This event has a rich history of strengthening neighborhood support for education, providing services to families in need and generating involvement in neighborhood projects that improve quality of life.
Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC)
Bike Works is supporting the Rainier Beach Back2School Bash through the Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC) and Rainier Beach Moving Forward (RBMF) in partnership with residents and dozens of organizations from the neighborhood by hosting a backpack & school supplies drive!
The goal of this drive is to provide students and families with backpacks, school supplies and information about neighborhood and educational resources, food, clothing and entertainment. We invite you to join with residents, social service agencies, faith-based organizations, and local businesses to make the Rainier Beach Back2School Bash a success.
At Bike Works, we are saddened and outraged by the recent murders that have ignited the justified outpouring of anger and grief across the country and the world. Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, Manuel Ellis, George Floyd, David McAttee, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, and Breonna Taylor are just the most recent people to be murdered, along with too many others.
Through the grief comes hope as we see so many organizations and people exposing the pandemic of racism that plagues every aspect of our society. Real, systemic, institutional change must happen. The moment has come for everyone to join the longtime organizers who have been doing decades and centuries of hard work to make liberty and justice for all a reality.
“Systemic and cultural racism harms all families and it will take a multi-racial movement to end racism. Black families, our work is not only to dismantle the oppressive system but to use our organizing as a tool to heal from internalized oppression and help our people get a sense of their own power outside of the system. Non-black people of color, we can now see more clearly that the anti-black racism that this country was built on has used and abused your communities as well, especially in the wake of the targeted racial harassment of people of Asian American descent and the scapegoating of an entire people as the cause of COVID 19. Your organizing must address anti-blackness if you are going to ever truly be free of oppression. White folks, your work is in your communities. Learn your history, how you became white and the history of resistance of white folks working to undo racism. Organize and build a humanistic approach that takes responsibility for all white people- even your republican, conservative, liberal or overtly racist family members. When you deeply understand how the concept of whiteness has dehumanized you and harms your communities it can fuel you to work even harder to Undo racism.”
We invite you, our community, to hold Bike Works accountable to our anti-racist aspirations today and in the years to come. You can find our Racial Equity Action Plan for 2017 – 2020 on the “About” page of our website. We will share our new plan for 2021 – 2025 later this year and invite you to engage in dialogue and action with us to fight for the health, safety, prosperity, and happiness of our Black and brown family, neighbors, and friends.
Our shop, warehouse, and programs are currently on hold in order to keep our community as safe and healthy as possible during this time of social distancing. Despite being temporarily closed to the public, the Bike Works staff are still working – building bikes, writing curriculum, investigating new ways to provide products and services, and planning for the future.
Since last fall, our staff, Board of Directors, Youth Advisory Committee, and Racial Equity Task Force have been working with facilitators from Beloved Community to draft our next strategic plan to take us from 2021 – 2025 (check out our 2017 – 2020 Strategic Plan on our website here). Beloved Community is a non-profit consulting firm focused on implementing regional, sustainable solutions for diversity, equity, and inclusion. In order to keep up the momentum around this work, and to increase our collective learning, we are all reading a book about race, racism, and/or equity.
Here are the books we are reading – let us know if you’ve got additional recommendations or favorites from this list!
Community is the most important thing to us here at Bike Works. We feel that we have a responsibility to take care of each other, and we try to embody that in our work.
In light of recent public health concerns surrounding COVID-19, and with developing recommendations from Seattle King County Public Health about minimizing your contact with groups of people and working from home if you can for the time being, we have decided to cancel our programming, volunteering, warehouse, and bike shop hours here at Bike Works through the end of March.
Currently, our bike shop plans to reopen on Sunday, March 29th pending public health recommendations. We do ask that you refrain from bringing bike donations by the shop during this closure. Check out this page on our website for a complete list of bike donation sites around the county – or feel free to bring your donation by on the 29th!
We’re currently selling parts on ebay! Check out our page to shop remotely, and stay tuned for more online sales coming soon.
Our offices and warehouse currently plan to reopen on Monday, March 30th, with bi-weekly Volunteer Repair Parties scheduled to resume on Thursday, April 2nd at 6:30 PM.
We are working remotely and are available by email to answer questions – please get in touch with one of our staff members with any questions or concerns! Not sure who to talk to? Email our general account to get redirected to the right person or department.
Bikecitement! is Bike Works’ annual fundraising dinner & auction, an event with a goal of raising over $300,000 for our youth and community programs.
This year’s event will be on Sunday, March 22, at Fisher Pavilion in Seattle Center (305 Harrison St). The theme is The Magic of the Bicycle. The Lead Décor Volunteer should be a witch, warlock, fairy, goblin, or any other being with artistic or crafty skills & sensibilities. The Lead Décor Volunteer will design and implement key components of the event décor to make this event as enchanting & otherworldly as possible!
Please note: a modest budget will be set aside for all decoration efforts – the Lead Décor Volunteer is not expected to spend any of their own money or provide any supplies for this project unless they explicitly choose to do so.
The Lead Décor Volunteer must be available on March 22 from 10 AM – 4:30 PM to help set up for the event. Breakfast & lunch will be provided, plus one ticket to the auction & dinner.
Work with Bike Works & event staff to create a plan for decorating the venue. This could include signage, centerpieces, and other magical elements, but does not include linens, dishes, or other event essentials.
Participate in two auction planning meetings on Monday, February 3 from 2:30 to 4 pm & Monday, February 24 from 4 to 5:15 pm, schedule permitting.
Get crafty by creating the design elements and sourcing any necessary materials (to be reimbursed by Bike Works.)
Coordinate volunteer work party for decoration creation (if necessary).
Determine volunteer needs/schedule for day-of and communicate these needs to Volunteer Coordinator.
Attend the volunteer training on Thursday, March 17 from 6 to 7 pm.
Lead décor setup of venue day of the auction (this is an all-day commitment for the day of the event on March 22, 2020 from 10 AM – 4:30 PM)
Décor Focus Areas
General signage inside & outside
Silent Auction table display
Dessert Dash table display
Stage backdrop display
Table Centerpieces (48 total)
Interested in leading the decoration efforts at Bikecitement! 2020: The Magic of the Bicycle on March 22, 2020? Email email@example.com with a short paragraph outlining your interest, arts & crafts background, and/or experience with large events by Monday January 27th. Please include one or two example ideas of a magical table centerpiece.
Charlotte Thistle (better known to some as “Miss Charlotte”) is a regular customer at the Bike Works bike shop, a full-time bicycle commuter and the founder of Miss Charlotte’s “Music for Tots”. She teaches music classes for kids from birth through age 8 in Rainier Beach, Columbia City and Laurelhurst! (Check out her website, misscharlottemusic.com). Charlotte wrote this blog post outlining 11 compelling reasons to trade in your car for a bicycle!
1. You’ll save money.
Monthly car payments? Gone. Insurance? No more. Parking? Forget it. Maintenance, repairs, tickets? All ancient history. A solid commuter bicycle costs $200 or less. To combine cycling with public transit, get yourself a monthly transit pass for $100. For those times when you need to transport a heavy load, run errands or do something special, join a car share program such as Car2go, Reach Now or Zip Car.
2. You’ll be happier.
Spending hours a day trapped in a stuffy metal box on the freeway doesn’t make anyone happy. In fact, researchers have shown that car commuters are more likely to be depressed than people who walk, cycle or take public transit to work, even when their commutes take longer.1
3. Your health will improve.
According to the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (as well just as plain old common sense) cycling is the urban transport mode associated with the greatest health benefits. Lowered blood pressure, improved circulation, stronger bones and better cardiovascular fitness, strength, flexibility and joint mobility are just a few of the health benefits you may experience with a switch to bicycle commuting.2
4. You’ll be sexier.
You’ll develop a healthy, radiant glow, lose weight, and build muscle – without spending a dime at the gym! In fact, if you think of the extra time added to your commute as replacing a daily gym workout, you’ll realize you’re saving time and money.
5. Everything you eat will be delicious.
You might be amazed how much better everything you eat will taste. Now that you’re working up an appetite with regular exercise, that stuff in the cafeteria that tasted like cardboard last week will suddenly become juicy and amazing! (For real.)
6. You’ll get to know your neighbors.
Being out and about, walking or biking or waiting for the train or bus, you’ll notice people and things in your neighborhood you never knew were there. You’ll discover a world of wonders right on your very own block!
7. You’ll use your time more wisely.
When it’s no longer easy to just ‘dash to the store’ for one or two items, you’ll plan ahead so those extra trips become unnecessary. You’ll do all the errands you need to do in one part of town on the same day, and you’ll feel confident about saying no to time-wasting activities you never wanted to do in the first place. You’ll spend less time running around, and more time doing the things that really matter.
8. You’ll gain confidence in yourself.
When you know that you, yourself, can provide the energy to get up those hills and cover those miles, you’ll have a new sense of your own personal power. You’ll realize that you are much stronger and more capable than you previously imagined.
9. You’ll re-arrange your life the way you always wanted it.
You’ll find a way to make your life work – and it will be better. Maybe you’ll move closer to work, work closer to home or even work from home. Or perhaps you’ll join a carpool a couple of days a week, and make some new friends – or utilise public transit, and find you have extra time to read. There are many ways to commute successfully without owning a car.
10. You’ll feel good about your impact on the world.
The single most destructive thing you do every day is drive a car. Exhaust from your tailpipe poisons oceans, rivers, trees and the air we breathe, and contributes to global climate change. In the United States alone, over 37,000 people die in road crashes each year and 2 million more are injured or disabled.3 An estimated 1 million animals are run over by cars everyday.4 If you care at all about water, air, trees, people or animals, the first, most important step you can take towards positive change is to give up your car – for good.
11. You’ll be setting a good example for others.
Do you have children? Employees? Students? Co-workers? Show them it’s possible to live well without a car. When they see you succeed, they may follow your lead.
“The first time I understood what freedom and strength meant, I was on my bike.”
On May 25-26th, Bike Works Program Coordinator Jim Labayan rode the (20th annual & last-ever) 24 Hours Round the Clock mountain bike race in Spokane WA during his 24th year. On his blog, Forks, he reflects on what motivated him to take on this challenge, from simply wanting to have autonomy over when to get his next sugar fix, to measuring up to his absurdly fit older brother Gus, to leading high school students on the 210 mile ride from Seattle to Portland with the Major Taylor Project. Read the whole story here about the challenges and lessons he learned from this experience.
Climbing “First Hill”
“I first felt a strong pull to long distance cycling when I rode around the Washington Olympic Peninsula in 2013. Truthfully, it was awful in many ways. I was lonely, hungry, and green. But it also offered me so much escape from the pent up traumas of my cross-cultural and turbulent upbringing. I fell in love with the rhythm of climbing hills, the fatigue in my legs, the aching in my back, soreness in the arches of my feet… I fell in love with getting lost — mentally and geographically.
…This race is for the times that I fell short of expectations. This one is for the people who told me I wasn’t enough. This one is for the times I was doubted because of my age, my ethnicity, or my introversion, or my awkwardness. Whether it is 15 hours or 24 hours or the top step of the podium, I know I will have implemented every lesson; relived every emotion that I’ve experienced through a lifetime of bike riding. And that is enough.
…Altogether, I rode for a total of 19 hours 32 minutes and 51 seconds. I rode over 200 miles and climbed over 11,000 feet. I got two hours of sleep, and the rest of the time was spent taking small breaks. I narrowly earned third place by finishing 9 minutes ahead of fourth place — and extremely narrow margin for a 24 hour race. More data can be found here for all you cyclists, data nerds, or for those curious enough…
That being said, I could have done better. If I had not slept and ridden through the rain, I might be sitting in second place. But that is not the point. I laid everything that I was willing to offer down on the line. And that is enough.”
Jim Labayan is a Program Coordinator for Bike Works, working with youth & adults on bicycle ridership, ownership, and leadership skills. He has been with the organization since September of 2018.
Bike Works Board Member Jess Kim is a Bay Area transplant, a multi-modal engineer for the Seattle Department of Transportation, and plays in local pop-rock band Coach Phillips. Jess and her SDOT team are responsible for designing roadway infrastructure in the city’s Bicycle Master Plan and building connections to existing and future bicycling facilities in Seattle.
A bike ride led to Jess eventually joining the Bike Works Board. This Sunday, July 29, she’s bringing together bikes, bands, and (cold) brews for Bands for Bike Works at Conduit Coffee Company on Westlake Ave N, just south of the Fremont Bridge.
As she told a former coworker, “My bike life trifecta has finally come together: I work in bikes, I ride bikes, and I volunteer for bikes. Everything has somehow come together.”
Ted Cox (left), Jess Kim (center) and friend Lisa Choi (right) hanging out at Bike Works Eleven Winery event on July 22
How did you get involved with Bike Works?
I went on a bike ride — stopping at all the donut shops — for a friend’s birthday the first year I moved to Seattle. One of the people on that birthday ride works at Bike Works — Mike Buendia, he works at the warehouse — and so we got to talking. I was looking for opportunities to volunteer with an organization that worked in bicycle advocacy and education, similar to Bike East Bay in the Bay Area where I helped draft preliminary plan proposals.
I was immediately drawn to Bike Works and their mission to empower youth through bikes and foster strong communities.
My initial thought was to be a volunteer at Bike Works’ Volunteer Repair Parties and learn some grease monkey skills while helping a good cause, and found myself sitting among the Bike Works Board — a role I have no previous experience in, but figured why not give it a go. While I haven’t been able to make it out to a repair party just yet, I have been an active Board Member getting involved with different committees and organizing a cultivation event which is Bands for Bike Works!
Tell me about Bands for Bike Works.
I got the idea, I guess, because I’m in one of the bands that’s playing. We’re called Coach Philips. I love planning events and bringing people together. When I was in Oakland I helped organize a local festival down there and part of my role was to book and manage the entertainment.
And so an event like Bands for Bike Works seemed fitting. I just figured I’d bring in the music community with the bicycling community into this ultimate event.
And coffee on top of that.
And coffee! Exactly! Yeah, a lot of different communities coming together all for Bike Works.
What else should people know about this Sunday?
There’s going to a bike drive where you can bring us your old bikes as well. And a bike valet, too. Conduit Coffee Company is right on Westlake Ave N next to the Westlake Cycle Track, so we’re hoping to pull some Sunday strolling families in to learn all about the amazing programs at Bike Works and listen to some music. It’s a family-friendly event.
The Bike Works Warehouse will be open 2 hours later than usual on Saturday, April 28. The Warehouse retail space, and Open Shop will be open to the public from 2pm-5pm. Regular Saturday hours, 12-5pm, will resume the following week. Sorry for the inconvenience. Thanks for understanding. Love you. Bye.
We are so grateful that Zoe and Marcus have dedicated their time and energy to our community. The passion they each exude is a testament to each of them and to the power of the bicycle as a vehicle for change.
In Marcus’ words, “Bike Works is a place where you can come and meet people, and those people can possibly turn into your friends that you talk to on a daily basis. It’s like a second family.”
Thank you, Marcus, Zoe, Marla, Tim, Shawna, and Tina, for sharing your experiences, and being part of the Bike Works family. We are all better for knowing you.