Most people who have been to BikeX have seen Dave Fork, in his characteristic neon-yellow vest affixing green tags with a smile on bikes that have passed the first round of our rigorous quality assurance process. Some may not know that in addition to being an integral part of the BikeX current operations, Dave co-founded the Silicon Valley Bicycle Exchange in 1993.
Through rain, shine, or pandemics, Dave has been a consistent guiding voice to keep the Bicycle Exchange moving forward and delivering on the mission of helping people learn how to repair bikes, donating bikes to folks who need them, and decreasing the waste stream of bicycles in our society.
We recently caught up with Dave to dive in a little to find out more about his enthusiasm for the art of bicycle repair.
Who is Dave Fork?
Grew up in NJ. Rode with the Princeton University Cycling Club. Fixed my first bike at age 11, pulled from a neighbor's trash. Started a bike repair business at 13. Started the Bike Exchange in 1993 a couple of years out of school. Lived in CA since 1987.
How did you get involved with SVBE?
I figured making a living fixing bikes would be hard, especially if we gave them away for free; but doing repair with friends as a hobby could be awesome.
What keeps you coming back?
The Bicycle Exchange offers me a sense of community and purpose. It is a small way to make things better.
What’s your favorite bike tool?
Oh, that's gotta be my (no longer made) Park CT-3 chain rivet tool. The Bicycle Exchange has broken tons of them because they are fragile if used incorrectly; but used properly, they are great for gapping chains.
What can you share about your personal or family bike collection?
I try not to own too many bikes. Two is the largest number I can ride simultaneously. My wife Lynne and I love our Co-Motion tandem; I commute on a Surly Long Haul Trucker. I've had unicycles and a recumbent; but I try to make space in the garage for Bike Exchange homework projects, so that limits our personal inventory.
What have you learned since volunteering with SVBE?
I have learned that repairing bicycles while helping others can bring people together to create an amazing community.
What's the most interesting problem you've had to tackle?
How to tell people that their repair project failed inspection while trying to motivate them to keep going. The coveted green tag really helped!
What’s your favorite bike ride (local or not)?
From here to Santa Barbara down Highway 1.
Thanks for starting BikeX, your never-tiring enthusiasm for leading BikeX, and always helping share your knowledge, Dave!