Cruise on in to the Paonia Bike-Co-op

May 30, 2015 by     No Comments    Posted under: Community

CIMG4461The Paonia Bike Co-op (AKA the PPPC) started with a conversation in August 2014 and is now a fully operational shop with tools and expertise free of charge to the public.  The conversation was poignant at the time as we were having to drive to Montrose, Grand Junction, or Carbondale simply to get tubes for our bikes.  Thus we decided to start a bike co-op with the help of donated space in the backyard of the Peddler Building.  Our goals were simple: fix bikes and teach other people how to fix bikes.

CIMG4451With generous donations from people around the valley and a large donation from a bike shop that had recently shut down, we quickly had parts and a growing stockpile of tools and we could fix some bikes!  That stuff ran out just as we were being accepted under the umbrella of The Learning Council, allowing us to get a wholesale ordering account.  Since then, we’ve expanded our arsenal of tools, fixed many flats, built some bikes from old parts, and had a blast doing it!

The PPPC is entirely volunteer run.  Any money we get goes into getting more tools and parts so that the shop can continue helping more and more people.  The idea is that the volunteers are there to help people fix their own bikes with the co-op’s tools and guidance.  When someone does work to their bike with their own hands they are empowered.  When the mystery of a machine is unfolded it suddenly becomes approachable.  Many kids have come in with flats and learned how to patch and slime a tube.  Two girls have fully built up bikes from just frames!  I feel honored to be able to help with these projects.  Seeing kids eyes light up as it all starts to make sense to them is one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever experienced.  As well as teaching others, my mechanical skills have improved greatly since I started wrenching.  So, if you are interested in helping out and learning a few things, come on down.  We’re hiring!  No pay.CIMG4459

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Right now, nine months after we started, we are not only the only place to buy a tube in the North Fork Valley.  We also have a “boneyard” of old bike frames and partly functional bikes which can be built into fully functional bikes with a little time and effort.  We keep a healthy stock of tubes of all sizes.  We have a growing tool collection and can order parts if something is needed that we don’t have.  Our tool arsenal is complete to where we have the tool for any project that is likely to roll in.  So, whatever your bike problem is (and we all have one) the PPPC has what it takes to fix it.  Ride down and see us!

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