Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Thieves ransack, burglarize Community Cycling Center

Posted by on February 20th, 2007 at 5:30 pm

visit to Community Cycling Center

[Thieves took bikes, cash,
and parts from the CCC
on NE 17th and Alberta St.]

Thieves ransacked The Community Cycling Center on NE Alberta and 17th this morning. Communications director Alison Hill says,

“We came in this morning to a ransacked shop and offices. Bikes, our safe, parts, and accessories stolen. Plus a day lost in the shop at a slow time of year. A big hit for a small organization.”

Alison says that neighbors and police, have noted a trend of other break-ins on the street.

Staff and volunteers have been cleaning up all day and will work into the night to put things back in order.

[The offices were “turned over”
according to Alison Hill.]
Photo: CCC

For a small non-profit that relies on income from bike sales and accessories, this is a “difficult blow,” especially during such a slow time in the season where every penny counts.

Alison adds that while this is a tragedy, they intend to use it as an opportunity to make the CCC more secure and to do more to keep their neighborhood safe in the future.

She also said they are in need of the following:

  • A security system, lighting, blinds and other equipment to secure their retail area;
  • A professional grade safe;
  • Donated bikes to replace bikes lost in the shop;
  • Cash to purchase new locks and accessories and make up for the lost business.

The CCC is a pillar of the community and if you can help, or if you spot any suspicious bike parts floating around that neighborhood, please contact Alison Hill immediately at (503) 546-8864 or alison[at]communitycyclingcenter[dot]org.

UPDATE: Donate online to help out the CCC!

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Michelle February 20, 2007 at 5:39 pm

    This is so upsetting. The CCC might look like just a bike shop from the outside, but what it really is is a social service agency, an educational partner, a community builder. Not that thieves think about whom they’re robbing…but if only they did…

    My heart goes out to the people who make the CCC what it is. They must be so frustrated and angry right now.

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  • Vladislav Davidzon February 20, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    Did they have insurance? That seems like a question which wasn’t answered by the post…

    If not, considering that the owner of the Bike Gallery sits on the CCC board, perhaps it is time for BG to (visibly) live up to their claims of supporting the community, and replace what was stolen. Surely a store the size of the Bike Gallery can afford to do that, quite easily? 🙂

    Soo let’s see your corporate responsibility BG! (and all the other bike stores in the city, although no one makes such proclamations as loudly as the Bike Gallery)

    That would certainly solve the problem.

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  • Jonathan Maus February 20, 2007 at 5:50 pm


    not sure about insurance situation.

    but I am sure that Bike Gallery owner Jay Graves no longer sits on their board.

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  • Michelle February 20, 2007 at 5:53 pm

    Vladislav, that was an ungenerous and unconstructive comment. Different kinds of discussions belong in different times and places and this was the wrong time and place for that.

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  • Mark J. Ginsberg, Esq. February 20, 2007 at 6:00 pm


    I am not sure I see the connection between the two issues in your post. Do you feel the BG doesn’t live up to their talk?

    I think they do. If you feel there are specific things the BG isn’t doing, let us know.

    I personally have found in my 15 years in Portland doing bicycle advocacy that the BG has always stepped up when asked.

    From Jay Graves personal time and personal money to the shops willingness to help almost everyone who asks.

    In my opinion, Jay and the BG are part of what make Portland Portland.

    If there are things or issues, please let us know, but vague potshots at a stand up guy are uncalled for.

    Mark Ginsberg

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  • Michael M. February 20, 2007 at 8:14 pm

    Wow, first Free Geek and now the CCC. Dangerous times for non-profits …

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  • Erin February 20, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    Part of me feels bad for the CCC because of the good work they do for the community.

    Another part of me could care less owing to the numerous bad experiences I have had while shopping there.

    Angry workers, snobbish and outright rude.

    Living just down the street I wanted this to be my friendly neighborhood shop. Sadly I will never set foot in that place again. To be fair I gave them many chances…

    And honestly, how could they not have insurance? And if they do why the plea for financial assistance?

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  • Darren February 20, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    The CCC website has a donation button. Stop the chatter and refill the platter.

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  • N.I.K. February 20, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    Thanks for pointing out the donate button, Darren. You just stopped me from buying some new tires I wouldn’t need for a few months yet anyway. 🙂 The money’s better spent on trying to help CCC out in this dire time.

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  • Vladislav Davidzon February 20, 2007 at 9:33 pm

    Why is it such an outrageous idea to suggest that the wealthiest bike shop in town step up to their social responsibility?

    Bike Gallery claims to be doing the most for the community, and undoubtedly they do some (and relative to other bike shops that may do nothing at all, it may seem like a lot) yet there are many folks within the bike community, including myself, that feel they can do a LOT more given the incredible amount of money they take in. Don’t get me wrong — I’m a customer (and my company has spent quite a bit of cash on equipment through them) so it is not as if I dislike them — I just feel that if a company will clamor their social responsibility commitment, it is only fair to call them to bat.

    It is only fair that when you claim to be socially responsible company that you are held to the highest standard, one even higher than your competitors (who may well do jack but do not claim such commitments).

    At the same time, above and beyond BG, it is not at all outrageous to suggest that the community demand that all the other bike shops stand up to the bat. My own company will lead by example and make a proper contribution to the CCC given the huge loss they suffered.

    We need to start demanding more from companies, especially ones that claim to be socially responsible. BG is the biggest, and the one who clamors their commitment the most, so they ought to make a commitment to do their fair share here.

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  • […] bikeportland.org has the skinny on a lame burglary that happened this morning at the Community Cycling Center. They broke in and ransacked the place, stealing bikes, and parts.. Shameful.  Hopefully they get back from community here as much as they’ve tried to put into it. Good Luck. […]

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  • Burr February 20, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    “Wow, first Free Geek and now the CCC. Dangerous times for non-profits”

    This does seem sort of suspicious…

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  • N.I.K. February 20, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    “This does seem sort of suspicious… ”

    One one hand: yes. IIRC, the Independent Publishing Resource Center got hit a day before the latest FreeGeek break-in.

    On the other: is it a stretch to suggest the reasons these three orgs have been hit recently is because all three of them focus on activities directly related to and/or heavily supported by the use of particular goods which are easily carried or loaded into a vehicle as well as fairly easy to sell on the street for a quick buck? Also maybe the fact that the security measures just ain’t the greatest at smaller orgs? Anybody, feel free to correct me on the last point…haven’t been to the IPRC and I’ve only been at the FreeGeek here back when I visited prior to getting the Chicago one launched late summer 2005 (apologies to FG’ers reading this; my work load has been insane since moving to Portland and I’ll be down to help once I’ve got some free time, I swear!).

    Granted, I’m not saying that anyone should be excused for seeing these places as easy targets and the subsequent sprouting of horns. The perpetrators at the very least clearly don’t give a damn about the well-being of community-minded projects, let alone their would-be constituents. What utter waste.

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  • Klixi February 21, 2007 at 12:59 am

    What is the deal with all the Bike Gallery insults being tossed around here lately? Maybe if BG sold a mere 15 bikes, didn’t say hi when you walked in the door and showed an elitist attitude when you asked them a question the Bike Gallery could earn some respect amongst this websites more “corporate aware” cyclists. Psh.

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  • tonyt February 21, 2007 at 8:19 am


    What was outrageous was your attitude, which attempted to dump the entire issue into the lap of BG (or another store) and conveniently left out any of OUR responsibility, as a community, to help.

    “That would certainly solve the problem.”

    – You can practically hear you slapping your hands clean and saying, “Not my problem.”

    BG stepped up when they were practically the only game in town. They’ve done a lot more than would ordinarily be expected. We should be glad and grateful. We don’t need to fall over ourselves with gratitude, but we shouldn’t react with a sense of entitlement the next time a need arises.

    If they, or other shops, choose to help again, we should recognize our good fortune.

    You sound like a spoiled kid who once given a good gift, harangues the giver if the generosity isn’t repeated.

    Have YOU ever volunteered for the CCC?

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  • Alison Hill February 21, 2007 at 8:35 am

    Good Morning Everyone,

    Thank you for your thoughtful support. We thank everyone who helped out yesterday and last night. The place looks and feels much better and we’ll be back in business this morning.

    While I would prefer to continue to focus on the support, I must respond to Vladislav. Briefly. You’re being terribly unfair and inaccurate. Jay Graves is the Community Cycling Center’s biggest supporter. He helps us as our largest individual contributor, a regular consultant on running a bike shop, building relationships with others in the industry, telling our story and generally making biking in Portland and around the country better and safer. He has done this for the CCC, BTA, Cycle Oregon, you name it. He’s been there supporting. For a LONG time.

    But what happened to us isn’t about ONE person stepping up. We need a community to do what we do. To rely on a single person will not make us a strong organization. We need people like you, our neighbors and… you name it. We need support from the community.

    Yes, we have insurance. But if you’ve ever dealt with insurance we’d be long gone before that process recovered what was lost.

    So, keep it positive. We need support, not accusations.

    Thanks to everyone else. Your encouragement means alot. Walking into the office, as chaotic as it is sometimes, is our home. It’s very sad to see someone wreck it. But we see it as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to clean, if nothing else.

    We feel that our call right now is to help spread the word about these break ins. Look after each other. Be a good neighbor. Help someone out today.

    Take care of each other,
    Director of Development and Communications,

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  • Alison Hill February 21, 2007 at 9:04 am


    I want to address Erin’s comment, too.

    Thanks for saying what we know and hear from others about service here at the Community Cycling Center.

    We are taking this seriously and working hard to address ways to be more welcoming and helpful to everyone who walks through the door. If we’re the “Community Cycling Center” then feeling more like a welcoming place is the first step. So, please know we are talking about, figuring out and trying to be better. If we fail, please tell us. Email me or call. Stop by and talk to me, or Mychal Tetteh, our retail manager, or Susan Remmers, our Executive Director.

    Again, it takes a community to do what we do. We’re trying to make a shift and we need your feedback to get it right.


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  • Mike February 21, 2007 at 9:21 am

    I am particularly interested in how you intend to help. By the way- Passing the buck does NOT count. Volunteering others livelihoods does not either. The Bike Gallery has employees to pay just like any other business, are you suggesting they should pay entirely for this?
    Stop being an a$$ and be constructive.

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  • Vladislav Davidzon February 21, 2007 at 9:22 am

    The Bike Gallery is the largest bike dealer in Portland, and the biggest Trek dealer in the world. This means that the demand on them to support the community should be far higher than those on any smaller bike shop.

    I take serious disagreement with anyone who suggests that corporate giving ought to be seen only as a gracious act, rather than something to be demanded. After all, Bike Gallery would be not exist without the community. If it appears as though unfairly picked BG out, my apologies — however, I tend to think it is very fair that as cyclists (and thus clients) we make *demands* on the bike industry in town to support the community. And in times like these, it ought to be the biggest bike shop in town that should be making the first and largest pledge.

    My company is a fairly large client of the Bike Gallery, and I have myself purchased quite a few items from them, and will continue to do so because their quality is outstanding. However, as a client, I tend to demand companies with which I do business stand up and do their part for the community. It isn’t a nice thing to do, but rather their basic responsibility. And those demands should and are proportional to the size of the company.

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  • DK February 21, 2007 at 9:32 am

    Remember to call the metal recycling companies around town, like Cal Bag in NW Pdx. Most pay good money to anyone who brings it in, and maybe they can keep an eye out, or may have info. on a check register for money paid out for bike parts.

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  • tonyt February 21, 2007 at 9:54 am


    You’re speaking of two different things there in your last post.

    Your relationship to BG as a customer.

    Your relationship to BG as a member of the community at large.

    As a customer, you have every right to demand something from a business that you patronize. It is part of the “negotiation” process that we all participate in when we develop that sort of relationship. If they fail to do what you expect, you then have every right to take your business elsewhere.

    As a member of the community though, your relationship with BG, or any other social entity is more complicated.

    Certainly you may expect someone to step up and you should voice your opinion as to what you think they should do or if they should fail to fullfill what you see as their societal obligations.

    Within that context though, you would do well to remember the adage about attracting more flies with honey. Your lack of diplomacy is stunning.

    If you’ve ever been in a position of authority, you should know that it doesn’t matter whether or not you are entitled (in a hierarchical or moral sense) to TELL someone what to do. It is simply much more effective, especially over the long-term, to make someone feel that they have a choice and that they are participating in a conversation. Take away that most basic dignity and they are likely to exercise the control that they do have and just walk away from the table.

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  • beth February 21, 2007 at 9:55 am

    I know the CCC needs money, but what else can we do if we’re broke?

    Tell ya what.
    I’ll bring my trailer to work on Thursday, Feb. 22.
    I work at SE 8th and Ankeny.
    I will collect small bike parts and accessories (bags, lights, stems, seats, etc.) to deliver to the CCC as a donation. If you’re in my neighborhood tomorrow. Consider it a one-day small parts drive and drop something off.

    Because I work in a bike shop, let’s keep this discreet and polite — just bring it in a brown paper bag marked “Beth” and I’ll take it to the CCC when my shift is done.

    Small parts and accessories, please; my trailer is NOT huge. (I cannot haul bikes in my trailer. If you have a bike, please donate it in person to the CCC.)
    It’s the only thing I can think of in the absence of a car and pots of money. I’m sure the CCC can use it. So if you’re in the neighborhood of my workplace on Thursday stop by and discreetly toss something in.

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  • K February 21, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Just to throw my personal experience with the CCC in-

    A little over a year ago I got a flat on the way to a date and the only place around was the CCC and they were closed. But they had the ladies’ volunteer night going on, so the women let me in, showed me how to repair my flat, and sent me on my way. I am now attempting to learn how to perform the basic necessary maitenance and repair on my own bike with the help of the CCC’s bike classes and volunteer opportunities. I am prone towards pneumatic maladies, and as a result of the CCC, there is one less person frequenting the bike mechanics in town to have flats changed.

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  • Morgan February 21, 2007 at 10:43 am

    “Officer” Vladislav,
    For the sake of everyone’s sanity, silence your keystrokes, get out YOUR checkbook, and HELP your community directly instead of demanding that others do it. You might also encourage your bik-friendly employees/partners to do the same.

    This is not the time to preach corprate responsibility. I am sure that Jay is aware of what has happened (he seems to frequent this site), but it is NOT your place to demand that others contribute.(REPEAT: IT IS NOT YOUR PLACE).
    If you feel that you have a right to demand the BG do something because you patronize the shop, then ride the same bike for another season…. and give ALL that money directly to the CCC.
    See? Simple. Now BIG, BAD, B.G. can’t mis-use your funds!
    “Jay Graves is the Community Cycling Center’s biggest supporter. He helps us as our largest individual contributor, a regular consultant on running a bike shop, building relationships with others in the industry, telling our story and generally making biking in Portland and around the country better and safer. He has done this for the CCC, BTA, Cycle Oregon, you name it. He’s been there supporting. For a LONG time.”
    Hmmm, seems like they are already doing what you asked…ooops, I mean “Demanded”
    and a WHOLE lot more.

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  • tonyt February 21, 2007 at 11:01 am


    You never answered my question.

    Have you ever volunteered for the CCC?

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  • Brad February 21, 2007 at 11:18 am

    Commissar Vlad is more like it. The “evil” capitalist pigs who sell us bicycles must be made to pay!

    Thank you Jay for ALL that you do for Portland’s bike community. We are a better place for having Bike Gallery in our city.

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  • Jessica Roberts February 21, 2007 at 11:33 am

    Vladislav, you show an incredible lack of understanding of how the bicycle community works, as well as how to work together with other people and other organizations. Bullying people into generosity is basically a no-go, as far as successful people skills go. Do you do this in your work as well? If so, it must be hard to work with you.

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  • Ron February 21, 2007 at 11:35 am

    I concur with the many positive comments regarding the CCC. I’ve been a customer of yours many times and must say that the employees/volunteers have been nothing but very polite and helpful. I also want to put a plug in for NoPo bike works, they’re terrific too!

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  • Michelle February 21, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    Everyone can give a few bucks to the CCC right now, and it will go a long way. Go to:


    Even a few bucks will help!

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  • chelsea February 21, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    Is there anyway we could get a list of the types of bikes/ other major stuff that was stolen so we can keep an eye out? That much inventory cannot just disappear. Someone has it and probably would like to get rid of ASAP.

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  • West Cougar February 21, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    Hoo-haa. 🙂 Progressives are always in favor of bleeding their heart with other people’s money… but, Vlad, you should know by now it has to be a *collective* of other people.

    Oh, and the more other the “other”, the better. (ie. see Sunday Oregonian’s op-ed in favor of health insurance for the children, but paid for by smokers… smokers are about as “other” as you can get these days; gas taxes for such a worthy goal evidentaly are unthinkable)

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  • Cecil February 21, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    For those of you who want to donate to the CCC, but feel like the $1 or $2 you might be able to afford won’t go very far, consider the possibility of a recurring donation – if you have a credit card or debit card linked to a bank account, you can arrange to have $1, $2, $5, $100, $1000 – whatever you think you can afford – withdrawn each month. There are a number of benefits to this kind of contribution: (1) you can give an amount per month that seems negligible, but which adds up significantly over time; (2) it is extremely beneficial to a non-profit like the CCC to have the kind of reliable cash flow that comes from recurring donations; (3) you can give more over time than you might be able to come up with for a one-shot donation; (4) it’s fun to get that letter in January every year that shows how much you donated so that you can itemize your deductions, and realize that “Wow! I donated a lot of money to a good cause, a portion of which would otherwise have had to be paid in taxes that help fund the government war machine! I must be a very, very good person.” . . .

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  • Ethan February 21, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    I almost responded last night, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It took me months to get off Vlad’s annoying automated networking (see also SPAM) system. A self-styled social visionary to himself maybe, but not to me. He’ll keep repeating the same flawed logic well into next week if the posts continue. All the rational rebutals offered here are falling on deaf ears, and detracting from the real focus.

    To me, this burglery, others on Alberta, the amazing increase in graffiti in NE, and the incidents that promted Jonathan to promote bike patrols are all pieces in a very disturbing puzzle. Not many years ago the area from I-5 east to 205, north of 84 all the way to the river had around 30 officers on a typical night. Now they have about 14. Maybe Jay should send a check to the Police Bureau (just kidding). Until they have enough manpower to do their job, widespread Police bike patrols will remain a distant dream. Money does not grow on trees, but crime also has it’s causes . . . I sure would like to get a better big picture sense of what is happening up here.

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  • organic brian February 21, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    I’m again horrified to learn of the lack of security at a non-profit that stocks huge loads of valuable stuff. I knew that it was only a matter of time before Free Geek got hit, now finally it appears that they’re upping the security. Hopefully the CCC will spend some of the donation money on a good security system. It’s too bad that society can’t just count on good intentions to safeguard non-profits which work to improve the community. This is really disgusting.

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  • lyle February 21, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    hopefully they had serial numbers on all the stolen bikes.

    guaran-damn-teed some of them show up in a crack house or on craislist in short order.

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  • Erin February 21, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks for the reply Allison. It is interesting to see that you are aware of the horrible customer service at the CCC.

    Yet what exactly is being done about it? I see the same folks around there… If I behaved that way at work I would be out on my butt in a matter of minutes.

    One of the people who has a habit of being rude, short and very unhelpful is Mychal. I suppose your employees learn to follow that example?

    Several friends have noticed this behaviour as well. Again I tried to become a loyal customer many times. I never had one good experience there. I usually have nothing but good experiences around town and am not a nit picker, or quick to judge.

    Still, I love some of the projects you facilitate. Just wish you all could drop the horrible attitudes.

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  • Hawthorne February 21, 2007 at 11:11 pm


    Your comments and attitude are most unhelpful. Get a grip, buddy.

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  • Scott February 21, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    I live a block or so from the CCC. This just plain sucks. We are seeing an uptick in general crime in the area. Less drug use, but more graffiti and burglaries. We used to joke that we were safe because no one thought anyone had anything worth stealing. That’s not true anymore.

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  • rachel February 22, 2007 at 12:34 am

    Well, this only helps a little bit, but….

    The Cully Association of Neighbors, of which I am recently a member, is having a “Neighborhood Cleanup” on April 28. I had thought and hoped that this meant people getting together to clean up trash, but it turns out to mean everyone cleans their garage and basement. sadly, lots of people have bikes and don;t ride them, and even sadder, last year there were no bikey folks present, and a lot of bikes apparently went to the scrap metal.

    So, April 28 at Trinity Lutheran Church, would be a good place to look for bikes for the CCC (or for anyone else who needs used bikes).

    Having run a community bike project myself, I know that getting generic derelict bikes is usually the least of one’s problems, but the post mentioned that the CCC currently needs more, so here is a source. Plus It makes me sad to think of the bikes getting scrapped.

    I won’t be at the “cleanup” myself but can put anyone interested in contact with folks who will. it’s probably a way to get other “good stuff”.

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  • […] The Community Cycling Center on NE Alberta was ransacked by thieves. Please donate– they need a new safe, repair equipment, and, unfortunately, a security system. […]

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  • Geoff G. February 22, 2007 at 11:12 am

    Seems like the CCC gets hit every couple of years or so. I remember sweeping up busted windows on two occassions during my time there. Ah, the memories.
    Cheers, Geoff

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  • erin g. February 22, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    I was sad to hear about the theft and vandalism at the CCC. We all must remember that nonprofit organizations have enormous jobs on their plates, striving to maximize very limited budgets while doing their best with limited staffing, often depending on volunteers. I wish the CCC a speedy recovery from this blow. I hope everyone chips in a sturdy dose of positive energy and effort to help them during this time.

    Does anyone know if any local businesses/bands/venues aim to have fun/creative fundraisers to help the CCC recoop?

    -erin g. (not to be confused with the other Erin above…)

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  • J February 23, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    come on ethan, “To me, this burglery, others on Alberta, the amazing increase in graffiti in NE, and the incidents that promted Jonathan to promote bike patrols are all pieces in a very disturbing puzzle.” Why lump art in as a reason for burlery, this is ignorant. People are stealing all over the city and surrounding areas, theft os rampant and it is on the increase, but does that mean that graffiti is to blame, or a piece of the puzzle? I dont think so.

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  • Josh m February 23, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    I’m glad someone else is willing to speak up about the service at the CCC. I personally don’t ever go there unless I really need to.

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  • Erin February 23, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    Most of the Graffiti in the north and northeast part of town is not art. It is stupid kids with no talent scrawling wanna-be gang signs or their names.

    I say this as someone who appreciates Graffiti art. Taking 10 seconds to write gibberish on someones building or home is vandalism, not art.

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