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Bikes del Pueblo Seeks Permanent Space to Help Mid-City Residents With Bike Repairs - YouTube
"A flat tire or a broken chain is all it takes to put a bike out of service if the cyclist doesn’t know how to fix the problem or can’t afford a mechanic.

Eleven year old BMX rider Erick Mwesa found that out last week. Biking allows him to get to school in the mornings so his mother can drive to work. A couple of mechanical issues could mean being tardy to class or a major disruption in his mom’s schedule.

That’s where Bikes del Pueblo steps in. Seven years ago a group of volunteer bicycle mechanics started helping and educating the City Heights bike community about repairs and maintenance. They provide the tools and assistance to fix common bike issues.

Mwesa heard about the group’s assistance from a friend at school. He biked over to the City Heights Farmers Market Saturday on a flat tire to visit the Bikes del Pueblo booth, where the group operates its weekly bicycle workshops.

Volunteer mechanic Olivier Clerc diagnosed the problems and Mwesa soon had tools in hand to disassemble his bike. Clerc worked with Mwesa for about 20 minutes, teaching Mwesa what he needed to do to fix the bike, but never actually doing the work himself.

That’s because Bikes del Pueblo is built on a foundation of education and self-sufficiency. Volunteer mechanic Leah Shoecraft sums up their services.

“If you have some issue with your bike, you bring it by and we’ll walk you through the steps on how to repair it. So in the future if that happens again, you’ll be able to do it yourself,” she said.

The organization has started to grow. It has more volunteers, it’s filed for nonprofit status and it has more donations of bike parts than it has storage space.

Currently, other than the four hours on Saturdays, Bikes del Pueblo resides in the basement and backyard of Clerc’s house. To continue to expand, the group took to the online social fundraising platform Indiegogo to raise enough money to move into their own venue in City Heights.

“We want to be open every day and help people fix their bikes every day,” said Clerc.

Ending their campaign on Tuesday night, Bikes del Pueblo is about a third way to their fundraising goal.

By Brian Myers
Editor: Megan Burks

[Disclosure: Brian Myers volunteered with Bikes del Pueblo from 2007 to 2008.]"
sandiego  cityheights  bikes  biking  bikesdelpueblo  2014  brianmyers  leahshoecraft  olivierclerc  erickmwesa 
september 2014 by robertogreco

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