WABA: What do you hope D.C.’s bike community looks like in 10 years? CB: In ten years, we’d love to see even more people using bikes as their primary form of transportation, or riding for fun on evenings and weekends. With the help of services like Capital Bikeshare and sites like Craigslist, the number of butts on bikes—pardon the language—has skyrocketed. As we continue to engage and educate cyclists on the range of options available to them, proper gear, the importance of safety, and other important elements of riding, we believe that everyone will realize how cycling fits into their lives. Combined with better and better public policies and infrastructure for cyclists (thank you, WABA!), we’re confident D.C. will set the standard for commuter cycling for cities across the country.WABA: What’s City Bikes up to this spring? CB: This season is one of the most exciting we’ve ever had. Why? ‘Cause we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary! And we won’t be celebrating alone. City Bikes has always been committed to the community, and we can’t think of a better way to mark this occasion than with customers old and new. After BikeFest, our next big event will be Bike to Work Day (together with WABA), which means a lot to us as it encourages the commuter cycling culture we’ve worked so hard to build. From there, be on the lookout for weekly classes and rides at all three of our locations and pop-ups in places like Eastern Market and the Capital Crescent Trail. We’ll also be hosting larger events—including a big anniversary bash—and rides, and rolling out anniversary specials all spring and summer long.
WABA: Tell us about The Bike House. The Bike House: The Bike House is a community-based bicycle repair co-op in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to build a place where all people can learn about, work on, and enjoy bikes. We do this by providing free bicycle maintenance services and education through our weekend clinics, mobile bike clinic, and beginner and advanced mechanics classes. If you are having a problem with your bike, bring it to one of our clinics and our volunteers will teach you how to fix the problem yourself. WABA: Tell us about the bike you’re building. TBH: As a group of avid bike enthusiasts, many of us have accumulated a ton of extra parts for planned projects, so one of the main things was to parse through what was available and develop a vision based on that. After looking at all of the donations, we decided to build up an old Ross trekking frame made in Allentown, Pa. into a grocery/townie bike. One of the main draws of the Ross frame was how intertwined the company was in post World War II U.S. bike history. I’ve wanted to build a townie bike for myself for a while because I feel it’s a great utilitarian type bike that allows whoever riding it to cut out a lot of use for their car. When presented with the WABA BikeFest build, I decided to give it a try. Luckily, the parts lined up for this and we started in on fixing it up. I would hope that anyone who gets this bike uses it to get to work, get to the store, and haul everything they need in relative comfort.
WABA: What do you hope DC’s bike community looks like in 10 years? TBH: We want to see more people on bikes in every quadrant in the city. Whether it’s getting to and from work, exploring the city, or hitting the road for a long weekend ride, there’s so much to do on two wheels in D.C. The Bike House will be there to give people the tools they need to ride farther and keep their bikes happy and their wheels true. WABA: What’s The Bike House up to this spring? TBH: The Bike House tends to go into hibernation over the winter, but we are open again and ready to help everyone get their bikes tuned up for the riding season. Our clinics are Saturdays 12-3 p.m. at Annie’s Ace Hardware and Sundays 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Bloomingdale Farmer’s Market (which opens in May). We also will be doing various mobile clinics this year, at locations to be determined. We are always looking for volunteers who are interested in learning and teaching bike repair, and helping their neighbors get their bikes working. If you are interested in volunteering or just learning more about what we do, please come to one of our clinics, visit our website at http://thebikehouse.org or contact a volunteer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks to The Bike House! If you haven’t bought your tickets to BikeFest yet, time is running out! Buy your ticket today.
We hope you’re coming to BikeFest on Fri., May 3. The annual BikeBuild contest is back for the third year in a row!Local bike shops and co-ops were invited to build the best, most innovative, and creative bicycle as their entry. We encouraged the shops to use recycled parts, and all bikes had to be built without spending more than $250. This year’s BikeBuild participants are The Bike House, City Bikes, Papillion Cycles, and Phoenix Bikes. At BikeFest, you’ll vote on your favorite build. After votes are collected, all the bikes will be auctioned off. All proceeds raised will go directly to WABA and will help support another year of bike advocacy, education, and outreach. Many thanks to the participating shops for donating skills, time, and parts. We’ll be profiling each shop here leading up to BikeFest, beginning with Phoenix Bikes. We talked to Edoardo, Phoenix Bikes’ shop manager, about participating in the BikeBuild contest: WABA: Tell us about Phoenix Bikes. Phoenix Bikes: Phoenix Bikes has supported local youth in the D.C. metro area since 2007, providing a safe, nurturing, and educational environment that reinforces teamwork, hard work, and entrepreneurship through bike maintenance and education programs. Since our launch, we have had the opportunity to sponsor more than 300 youths and provide more than 1,500 refurbished bikes to the community. Almost all the materials we use to build, teach, and sell are recycled. The donated bikes, components, and tools are saved from their untimely end at the landfill and live on through what we do. WABA: Tell us about the bike you’re building. PB: For WABA’s BikeBuild Contest we wanted to create a bike that is functional, durable, and classy. The inspiration for this bike came from a bike that was seen in Portland, Ore. It was a commuter bike whose beauty shined through its functional and elegant style. For our build we used a mountain bike platform to give the bike more versatility. This is a super commuter-plus bicycle for the ladies. We see the owner riding this bike on paved and gravel trails, in bike lanes, on singletrack, and on bike tours. We say commuter-plus because we hope the rider uses it as their go-to get-around one-bike quiver. If the owner wants, they can swap the rigid fork for a suspension fork (and perhaps the bars) and take this rig on some sweet singletrack. The majority of the materials we used for this bike are donated and recycled materials. We did, however, use some new accessories to make our ride more classy, functional, and ready for anything the trail throws at it. WABA: What do you hope D.C.’s bike community looks like in 10 years? PB: I ride in D.C. on occasion, and can’t really speak for what I hope it looks like in 10 years in terms of the bike community. I know that the Capital Bikeshare program is one of the most successful bike shares in the country. I also know that D.C. has a growing number of bike lanes and bike parking throughout the city. What I do hope to see 10 years in the Northern Virginia and D.C. bike communities are more bicycle-friendly businesses, businesses that encourage employees to ride to work by offering incentives, showering facilities, parking, and more. I hope to see the continued growth of bicycle infrastructure throughout the area. Lastly, I hope to see more and more folks embracing cycling as viable form of healthy, green, transportation. WABA: What’s Phoenix Bikes up to this spring? PB: This spring is as busy as ever at Phoenix Bikes. We are participating in various events such as the Del Ray Bike Swap on May 11, Bike To Work Day on May 17, the Knock ‘N Roll Fundraiser for Phoenix Bikes by T3 Honu on May 18, and the New Belgium Tour De Fat on June 1st. Want a chance to bid on Phoenix Bikes’ new build and bring home a new ride? Buy a BikeFest ticket today!