Category Archives: Events

Top Eleven Reasons to Trade Your Car for a Bicycle

by Charlotte Thistle

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 every day.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.


  1. https://www.uea.ac.uk/about/-/walking-or-cycling-to-work-improves-wellbeing-university-of-east-anglia-researchers-fi-1
  2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180813100249.htm
  3. https://www.asirt.org/safe-travel/road-safety-facts/
  4. https://www.hcn.org/issues/291/15268

Bike Works Program Coordinator Jim Labayen Rode a Mountain Bike for 19 Hours, 32 Minutes, and 51 Seconds

“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 on bands, SDOT, and her Bike Life Trifecta

By Ted Cox

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.

We’re getting donated beer from Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery, that’s up in Greenwood, cider from Seattle Cider Co. in Georgetown, bubblies from DRY Soda Company, and cold brew coffee from Conduit. Neema’s Comfort soul food truck will be on-site and there’s also going to be a raffle. And live music. And all the bikey people. There’s a lot happening that day.


Bands for Bike Works

Sunday, July 29

12 p.m. to 4pm.

Entry for $5, or $20 for entry and a bag of Conduit coffee beans.

Get tickets here

 

Lineup

12:30 – -1:10 PM: – Tina! (solo)

“Tina! is two inherently nice adults from Seattle, WA playing indie rock featuring powerful soaring vocals.”

1:30 – 2:10 PM – Coach Phillips

Coach Phillips is a Seattle-based indie pop/rock band playing hand-crafted jammers of “…an infectious sound oozing positivity.” – XuneMag (2018)

2:15 – 2:30 PM Musical interlude by Elise & Phil Hirschi

2:30 – 3:10 PM – Sour Notes

“Sour Notes is a pop punk band from Seattle, WA formed by four friends who realized they liked writing catchy songs about being bitter.”

3:20 – 3:45 PM – PUKE

PUKE is a punk ukulele duo. Enough said.

Coach Phillips’ song VHS Dating was voted one of NPR Music​’s top 10 Heavy Rotation songs in May! Check out the video below:

Ted Cox is a technical writer and Bike Works volunteer. He likes burritos and bikes and riding bikes to go eat burritos.

Warehouse/Open Shop Hours Changed for Upcoming Saturday

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.

Passion. Determination. Grit. We see it every day.

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.

evo Volunteer Day at Bike Works

This is a guest post from Marie-Antoinette Cruz, one of the outstanding team members at evo that volunteered their time at Bike Works. Thanks to Marie & the entire evo team!


I am not a cyclist. My bicycle and I have a lukewarm relationship at best. However, I work on the technology team at evo.com and am surrounded by coworkers who talk about biking all the time. So when the team was given the opportunity to volunteer at Bike Works for a day, helping prepare for their upcoming Warehouse Sale, it was too good for us to pass up.

Our day started with a tour of Bike Works’ full-service community bike shop, classrooms, warehouse space, and the BikeMobile (Bike Works’ repair shop on wheels). Julie, the Donor Relationships Manager, gave us a great introduction to what Bike Works has done over the years and shared information about their various programs. It was hearing about the Earn-A-Bike program that left the biggest impression on me. I remember thinking, if I had access to the same kind of program growing up, I might have a healthier relationship with my bike today. It was so cool to see a program that taught youth practical bike skills and, more importantly, fostered confidence, community, and accountability in a context that young people could be passionate about.

Over one hundred bicycles are neatly stacked against each other awaiting their new owners at Bike Works' Annual Warehouse Sale

[Image Description: Over one hundred bicycles are neatly stacked against each other awaiting their new owners at Bike Works’ Annual Warehouse Sale – evo Volunteer Day at Bike Works]

We spent the rest of the day working with the Recycle & Reuse team (Steve, Mike, and Seth) helping prepare bikes for the Annual Warehouse Sale. Before that day, the only thing I’d ever modified on a bike was lowering the seat (I am not a tall person), but I spent that whole afternoon removing pedals and loosening and turning handlebars so more bikes could be stored in the days leading up to the sale. Taking off pedals and turning handlebars might not sound like much, but for me it was another opportunity to grow and learn about something I knew nothing about.

I had so much fun working with the Bike Works team that I decided to volunteer the following Saturday at the sale as well. While there, I met an older gentleman who was an active mentor/teacher in Bike Works classes. We both were helping out in the clothing section, so we spent most of the afternoon together. He told me about the work he did at Bike Works, how being a cyclist had impacted his personal life, and shared some of the adventures he’d encountered along the way. Listening to him, I sensed a great deal of knowledge, experience, and an extension of the Bike Works community. When I told him about my lack of experience with bicycles, he encouraged me to attend a Volunteer Repair Party. It was this simple, welcoming gesture that really made my experience that Saturday afternoon feel so uplifting, as if there was no limit to how much I could learn spending time with this community.

I am grateful for my experience volunteering at Bike Works. It was a lovely introduction to an amazing organization rooted in community; one that is excited to share its awareness, know-how, passion, and love for all things bicycle!

– Marie-Antoinette Cruz

Group shot of the evo technology team - evo Volunteer Day at Bike Works

[Image Description: Group shot of the evo technology team. People are gathered around holding tools, smiling, and/or giving a thumbs up. Behind them to the right, you can see stacks and stacks of bicycles. – evo Volunteer Day at Bike Works]

Steve at Stoked Spoke Adventure Series

Come on out to Stoked Spoke Adventure Series next Wednesday, January 31st and listen to Steve speak about his 6 years of racing the Car-Free Ski to Sea!

Steve is the Recycle & Reuse Assistant Manager at Bike Works whose passion for the environment, community, and adventure shines through in everything he does. Bike Works is so excited to hear him share his story and we think that you should be excited about it, too.

Stoked Spoke Swift Industries Steve Gadingan

Ski to Sea

The Ski to Sea is a seven leg relay race between the Mt. Baker Ski Area and Bellingham. The legs include skiing, snowboarding, biking, canoeing, and kayaking which means that there is a lot of gear to haul. The Car-Free division means that you are using bicycles to transport that gear.

Want to read more about Steve’s epic adventures? Come on down to the Rhino Room (click for map).  It’s 21+ only. Can’t make it? Read this awesome write up by the Mount Baker Experience.

Stoked Spoke

Stoked Spoke is hosted by Swift Industries. Each evening highlights four to six self supported bike camping routes complete with maps, slideshow and planning tips. Once all of the presentations are finished, each presenter will host an information table where they will answer individual questions and have maps of region they explored.

Tickets are $5 at the door.

See you there!

Safe Routes to School & Bike Rodeo

Join Safe Routes to School and the BikeMobile for a free, family-friendly event to learn about Safe Routes to School and bike skills for kids of all ages.

There will be a Bike Rodeo, Music, Food and Scavenger Hunt on August 25th at Brighton Playfield! Safe Routes to School is kicking off the school year and helping families learn bike safety and skills and finding the safest routes to school.

The Seattle Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is hosting the
free, family-friendly celebrations for kids of all ages! There’s a bike rodeo with skills course, a helmet giveaway, free snacks, prizes, scavenger hunt, music, storytime with Seattle Public Libraries, bike mechanics, and more.

Safe Routes to School & Bike Rodeo
August 25th, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Brighton Playfield, 6000 39th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118

August Volunteer Opportunities at Bike Works

Summer is heating up Bike Works – literally! We are currently taking Popsicle and ice cream donations. Temperature jokes aside, it’s biking season, and the gears are turning at Bike Works.

Bike Works is receiving a record number of donations and making a record number of appearances at events. You can promote the bicycle as a vehicle for change in your community by volunteering with Bike Works! We have lots of ways to get involved. All mechanic experience levels are welcome – even no mechanic experience!

Volunteer in the Warehouse:

Do you have a favorite Do-It-Yourself storage solution? The Warehouse space is in need of your creativity and know-how to spruce up the retail space. Email Steve with your idea & to get started!

Bike Works is still receiving a record number of donations and we need your help to sort through all of the parts, clothes, frames, and other bike-related materials. No experience necessary. All bicycle knowledge levels are welcome. If you’re interested, sign up for a shift by clicking the button below!

Warehouse volunteers have the added perk of being at the heart of Bike Works. This is your opportunity to really see the life of a bicycle at Bike Works and contribute directly to the environmental stewardship of the organization.

Sign Up

Volunteer At upcoming events:

  • Sounders Bicycle Parking on August 12th from 11am-4pm. Bike Works is offering FREE bicycle valet services at the Sounders vs. FC Kansas City match and we need your help to watch over these bikes!
  • Big Day of Play on Saturday, August 19th from 1-4pm. This is an annual event put on by Seattle Parks and Recreation. It is at Rainier Playfields and Community Center – 4600 38th Ave. S, Seattle –
  • Sounders Bicycle Parking on August 20th from 5-10pm. Bike Works is offering FREE bicycle valet services at the Sounders vs. Minnesota United FC match and we need your help to keep these bikes safe.
  • Seattle Art Museum (SAM) Bike Night on Thursday, August 24th from 5-9pm. Bike valet & the BikeMobile.
  • Bike for Water bike ride by MiiR and Water 1st International on Sunday, August 27th from 10am-Noon.
  • Sounders Bicycle Parking on August 27th from 4:30-9:30pm. Bike Works is offering FREE bicycle valet services at the Sounders vs. Timbers match and we need your help to keep these bikes safe.

Learn More or Sign Up

Volunteer in the office:

 

Volunteer

Two people are staring intently at a bicycle in a repair stand. They are wearing gloves, holding rags, and in what looks like a shop.

  • The administrative office is looking for a volunteer to help keep us organized. If organizing office supplies is satisfying for you then please come help us! This opportunity is flexible. Email Deb@Bikeworks.org for more information.

Volunteer Repair Parties:

  • Volunteer Repair Parties (VRP) are drop-in, weekly bike repair parties for adults (age 18 and up). You do not need to be a skilled bike mechanic to help out. They happen Thursdays from 6:30pm to 9:30pm and Sundays from 10am to 1pm.

Learn More