Podcast: Shop Talk – Community Cycling Center and Bikes for Humanity

Posted by on December 22nd, 2021 at 1:57 pm

We’re just about to sign off for the week to enjoy the holiday (and my daughter turns 19 tomorrow!), but before we take a break I wanted to share the work of people and organizations who are making the season brighter for people in need.

I loved talking to shop owners last month for our first Shop Talk series episode. This time I talked to leaders and staff from two local nonprofits — Bikes for Humanity and Community Cycling Center — that also provide bikes for the community, but have a much different approach. They focus on making bikes more accessible for people on low-incomes and for people who either don’t have a shop in their neighborhood or would likely never feel comfortable walking into a traditional, for-profit bike shop.

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(L to R Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland, Community Cycling Center/Facebook, Courtesy Andrew Shaw-Kitch)

Bikes for Humanity on southeast Powell started (as Community Exchange Bike School/Exchange Cycle Tours) in 2005 and became an official non-profit in 2015. I spoke to their current executive director, Andrew Shaw-Kitch, who’s been with the group since 2014. Andrew shared how he went from taking a free class in 2014 to leading the organization, and explained the lost art of patching inner tubes.

The Community Cycling Center in the Alberta neighborhood was founded in 1994 and still serves the community with a retail bike shop and several programs including their annual Holiday Bike Drive, that happened just last weekend. I spoke to their marketing coordinator Cole Lalomia and their program manager Nissy Cobb. Lalomia shared about a very cool program he created called “Pay It Forward” that gave over 200 people free flat fixes this year. And Nissy shared how the CCC is their “dream shop” and how its supportive environment made her feel safe enough to come out as trans and non-binary.

It was a really fun episode to put together and I think you’ll be heartened and inspired to hear from these great folks and learn more about the work they’re doing.

One more thing, I want you to know how much I’ve enjoyed getting the podcast up-and-running these past six months or so. We recently pushed past 5,000 downloads which is really amazing and I’m very grateful so many of you are listening.

Thanks again for all the support and have a great holiday.

P.S. Next week’s episode will feature an interview with Sellwood Cycle Repair owner Erik Tonkin.

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