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Fix Shit Up (continued)

teers begin feeling stretched thin, and burnt out. At Pittsburgh’s Free Ride, for the first time in seven years, active recruitment of volunteers in order to fill open shop hours has become a necessity largely due to success and increased need from the community. To combat burn out, many shops have begun figuring out schemes to pay staff, but that also requires things that five years ago were unheard of or out of the question; namely incorporating with the IRS, formalizing budgets, acquiring insurance, and hiring accountants. Scrappy shops that at one time stored savings in underwear drawers, are finding that getting bank accounts and conforming to some aspects of the non-profit structure, allows them to continue their work on a larger scale.

In addition to the serious side of Bike Bike, the fun side offers a chance to see (now) old friends, explore new cities, and glean inspiration through each other’s projects. It’s also a time for orgnaizers to geek out and remember the love of bikes that is at the heart of each project. This year, Bike Bike coincided with Critical Mass’ Sweet 16th Birthday, a Cyclecide Party in a scrapyard, and a beautiful group ride down the California Coast to Santa Cruz where attendees partied, conspired, explored, and watched movies under bridges with the homeless. Bring on Minneapolis in 2009, and the progress between now and then.


Bike! Bike! History

Some folks in New Orleans saw there was a burgeoning community bike shop movement and had the idea to host a conference where organizers could meet and share ideas. Nobody could come up with a good name for the conference, so someone threatened to call it “Bike Bike” unless a better name was presented. No one did.

2004 Plan B in New Orleans
2005 BICAS in Tucson
2006 Milwaukee Bicycle Collective in Milwaukee
2007 Free Ride in Pittsburgh
2008 Bike Kitchen and Bike Church in San Francisco and Santa Cruz

Winter 2009 Southeast Regional, Sopo Bicycle Coop in Atlanta
Summer 2009 National, Grease Pit in Minneapolis