigger wheel as opposed to re-inventing smaller ones.

As this movement grows and matures, so do the individual shops. Year after year, organizers get to see each other’s projects get bigger, better, more organized and effective. Some shops that at the first Bike Bike in New Orleans were housed in someone’s garage with a meager set of tools have now grown into offering store-fronts, full services, paid staff and youth programs. Combined with a shared love of bikes, the commitment to social change has made collectives and coops try to figure out new ways of working together by running these non-profits and businesses in ways that promote mutual aid. This is also the heart of the most pressing contradiction. Where projects started out of a passion for bikes and wrenching, more and more time is spent organizing shops and dealing with paperwork and meetings. Also, whereas community and collective bike shops are trying to offer an alternative to consumerism and capitalism, they could not exist without the wasteful consumption and excess of each.

In a way, success is the biggest problem. As each shop gets bigger, more complex, and works with more and more people, they are forced to make some huge decisions, concessions and compromises. Expanding hours and services also means that volun-





What is a Community or Collective Bike Shop?

Non-profit bicycle organizations

Bike shops that are accessible to people without money

Shops that have an educational focus, teaching others how to fix bikes

Organizations that ship bikes to underprivileged communities

Shops that provide free or low-cost services to the community

Organizations that reuse and recycle bicycles and parts

To find your local Community Bike Shop or to learn how to start your own, see