On June 4, Silicon Valley Bicycle Exchange joined Turning Wheels for Kids' (TWFK) bicycle repair day in East Palo Alto to repair over thirty bikes.
BikeX brought a big team of volunteers including Dave Kamp, Jim Lentfer, Etienne Grossman, Peter and Charlie Schwartz, and Sava Iliev.
BikeX's entire staff (Andrew and Gregg) enjoyed an offsite weekend day of wrenching.
And our very own Board President Dave Fork rode over from Redwood City for a mid-morning repair session!
TWFK's bike repair events are well-organized, and BikeX was grateful to show up with only tools and stands.
Bike repair slots were reserved by community members in advance. In the morning, our crew had the luxury of teaming up to repair and tune the bikes, many of which were in major disrepair.
In the afternoon, after a few volunteers departed, it got a little more busy, so much so that we roped in visitor and donor Hong Quan to do a bit of wrenching to help lighten our load.
These offsite, in-the-community events are important to our mission for many reasons:
- They're the best way to keep cyclists who already depend on their bikes riding regularly and safely;
- We keep these bikes out of landfills, and repairing them is more resource-efficient than replacing them with a refurbished bike;
- We can aim our volunteer mechanic efforts' toward communities in need;
- We have the opportunity at times to teach bike owners how to repair their bikes.
Of course, working on bikes with friends, and seeing the owners' gratitude when finding their bike running smoothly again, is also incredibly rewarding!
Schwartz, attending his first offsite event for BikeX, found the joys of keeping bikes in service. "It was fun and personally rewarding to have the opportunity to take a bike from non-functional to ready to ride at no cost for a family who might otherwise not have the resources to fix it," he said after attending with his son.
Lentfer, who took the scenic way to the event by riding his bike around the southern part of the Bay from Cupertino and then across the Dumbarton Bridge, extended his ride by wrenching and ride testing bikes at the event. "It was great to see bikes getting tuneups and repairs to keep them on the road at no cost to their owners," he said. "I enjoyed learning more about Bike X and Live In Peace. TWFK is very well set up with an extensive organized supply of parts."
We're grateful to all the volunteers, TWFK, and Live in Peace Bike Shop for making this event such a success.
See the full day in photos in Andrew's slideshow below: