Build a Beater

It’s an official P2P program now. Jason was the first. Now we have another guy on deck.

The purpose of the Build a Beater program is to provide a relatively cheap bicycle to people that are willing to build up their own bike out of surplus bits from the P2P boneyard and stash piles. The idea is to build a bike that is “good enough” for basic transport: single speeds, fixed gears, city bikes, etc.

You should have some basic mechanical/bikey skills. As a beater builder, you’re expected to be pretty autonomous in your work. That said, you should ask questions and get some guidance if you’re unsure of stuff. The end goal here is to get you riding your bike.

Here are the ground rules:

  • Before you do anything, you must sign a standard liability waiver
  • You must pay $50 before starting to build. This fee can be reduced if you’re broke. If you decide not to finish, we’ll refund your money.
  • You can use pretty much any components that are not attached to other bikes in the shop. There are a few components/bits that are fancy and shouldn’t go on beaters. If you are not sure, ask a P2P volunteer. If we don’t have a component (single freewheels, fixed cogs, etc) that you want in the garage, then you must supply it.
  • Typically,the only new bits on the bike are brake/derailleur cables and housing. Everything else is used.
  • You are welcome to use any tools in the shop to finish your build.
  • Please try to finish your build w/in a month. We only have one beater builder in the shop at a time,so try to finish up so the next person can begin building.
  • You can only build/work on the bike during normal shop hours: M/W nights 6-8 pm.

Peace and Quiet

this is the entrance at city yoga on the hill. katie gehn keeps the studio simple and peaceful. she maintains a quiet space for yoga students. she gently guides students through her classes, offers alternatives for those of us who need to take it easy, and then she leaves some quiet time for your mind to wander and for your body to sink into the poses. less experienced teachers tend to fill the silent spaces with chatter, telling you what you should be feeling, counting out every breath, explaining how your fingers should be spread out, etc, etc. katie, like all great teachers, gives you the necessary information and then steps back to let the learning happen. she trusts her students and allows them the freedom to explore and learn for themselves.

many thanks to katie for inviting us to share our stories and for offering to share her peaceful space. pedals2people collected 10 donated bikes, and we met some interested future volunteers!

Halloween Critical Mass Ride

i think the bike is a tool–a vehicle that brings people together, that empowers folks, and builds healthier communities. we all hold those beliefs in our hearts at pedals2people. we love biking. it’s fun. and it makes us feel good.

critical mass is a bike event that brings people together, usually about 20 +/- in spokane. for the most part, they’re fun. my young daughter has come with me on a couple rides. she honks her horn and waves at people. i ring my bell and smile.

this year’s halloween ride pushed the envelope more than i was comfortable with.

it’s hard when you’re riding in a large group, especially a leaderless group :,,) how many lanes do you occupy? do you block intersections or split up and wait at the next light? how do you respond to angry drivers? celebration ride or protest? ask 10 different critical-massers these questions, and you’ll likely get 10 different answers.

if i’m answering, i say…

share the road, so don’t take more than two lanes.

split up and catch the group at the next light (the way lights are timed downtown, this works easily).

ignore the anger, or smile and wave it away.

and, of course, celebrate bikes!

Friday Night: Karma Yoga

tomorrow is karma yoga night at city yoga. beth and i will be joining the class. we’ll also give some info about P2P afterwards. and, if your old bike is just hogging up space in your garage, bring it on by! your old wheels will bring mobility, independence, and new skills to people in ghana. this karma yoga class will benefit our organization and also the Village Bicycle Project in moscow, idaho.

it should be fun. i haven’t been consistent with my yoga practice lately (i.e. haven’t done any in about 3 months), so i’ll try and take it easy :,,) see the link for some guidelines.

*505 E. 24th St


*see you there!

P2P – Scoop Photo Contest

Ok. Here’s the scoop. (pa dum pum!)

The Scoop is sponsoring a photo contest and sale called “Viewed by Bike.”

It’s a neat idea. And to be successful, it requires participation from you.

The Basic Plan

Your piece of this project is, well, fundamental to its success. You take pictures of bikes, from bikes. Go nuts: anything bike related is good stuff. Or if you already have a really cool picture of you on a bike when you were a kid, that’s a good submission.

Then, submit the photos to Pedals2People by email ( or drop off hard copies at The Scoop (25th and Monroe).

We’ll print 8×10’s of the submitted photos and hang them all over the walls of the Scoop. They’ll be for sale, cheap. They’ll be there December and January.

So this means when you give us your photo you are giving us the rights to it too.

The Calendar Idea

I’m still waiting to hear from that super cool desktop publisher designer person that will design a bitchin calendar with the best photos. If that person emerges and designs a cool calendar, we’ll print up a batch of 2008 calendars and sell those. That means that this guru designer person also needs to understand how to create a printable product — like, something we can take to a printer. If that guru is you, please contact us!

Which are the best photos? I like Joe’s idea of how to select the top 12 photos: we’ll do a people’s choice type thing. Or better yet, maybe we can find a way to squeeze them all in there. I don’t know. But I do like the idea of a P2P calendar. With little events on random days: May 12th 2008: “you better be riding your bike to work today!” Or,June 22nd: “First overnighter of the year – meet at Bowl and Pitcher”. Stuff like that.

Some Technical/Detail Goo

If you bring a photo (as in a hardcopy,as in, your childhood bike photo) we can scan and then print, and then give your photo back.

If you’re submitting via email make sure the photo is good for printing at 8 x 10. I’d say 1600 x 2000 or so on the low end and 2400 x 3000 on the big end. No weird-o file types please. Jpeg preferred.

Deadline: Dec 3rd.

Limit: 2 submissions per person.

I don’t think we’ll make a gob of money off of this deal, but I’m ok with that. I’d love to walk into the Scoop (where I coffee just about every day) and see a ton of bike photos everywhere. And then to produce a calendar out of the deal too. That would be fun and a perfect holiday gift for your favorite cyclist.

Are we leaving anything out here? If so, let us know:

Get your camera and grab your bike

(I’m about 95% this photo was taken by Sheldon Brown — I’m 100% sure that I didn’t ask for permission to post it.)

The folks at The Scoop are doing a cool thing. In December and January, they’ll be putting up a bunch of bike photos in their in-shop gallery. Proceeds from sales of the bike photos go to Pedals2People. That’s cool as is. But what makes this event really neat is that the bike photos will come from the community.

The event is called “Viewed by Bike.” There are still some details to work out, but basically, the idea is that folks (like you) go and take photos of bikes, from a bike, or anything bike-related and then give them to The Scoop. We’ll go print them (thinking 8×10’s here) and hang them at The Scoop. Hopefully there will be a bunch of submissions and hopefully there will be a bunch of folks buying them. For now, let’s limit the submissions to two per person.

Thinking on this more, I think we should do a calendar. Get a panel of judges, have them choose their favorite 12 photos, then we make a Pedals2People calendar for 2008. Any graphic designers out there looking to donate some time to build up a sweet calendar? If we can find a great design, I’ll spring for the printing as long as we can cover that cost with initial calendar sales; the rest goes to P2P.

So that’s the plan. Stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, if you have a photo send it to me at

The First Pile of Bikes Has Been Transferred to Mountain Gear

As with every project we’ve tried, we learned a few things on our first transfer of bikes. Our first transfer was last Monday.

For context: we are partnering with Village Bike Project to ship the surplus bikes in Spokane to Ghana. In a nutshell: this means we gather 500 bikes, stuff them in a container, and ship them to Ghana, Africa. At the moment, we work out of a donated garage on the south hill. When we get more than 40 bikes in there, it’s nearly impossible to do anything but squeeze through the stacks. Enter Paul. Paul owns Mountain Gear and has a big warehouse in Spokane Valley. He’s donating space for us to stack bikes.

Anyway, we learned that it takes a fair bit of coordination to move a stack of bikes. Dan Treecraft is helping us by donating his time and truck. Then we’ve got a few folks we need to get to our space and help load up. Then we need to make sure Paul and his folks at Mountain Gear are ready for us. Aside from the coordination, the actual transfer took 2.5 hours: from pick up to end of delivery. Because Mountain Gear is a business we try to get in there during business hours so we can minimize our disruption to folks there. In the end, we moved 30 bikes.

So, there is a fair bit of overhead here.

Some ideas to streamline this:

  • Paul’s idea is the best: we would find a shipping container, drop it at the Mountain Gear warehouse site and then pack as we go. Paul has lots of space,but it’s sort of dynamic,we may need to move stuff around periodically. We want to minimize how much we move bikes around. Paul also suggested stacking bikes on pallets, strapping them down, and then we can move them around in bulk much easier. I like this idea, but studying how the VBP folks pack the containers, we’ll have to unstack the pallets and restack them when it comes time to load. So: the “find a shipping container” idea is perfect. This would also make it easier for us to load during non-business hours. It’s hard to get volunteers during weekday biz hours.

So: if you have a container or have any ideas on someone who may donate/loan one to P2P, please contact us. It may not even be a donate thing. Normally at ship time the VBP folks have to go buy a container — so it maybe more of a loan deal.

  • Do bigger runs. The actual loading time is pretty short when you have 3 or 4 people. So the process would scale easily if we had another truck and we could do runs of 60 bikes. My guess is that this would add about 40 minutes and we’d be moving twice the number of bikes. Of course there’s the issue of stacking 60 bikes in our garage, but there are a couple creative things we could do to squeeze more in.
  • Do smaller runs. In this model, we’d just have a trailer at the garage that holds about 15 bikes. Then we round-robin. Once the trailer fills, we have one volunteer make the run when they can make it and during the warehouse business hours. It takes that one person longer, but it’s less of an impact on the organization.

Got any ideas? We’re all ears.

Regardless: this is an exciting project. People really respond to it and we’re getting a nice boost in donated bikes. We’ll get these details figured out. We’re still targeting next Summer as our goal for shipping the container.

Picture-perfect day

soooooo nice today. it was a perfect fall day: 60 degrees, vivid orange and red bursts of color, busy squirrels scurrying about. i didn’t go for a long ride, just downtown for lunch and back up the hill, but i’ll take what i can get. 2 or 20-miler, doesn’t really matter. i had to stop at cannon hill park on my way home to take this picture.

speaking of pictures…patrick sullivan is putting together a photography show at his shop. patrick is the owner of The Scoop, where they serve the best ice cream in town. he’ll be accepting submissions of bike-related photos for his december-january show. sales and proceeds will benefit pedals2people. thanks patrick for the generous offer! more details to follow.

also, we have a date and a time for our Karma Yoga class at City Yoga:

  • Friday, November 2nd, 5:30 pm
  • 505 E 24th Ave
  • Bicycle donations happily accepted for the Village Bicycle Project
  • Join us in “promoting positive change within our community”

Good Karma

katie gehn at City Yoga has invited pedals2people to take part in her Karma Yoga series. we’re psyched! think yoga, think bikes, think “positive change within our community.”

city yoga devotes one evening a month to this community-building program, where the studio is open to local non-profit organizations and spreading their missions. yoga students partake in the friday night class, and city yoga donates their space, time, and fees to the charitable organization. P2P will also be collecting bikes for the Village Bicycle Project at this event.

thanks katie for thinking of us! we are so honored!

check back to find the November date and time for this Karma Yoga class at 505 E. 24th St. and YES, they have a bike rack!