Quick Update with a Couple Small Announcements

This has been a busy summer for P2P. In the spring, we met and decided to do as much “real” stuff this summer as we could fit in. The idea is by getting our hands dirty we find out what we’re good at; what we want to do; what the community needs; etc. The plan is to get together in Sept and build out our long term plan: do we want to be a “real” 501c3? Do we want to find a space? Do we want to partner with existing orgs? Do we want to bag it all? Do we want to continue doing what we’re doing? Something in between?

This summer we’ve done 2 free bike tune ups; we rode with about 25 cyclists in the gay pride parade; we had a booth at the local flair stree fair; we acted as the mechanic/volunteer coordinators for the KHQ pedal pals event where we fixed over 80 bikes; we did Thursday night rides every week; (aside from the KHQ bikes) we’ve collected over 40 bikes and fixed up about 20 of those and we’re on track to hit our goal of clearing our waiting list queue of about 25 bikes for folks that would not otherwise have bikes.

That’s a lot. And for me, it’s been fun, hard, hectic, satisfying, and frustrating. We’ve met a bunch of folks that are interested in what we’re doing. We get about 10 calls/emails a week with more bikes for donation. As John Medeski would say, “we are rolling.”

Two things we’ve learned in particular that we need to make immediate changes on:

1. Weekly rides aren’t working. Bad timing? Too hot? Too frequent? Weird format? Not sure. But we’re cancelling the last 3 Thursday night rides scheduled for this month. I think we learned that for the short term, we’re not into organizing rides.

2. We can’t be in the business of picking up bikes. We have a lot of junk for one. Our original goal was to take every bike that came our way. Some bikes are so trashed that very little is usable and it’s certainly not worth our time to take everything. In general, the bikes that folks bring to us are in better shape than those that we go pick up. We are going to get out of the bike picking up business. If folks have a decent bike that they want to donate, we’ll take it, but we won’t pick it up. Other cycling centers in the US require a fee for taking donated bikes. I understand that now. There is a real cost to taking bikes that cannot be sold on craigslist. A cost of time and money.

It’s a hard line to take: we only take decent donated bikes,but once you explain to folks that we can’t afford to pick up junk that may have a usable brake or something,then we have to tear it down to recycle the bent steel rims and the rusted frame — they understand. If we had a hanger-size space with multiple volunteers that could take in, sort, disassemble, and categorize the bits, then it would be great to take everything.

As it is, we’re just too small and focused in our goals at the moment to take everything.

So that’s the haps for now.

We’re excited about our Sept meeting and figuring out how we grow this thing that wants to just explode instantly into everything bike related. We’re building something here and it’s very gratifying to be a part of it.

Meet Jenny

Jenny 2

Jenny 2 Jenny 3

My husband,Mike and I went to pick up a donation bike in the Valley on Monday. We expected the usual quick transaction – a quick hello, load up the bike, a quick goodbye. Then we met “Jenny”. She is a lean, flirtatious Jeunet Franche-Comte racing bicycle donated from an incredibly loving home. Her donor, Lewis, acquired her in the early 70’s and he was her second owner. Jenny was his main form of transportation for quite some time. With upcoming changes and moves, he realized he had to part with her. He said he found P2P online and felt that our intentions were genuine enough to donate – this is when we realized that this was not just our average pick-up – we were going to be moving very precious cargo. With much nostalgia and a hesitant heart, he said his goodbyes and watched us carefully pack her up to take to the shop. Lewis hopes that her next home will provide the same amount of care that she has had her whole lifetime.

It dawned on me then, that this will be the first bike of many donated, that have incredible stories and loving owners. Meeting Lewis and Jenny made me think of how important my bike is to me. I hate to get to sappy here – but – its true! There are all these great qualities that come with a bike – it isn’t just transportation. People talk about riding with words like liberating, meditative, free-ing, mobility, connectedness. When I talk about driving my car – at least on a day to day basis – I use words like – angry, furious, irritable, murder, inferno, among others…. An interesting difference in descriptors. It is easy to see how people and bikes become close friends. I suppose that we anthropomorphize many of our possessions – cars included – and some argue this is an immature quality. I have no intention of treating my bike like a piece of metal, however, and feel quite confident in naming her and describing her personality to others. And after meeting Jenny, I feel like my bike is due for some serious pampering!

South Perry — Free Bike Tune-Up

(photos by BikeDevil)

It was 103F today for our South Perry Free Bike Tune-up. I was dripping, as was Charlie, the whole time. We tuned up 15 bikes. It was good. It was damn hot.

Here’s Charlie.

The careful observer will notice a drip of sweat on the tip of his nose. This is the second event Charlie has volunteered for us. He rules. He’s one of these guys that can fix anything. It doesn’t matter if we have the “right” tools or not. Charlie gets all the weird and hard fixes. And the owners always ride away on the bikes.

We were in the parking lot of The Shop. On black top. Mark, one of the owners of The Shop, set up some umbrellas for us, which helped a lot. But it was still hot.

I love that we’re getting a crew going here; we’ve got this basic set of volunteers that just do stuff — in addition to Charlie, we have:


Ken spends a bunch of time dialing in the bikes. There’s no “good enough” for Ken. It’s got to work and it’s got to work right. The Roadmaster he’s working on there ended up getting a full bottom bracket overhaul. I think that smirk there is his realization that he’s going to have to dig into the bottom bracket and take care of it. It’s one of those “oh f’ing hell” smirks.


Mike is the guy that just does stuff. He wants to learn a bunch more, but he knows more than he thinks. If there’s no one to tell him what to do, he’ll just start cleaning up the chain or changing a flat. Today, his sister showed up and they worked on a cantilever brake on a walmart bike for a while. The classic crap-bike brake/rim issue: how do you adjust a brake on a steel rim that’s got a wobble so that it brakes effectively, but not rubbing too much? They kept at it and took care of it.


She’s all about turning and burning. Get the bike safe and ridable and get to the next person in the queue. Liza wants to make sure we’re getting as many folks as possible on the road and riding.


Traffic control and telling our story. Beth is just a big ball of energy that needs a target. She ran all over tarnation this week making sure we had recycled T-shirts with our logo ready to sell for this event. Then she sold $80 worth of shirts today, while keeping the queue of folks waiting happily and even recruiting a new mechanic,Nick — who ran home,changed into grubbies, and came with a stand and tools. Nick ended up fixing a kid’s Giant with a disassembled rear derailleur. I hope he comes back. Lest we forget, this paragraph is about Beth, and she rules.

Joe: had to work today. But he’s another mechanic that just does stuff and is reliable and steadfast as a swiss watch.

Ben and Kathleen — both gone for the weekend, but must be mentioned as they are both very into the growth and vision of P2P.


Sweaty bastard trying to keep up. My challenge today was finding a replacement crankset for a guy with a walmart bmx where the pedal threads on the cranks were stripped. These two guys showed up in a cab and had to ride home, so we had to get this bike going. I tried a one-piece crank from an old Schwinn Varsity but it was too narrow. Turns out, Ken’s clients had two Roadmasters — one for parts and one to ride. They left one there and the cranks fit. It was very satisfying to see that kid do his BMX hopping/tricking on the fixed up bike that came out of the trunk of cab an hour or so previous.

We’re building something here and I’m excited about it. It’s great to fix up bikes for folks. People are so grateful. I read somewhere recently that some researchers somewhere have shown that there is some kind of receptor/neurological chemical thing that happens when you do something selfless for people. The resulting feeling is similar to sex or good drugs. It sounded like hooey to me when I read it, but I think I’m becoming a convert. There have been a couple moments over the last month or so where I was able to give to folks for no reason other than because I had something to give. There was a strong and lasting something there that happened — and it was good. I say this only to inform, not to sound my own drum or whatever. If you are bummin, go do something nice for someone. Do it because you can. I bet you’ll be surprised.

Lastly, I’m psyched about our next goal: fixing up 22 bikes for the folks that are waiting in our queue. Our goal is to do this by the end of August. We really really need little kid bikes. We have adult bikes and we’re set there, but we need kid bikes: think 12″, 16″, and 20″ wheels. If you have one to donate, let us know and we’ll come and get it.

We need bikes!

Our last event with KHQ/Dishman Dodge was a great success. We fixed up over 80 bikes and even gave away the ones that we couldn’t/didn’t fix up. We were still about 20 bikes short of meeting demand.

Ben made a list of the people (mostly kids) that showed up and didn’t go home with a bike. Now we have a goal: get bikes to these 20 or so folks by the end of August. That will put our total to over 100 bikes that we’ve fixed up for folks that would otherwise not have a bike. We have purpose!

Right now, we have about a dozen bikes that we need to go and pick up. We still need at least 10 more, but due to sizing and part-stealing-to-get-bikes-going, we’d be a lot happier with about 15 more bikes. See our Bike Donation web page for more info if you can donate a bike.

And tires. We really need to find a source for cheap new tires; we’re getting killed on shipping for the tires and it’s costing us a fortune for otherwise really cheap tires. Got a line on cheap tires? Especially 16″ 20″ and 26″ tires — drop us a line.

Want to be involved in fixing up bikes? Send us an email: pedals2people@gmail.com

KHQ Bike Pickup Day

This morning Mike and I arrived at 7am to hand out bikes. What an enormous success. Each person that rode away with a bike also received a helmut from SCOPE. KHQ interviewed us live and we had 2 minutes of airtime this morning devoted to pedals2people and our mission.

* 83 working bikes given away

* In total over 100 bikes given away

*10 different people associated with Pedals2People donated over 60 hours of their time in the past two weeks

*Numerous community contacts were made and many offers of more bikes to come for others

I am attaching two pictures. One of the bikes before the recipients began picking them out and another picture of the people waiting for bikes!

Happy Riding!!!

Our First Bike Tune Up Event

We went to West Central Community Center yesterday and fixed up some bikes. All up, we had about a dozen bikes come in. It was a perfect first event. I was a bit worried that we’d be overwhelmed and unable to help folks out. But the weather was kinda sucky and it was Father’s Day, so the 2 hour-slot we filled was just right. Folks came in a nice gentle stream.

We had 6 volunteers, four work stands, and enough tools. We brought the right tools. We went through a few cables, some housing, a couple tubes, and two tires. Stuff we need to bring next time are saddles and chains.

One family came in that had some pretty rough bikes. One was a Schwinn World tour from Goodwill, one was a really cool old Italian racer from 1974 that the woman had bought with her first tax return, and the girl’s bike was the one in the picture there that Ken fixed up. It was great to get these bikes running again. The father said it was one of his best Father’s Day presents yet. Cool.

This week and next we’ll be spending evening fixing up bikes for the KHQ Kids Bike Drive. There are about 50 bikes waiting for us in portable storage containers. I’ll be going out there with Joe and Kathleen tonight to take inventory and see what we need to fix. If you’ve got time to help in the next couple weeks, I know we’ll need it. Check out our events calandar here and look for “KHQ” in the title if you want to help out.

Connecting the City Update

Last night I spent 3 hours at the SAC Center with 50 individuals with concerns like mine. The Bicycle Advisory Board was well represented, as was the City Council (Mary Verner and Joe Shogan were in attendance). The city planning department, the engineering department, the State Health Board, The Department of Transportation and many many others were in attendance. It was great to see so many different representatives with different viewpoints discuss ways to make Spokane a more Bike Friendly town.

There were a few major themes and ideas that came out of each and every group as reports were made back from small groups to the group as a whole. I will touch on a few of these that make the most sense to communicate to others. Howard Street from Riverfront Park up to Five Mile needs to be marked with bike lanes the entire way. There is currently construction being done on SE Blvd., it would be easy at this point for the city to make SE Blvd entirely marked with bike lanes. I think a mass email / phone campaign to our Mayor right now would possibly get stripes put on SE Blvd!!!!!

In addition to bike lanes it was agreed upon by a significant majority of people that there is a need for a connection from Sprague to the Riverpoint campus non motorized vehicles. Also a topic of discussion was connecting the Ben Burr trail to the Centennial Trail. An interesting discussion arose around lack of sidewalks in Spokane. A map on the wall showed how development in the 1960’s stopped requiring sidewalks and this has disjointed entire neighborhoods.There were many more great topics discussed but the above are just a few of the items. There are future meetings that will hopefully lead to action and my next post will be focused on what “you can do” to make Spokane and safer and more friendly bike town.Happy Riding!!!!! Ben…….

Connecting the City

Hi all, my name is Ben and am having an excellent time being involved with Pedals2People.

The parade was very fun and we are all looking forward to many more cool events. A few of us will be at an event on Thursday titled “Connecting the City”. This is a community workshop designed to discuss pedestrian and bicycle mobility in our community. It is taking place this Thursday (June 14th) from 5pm to 8pm at Riverpoint. I was just informed that there are a few more slots available (capacity is 60 people) so if you would like to attend email Melissa Eadie at meadie@spokanecity.org and tell her you are interested. She will provide you with the rest of the information.

Happy Riding :,,)


When I decided to take up the task of getting the t-shirts screenprinted, I knew nothing about the actual act itself but felt like my overall excitement to find out would get me through. I found the world of screenprinting full of quirky-chic folk with incredible artistic talent and an intimidating cool persona that made me, the somewhat clutsy wanna-be bike commuter, look like a real nerd trying to talk printing with the pros. Thanks almost entirely to my dear friend – Ryan-Maiden Coleman captain of the “Pedal Pirates” (another bad-ass bike gang) – I was quickly schooled in the fine art of screenprinting. Ryan was a real trooper considering he had to put up with my unrelenting questioning…. lets just say that he is a very, very tolerant man. The rest of the thanks goes to the hospitable and gracious Jason Abrahamson of Landmark – www.landmark-it.com – a screenprinting/skate/graphic design shop (and oh so much more). Needless to say, I am ready for round two! We are about to embark on a second printing process that should be equally exhilirating!

Picnic and T shirts

the picnic went well. 13 people showed up with food and bikes. the forestry pavillion will be our new meeting spot for gatherings: bathrooms right there, room for the kiddos to run and play, water and sink area, covered for inclement weather, centrally located in riverfront park, awesome views of downtown spokane. we took some pictures and will post them soon. mostly pics of the group and the new shirts were taken. the screenprinting turned out so fantastic! so simple and sharp. they’re visually pretty stunning; i wouldn’t be surprised if they get lots of attention…

thanks to ryan for printing them!