Edie Perkins was struck by a car and paralyzed from the chest down in 2017. Today, she is still an avid bike racer, member of a national women’s paracycling team, and Executive Director of the Kelly Brush Foundation, who provide support & opportunities to athletes and folks with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities. In an evening of storytelling, Edie shared her vulnerability and positivity as she described her experiences with adaptive cycling and disability. Also featured is Ed Brondson, Executive Director of Outdoors for All, a Seattle-based organization providing recreation opportunities for people with disabilities including one of the largest adaptive cycling fleets in the country.
Do you, or someone you know, have a unique cycling story to share? Please get in touch with Elise to discuss presenting at a Bike Works “Bicycle Stories” event.
Isaac Dyor, Tyler Callaghan, & Ashton Breer are sophomores & juniors at Interlake High School, and Alex Wright is a junior at O’Dea High School. They are friends from the same recreational soccer club who recently decided to work together on a service project, both to meet their school requirements, and to give back to their community.
So far they have collected over a dozen bike donations from their friends & neighbors, and delivered them to the Bike Works warehouse for use in our shop, programs, & giveaways. Below is an interview with Isaac and Bike Works Development & Communications Manager, Elise, about this wonderful project to get bikes back on the road and into the hands of those who need them most!
Q: How did you hear about Bike Works?
A: I wanted to get involved through biking. I found Bike Works’ website through online research. I saw that you take bike donations, and I thought, well, a lot of people have extra bikes laying around. Instead of sitting in a garage, maybe they could be donations.
The two most important aspects of bikes are freedom and fun.
Q: How did you come up with the idea of collecting & repairing bike donations for your community service project?
A: We wanted to provide as much value as possible for our community service project, not just checking off the requirement. Since I had knowledge of bike repair, I saw that as an opportunity to use my skill set to provide more value. I figured we’d get more bikes if we went and collected them too. We started with our neighborhoods, and are now expanding to the families in our soccer club.
Q: Where did you learn about bike repair?
A: I started mountain biking last summer and slowly learned more tricks over time by reading online articles and watching YouTube videos. But I am still a beginner. So this is also an opportunity for me to keep learning. I’ve learned that anybody can start repairing bikes with a little time and a little effort.
Q: What does riding bikes mean to you?
A: For me, the two most important aspects of bikes are freedom and fun. As a kid, you can’t drive, so bikes give you the freedom to go to a friends’ house or to the park by yourself. I believe that is important for growth and maturity of kids. For me, it was always more fun to ride a bike with friends than get a ride from my parents. I also think bikes are fun, they give people the ability to bond over something and get exercise.
It only takes a little bit of work to make others really happy.
Q: Why is community service important?
A: Community service is a way to give back and learn lifelong skills. And it only takes a little bit of work to make others really happy. We’ve donated twelve bikes so far, which I hope means we’ve made twelve people happy. I’m hoping we can keep collecting more bikes to make more people happy.
Bike Works processes between 6,000 – 8,000 bike donations every single year! We accept any and all donations of bikes, parts, and accessories for use in our youth & adult programs, bike giveaways, and for sale in our social enterprise bike shop. Bike donors are vital to our organization. Thank you to everyone who donates bikes to Bike Works, and to volunteers like Isaac, Tyler, Ashton, & Alex for helping get the word out and harnessing the power of their communities!
In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Bike Works would like to share a reflection written by Karen Wang, a comedian, baker, photographer, and a sponsored rider for All City Cycles. Last March, in response to the escalating attacks on Asians around the country, Wang organized an impromptu ride as a place for healing and solidarity for those who identify as Asian. Over 40 strangers and friends came out on short notice in support. We are excited to share Wang’s story, and to invite any Asian Pacific American identifying riders to join another ride on Saturday, May 22nd for a chance to sprout a new community. Thank you Wang for your vulnerability and inspiration.
I was born to my Taiwanese parents in Massachusetts and later my mother became widowed when I was 8 years old. She then moved my older sister and me down to Texas where we spent our adolescent years growing up subconsciously assimilating to white culture.
The Atlanta shootings on March 16, 2021 uncovered a history of anti-Asian sentiments, xenophobia, misogyny, and fetishization of Asian women in this country that shook the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community into fear, pain, anger and deeply rooted trauma. To me personally, it completely flipped my world upside down in a way that I would have never expected. It resurfaced so much racism and family trauma in my childhood that I had suppressed my entire life trying to fit in and fly under the radar in order to keep quiet and not disturb the peace. Basically, I was reevaluating my entire racial identity that I had been so ashamed about for 30+ years. To say that the following week was hard to process is truly an understatement.
Basically, I was reevaluating my entire racial identity that I had been so ashamed about for 30+ years.
I had also come to the realization I had diminished myself as an Asian American so much that I had little to no close AAPI friends in my own community. Most of all of my friends are white, and I now find it deeply unsettling. I had met up with another Asian friend that week that was super impactful in processing the trauma, and it was incredibly healing to be with another person that looked like me and had similar racial experiences growing up. Timing was crucial for me as I am an external processor.
From there, I thought I would try to put together a bike ride as quickly as possible for the AAPI community because I knew that’s what I needed and wanted. Initially, I was inspired by Ron Holden, who is another fellow sponsored All-City rider, that started Ride for Black Lives in LA. Hearing him speak about his passion for the community was infectious, and I had always wanted to organize a ride but have felt I was not credible nor equipped enough with the experience. But this time, I felt like it was so important to me that I knew it had to happen, and it didn’t matter that I didn’t know what I was doing. I wanted to create a safe space for healing for the AAPI community where they could come together on bikes, be able to meet others where they were, and build a genuine connection. I knew I couldn’t have been the only one feeling so alone that I wanted to be surrounded by my people during this time.
I wanted to create a safe space for healing for the AAPI community where they could come together on bikes, be able to meet others where they were, and build a genuine connection.
That evening, I had never experienced so much pride in my own race and identity. We had felt seen, supported, cared for and so loved by our own community. This was only the beginning of our healing and the spark of something more to come.
Marley Blonskey & Kailey Kornhauser work to make cycling more accessible for people of all body sizes, especially larger bodies
Marley Blonsky and Kailey Kornhauser are self-proclaimed Fat Bikers and subjects of the upcoming Shimano film “All Bodies on Bikes,” about their relationships to their bodies on bikes during a bikepacking trip to Oregon.
Check out their recent presentation to the Bike Works community about ways to make the cycling industry, culture, and community more accessible to people in larger bodies, including gear suggestions, leading & structuring group rides and cycling events, and using respectful and inclusive language.
A Bike Works customer, Chris, recently purchased this vintage steel Barracuda mountain bike frame from our ebay shop:
Then he sanded it down, with the welds “bondo’d” to make them easier to sand/paint. It took 11 hours!
Then just a few coats of paint…
And a coat of glitter…
And it’s done! The colors were chosen by Chris’ granddaughter, Molly, who is now the proud owner of this gorgeous ride. The bike is setup as a 1×10 hybrid with a low gear range suitable for Seattle’s hills and big enough tires for light duty trail riding, but not full mountain biking.
Interested in your own bicycle transformation project? Check out our twice monthly “as-is” bike sales every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month for inspiration!
We are very pleased to announce that last week, the Bike Works Board of Directors unanimously voted to formalize Ed Ewing’s transition from Deputy Director to Executive Director.
Since joining Bike Works in August, Ed has cemented our confidence in his vision, authenticity, and collaborative leadership style. We know that he is the right person to lead Bike Works because of his commitment to racial equity, community, partnerships, and bicycling.
Members of our community share our excitement:
Ed Ewing at a Peace Peloton ride in 2020. Photo by Bike Hugger.
“There is no one better than Ed Ewing to leverage the resilience in our Bike Works community to further our mission. Ed’s indefatigable ability to connect with people and empower them to step up to demanding challenges is exactly what we need to support our youth and see that our community continues to thrive.” -Jeanne Fellin, Bike Works Board of Directors
“Ed and Bike Works are a match made in heaven…he brings a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective from two wheels. Ed can bridge the gap between competitive bike racers, utilitarian cyclists, and other diverse communities to unite for a common goal.” -Matt Clark, StraighEIGHT Films, Bike Works Volunteer and Supporter
“As Executive Director, Ed will do what he does as a ride leader. First make sure everybody is safe and ready, then guide through the tough spots to reach great heights, all the while making sure a sweep is in place so everybody stays together.” -Dr. John Vassall, Physician, Bike Works Supporter
Ed, age 17, at his second bike race
“We have known Ed Ewing for years and have seen his passion and determination for community organization grow. He has the rare ability to connect with everyone in a group, which brings everyone into the conversation.” -Nancy Ritzenthaler & Al Odmark, Bike Works supporters
“I’ve known Ed as a leader, raconteur and a constant force when it comes to meaningful connections and rallying good people for great causes. Ed is relentlessly positive, and positively relentless.” -Thomas Goldstein, Bike Works supporter since 1996
“Ed Ewing is more of an experience than a proper name. His Super Powers reside at the intersection where strategic collaborations, community development, dry humor, and social enrichment come together. Through his stealthy leadership style, you’ll be midway through a project before you realize it was Ed’s Jedi influence that ordered your steps. A serial cyclist, loyal friend, harbinger of positive change, consummate leader, and all around quality human, Ed has left an indelible impression on and in my left that contributes to me being a better human.” -Doc Wilson, InGaj Coaching and Peace Peloton
Ed takes the helm at the onset of our next Strategic Plan for 2021 – 2025, which centers racial equity and deeply engages community.
We will be rolling out this new plan on Thursday, February 25th at 6 PM so that our community may ask questions and learn about how to get involved. We would love to have your voice in that conversation – sign up to register for a link to join.
A note from our friends at Free Range: We were really fortunate to get bikes this year during a global shortage, and we’d love to connect all of these bikes with folks who are ready to upgrade their ride before the end of the year so that we can make space for more inventory in 2021. Below are some examples of the awesome bikes we have for sale – contact us if anything speaks to you and we can set you up on a test ride!
All-City Gorilla Monsoon: Root Beer Gravel Machine available in sizes: 43cm/52cm/55cm Complete MSRP $2199
The Gorilla Monsoon is ready to chew up some trails with wide tires, hill-ready gearing and disc brakes. Plus, it comes with a dropper post to allow you to change your seating position mid-ride. These wheels will get you around the city or get you the heck out–whichever you need.
Salsa Journeyman: Teal Dream – 2 available in size 50cm Complete MSRP $1199
This lovely bike enjoys long rides through the city or prancing on gravel trails, and is perfect for riders between 4’10-5’0. The bike you want for Spring bikepacking adventures and to roll you to your favorite coffee shop.
Salsa Journeyman Flat-Bar: Orange/Teal – Available in M/L/XL Complete MSRP $949-$1199 depending on build kit
The Flat Bar version of the Journeyman has all the functionality of the drop-bar version while allowing you to remain a little more upright. This is a perfect ride for someone who is looking to upgrade their current hybrid bike and enjoy some Summer adventures on our local trails.
All-City Super Professional: “Blue Panther” – Available in sizes 55cm/58cm Complete MSRP $1650
The Super Professional is the bike you want to zoom around the city, but not feel like you have to put on your road bike clothes. It is “road casual”, comfortable with racks and fenders or kept clean and pristine for Summertime fun with clearance for wide tires and mighty hydraulic disc brakes.
As seen on Instagram @bike_crap and other outstanding zines of the same name
Bike Works Recycle & Reuse Coordinator Seth Short presented some of the old, odd, obscure, weird, wild, & wonderful innovations of the cycling industry that he encounters processing thousands of bike donations for Bike Works every year.
Artist, writer, adventurer, bibliophile, researcher, cook, feminist historian, & bikexplorer Tessa Hulls presented her research into the historical role of bicycles as a tool for activism to promote racial, gender, and environmental justice to the Bike Works Community on 10/29.
Thank you to Tessa for sharing this incredible research and analysis with us, to Bike Works Deputy Director Ed Ewing for sharing his moving contributions to bicycle activism, and to everybody who logged on to spend their evening with us.
Phyllis Porter wears many hats. She is “Shero” of the Seattle chapter of Black Girls Do Bike, bringing this national cycling club to Seattle. She is a member of the Rainier Riders Cycling Club, Bike Works People of Color Racial Equity Taskforce member, board member of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, co-host of South End Connect, Whose Streets Our Streets member, member of the Transportation Equity Workgroup, and former candidate for Seattle City Council. She also has a small business – Porter Projects, where she consults on transportation projects. Whew! She really does it all!
In this online presentation from Bike Works on 8/19/20, she discusses her cycling journey – from starting as a casual rider, to cycling in the fast group with the Rainier Riders, to becoming a leader in Seattle safe streets activism, all the way to running for office, visiting the Governor’s mansion and starting a cycling club for Black women in Seattle!