After School at Open Shop!

Recently at a Wednesday Open Shop, a boy came up to me and introduced himself as Philip, a fifth grader from up the street. He said his gym teacher told him about CommonWheels and that he could learn about bikes and he was just wondering if he could fix bikes with us? 

Then Philip's mother gave him a stern lecture not to leave the building, and he hung out with us for three hours. I gave Philip a bike to work on and he cleaned the frame, changed the seat, lubricated the chain, and we were going to fix the brakes until I broke them clean off the fork. Womp.
  
After that, a gentleman came in to Open Shop with a flat tire and Philip fixed that too! I was really impressed with Philip, not only because he could do what you showed him to do on a bike, but also with how quickly he caught to the concepts at hand. He had a knack for figuring out what he needed to do and how to do it... not to say that a fifth grader isn't perfectly capable of it, but he was quicker to catch on than most adults who come our way.
  
Since that day, word has gotten around and we've found ourselves with 3-4 youth every Wednesday. They create a whole lot of positive chaos in the space, and we're having a blast teaching them mechanics. Allston, send us your children, we will put them to work.
  

 

After School at Open Shop!

Recently at a Wednesday Open Shop, a boy came up to me and introduced himself as Philip, a fifth grader from up the street. He said his gym teacher told him about CommonWheels and that he could learn about bikes and he was just wondering if he could fix bikes with us? 

Then Philip's mother gave him a stern lecture not to leave the building, and he hung out with us for three hours. I gave Philip a bike to work on and he cleaned the frame, changed the seat, lubricated the chain, and we were going to fix the brakes until I broke them clean off the fork. Womp.
  
After that, a gentleman came in to Open Shop with a flat tire and Philip fixed that too! I was really impressed with Philip, not only because he could do what you showed him to do on a bike, but also with how quickly he caught to the concepts at hand. He had a knack for figuring out what he needed to do and how to do it... not to say that a fifth grader isn't perfectly capable of it, but he was quicker to catch on than most adults who come our way.
  
Since that day, word has gotten around and we've found ourselves with 3-4 youth every Wednesday. They create a whole lot of positive chaos in the space, and we're having a blast teaching them mechanics. Allston, send us your children, we will put them to work.
  

 

Women’s Earn-A-Bike

Guys, CommonWheels has been having a huge winter. Back when we were working out of a storage unit, outdoor Open Shops were our jam and when winter rolled around, we pretty much went into hibernation. Now that we have an indoor space at POP Allston, we've been able to keep the magic happening all winter long. Since moving indoors in October, we've been hosting Open Shop twice a week and we've run three rounds of mechanics classes. Look at us go!

We're also running a winter Women's Earn-A-Bike program in partnership with Charlesview Community Center in Lower Allston. This is the first time CW has been able to offer this kind of program, and we're really proud. In this program, women in the Allston-Brighton area can apply to participate in a 6-session bike mechanics and riding safety course, after which they will keep the bike they work on. We have an amazing group right now who will be completing their program in early April. 

The women have already learned how to fix flats, clean chains, recable and adjust braking and shifting systems, and other things things that will be useful in self-maintaining their bikes for a long time. We've also been able to ride around the neighborhoods of Allston together and learn some rules of the road and safe riding skills. The participants came to us with a range of experience--from comfortable to riding in the streets to just starting to try it out. One woman is learning how to ride, and she's making amazing progress. Her goal is to be able to ride to work so that she doesn't have to rely on the bus system, which often makes her late. Another woman wants to be able to ride with her children, and has been bringing her teenage daughter with her to class every week so they can work on bikes together. The others want to ride for exercise and fun, and possibly commute to work when they are more experienced. 

We're having an awful lot of fun. CW is also really lucky to have an amazing group of volunteers who have come out to help facilitate the program. Our sessions at Charlesview are a really great snapshot of what CW is all about--we have volunteers who have learned mechanics at Open Shops now paying it forward by teaching it to others in the community, and the bike love grows exponentially. 

In short, hibernation in the winter is for other people. Okay, that's one of the lessons here. Mostly, we're really fortunate to be a part of an amazing community and to be able to share our love of biking and all its benefits with everyone in it. 

All the bike love,

CW

Women’s Earn-A-Bike

Guys, CommonWheels has been having a huge winter. Back when we were working out of a storage unit, outdoor Open Shops were our jam and when winter rolled around, we pretty much went into hibernation. Now that we have an indoor space at POP Allston, we've been able to keep the magic happening all winter long. Since moving indoors in October, we've been hosting Open Shop twice a week and we've run three rounds of mechanics classes. Look at us go!

We're also running a winter Women's Earn-A-Bike program in partnership with Charlesview Community Center in Lower Allston. This is the first time CW has been able to offer this kind of program, and we're really proud. In this program, women in the Allston-Brighton area can apply to participate in a 6-session bike mechanics and riding safety course, after which they will keep the bike they work on. We have an amazing group right now who will be completing their program in early April. 

The women have already learned how to fix flats, clean chains, recable and adjust braking and shifting systems, and other things things that will be useful in self-maintaining their bikes for a long time. We've also been able to ride around the neighborhoods of Allston together and learn some rules of the road and safe riding skills. The participants came to us with a range of experience--from comfortable to riding in the streets to just starting to try it out. One woman is learning how to ride, and she's making amazing progress. Her goal is to be able to ride to work so that she doesn't have to rely on the bus system, which often makes her late. Another woman wants to be able to ride with her children, and has been bringing her teenage daughter with her to class every week so they can work on bikes together. The others want to ride for exercise and fun, and possibly commute to work when they are more experienced. 

We're having an awful lot of fun. CW is also really lucky to have an amazing group of volunteers who have come out to help facilitate the program. Our sessions at Charlesview are a really great snapshot of what CW is all about--we have volunteers who have learned mechanics at Open Shops now paying it forward by teaching it to others in the community, and the bike love grows exponentially. 

In short, hibernation in the winter is for other people. Okay, that's one of the lessons here. Mostly, we're really fortunate to be a part of an amazing community and to be able to share our love of biking and all its benefits with everyone in it. 

All the bike love,

CW

Grrrease Time at POP Allston

For the past few months, we've been partnering with the rad people of Femmechanics, a group of femme and/or trans* and/or women cyclists in Boston. On the first Sunday of every month (1-3pm at POP Allston, 89 Brighton Ave), we host them for Grrrease Time, an Open Shop for people to teach and be taught about bikes in an inclusive space. 

If you identify with that community and haven't checked out any Femmechanics events yet, do yourself a favor and get on it. Not only do they host Grrrease Time (also found at Bikes Not Bombs and Hub Bicycle), but they also host a huge variety of social events, rides, bike camping, workshops, and a yearly alley cat, Babes Bike Boston.

This past Grrrease Time session, we made DIY studded tires! Because it's January, and winter hasn't even started yet and the T is already failing. We followed this guy's advice and process, and they turned out really well. 

Want one of your own? We've got old tires for sale for cheap during our Open Shops. Then you get yourself a couple packs of screws, a drill, put on Netflix for a few hours like you're going to do anyway, and before you know it you're riding in Boston winter like you got four-wheel drive. 

Stay warm out there friends,

CW

Grrrease Time at POP Allston

For the past few months, we've been partnering with the rad people of Femmechanics, a group of femme and/or trans* and/or women cyclists in Boston. On the first Sunday of every month (1-3pm at POP Allston, 89 Brighton Ave), we host them for Grrrease Time, an Open Shop for people to teach and be taught about bikes in an inclusive space. 

If you identify with that community and haven't checked out any Femmechanics events yet, do yourself a favor and get on it. Not only do they host Grrrease Time (also found at Bikes Not Bombs and Hub Bicycle), but they also host a huge variety of social events, rides, bike camping, workshops, and a yearly alley cat, Babes Bike Boston.

This past Grrrease Time session, we made DIY studded tires! Because it's January, and winter hasn't even started yet and the T is already failing. We followed this guy's advice and process, and they turned out really well. 

Want one of your own? We've got old tires for sale for cheap during our Open Shops. Then you get yourself a couple packs of screws, a drill, put on Netflix for a few hours like you're going to do anyway, and before you know it you're riding in Boston winter like you got four-wheel drive. 

Stay warm out there friends,

CW

Growing Roots & Building Ties in Charlesview Community

June 14th, 2015 was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and the wheels were turning at the Josephine A. Fiorentino Community Center at Charlesview. Close to 50 folks, most aged ten and younger, came out for CommonWheels’ first “Family Bikes Fiesta” of the season.

In addition to the crowd-favorite piñata, we provided bicycles to borrow, bike repair and one-on-one teaching of the basics of bicycle maintenance, and hosted a ride to the nearby Charles River pathways. At the end of four hours, kids had the skills to ride safe and fix smart, and eleven bicycles were donated to families who did not have access to bikes

The beauty of CommonWheels is the broad range of community we’re able to serve through our events, due in large part to the support and outreach of our neighborhood partners. Although four of the bikes donated went to Charlesview residents, seven other bicycles went to families who do not live at Charlesview—but in the nearby housing development of Faneuil Gardens, or to families who reside with state assistance at the Days Inn Hotel less than a mile from the Josephine A. Fiorentino Community Center. The energy and community of the Fiesta attracted these families from outside of Charlesview, and in turn, these children were able to meet and play with local Charlesview residents, and their parents were introduced to the services and staff of the community center.

Over the past year, working with Charlesview staff and the Community Center, CommonWheels has hosted six different clinics on bicycle repair and riding, and donated roughly thirty bicycles to Charlesview residents. Our regular presence at Charlesview has resulted in a strong community of families who turn out, time and time again, to fix their bikes, to learn bike handling skills and safe riding, and has helped to build relationships and trust amongst the neighborhood.

We want to grow these relationships over the years. First, we get young kids riding confidently when they’re 7 years-old, and we stay with them as they learn to fix their own flat tires at age 9, and later help them design a safe route to bike to middle school when they turn 11, and we can look forward to hiring them as CommonWheels staff in their teens.

CommonWheels doesn’t view our work as a charity resource to be given out, but rather as a relationship that grows stronger and deeper with each interaction. It is through these relationships that our own collective organization, and our own sense of community, grows.

The overarching mission of CommonWheels is to “empower people to use the bicycle to enhance their lives.” We want the bicycle to be part of everyone’s lifestyle, a free way to access transportation, to gain personal freedom, and to foster a sense of community through the simple joy of riding bikes with friends and neighbors. Our work with Charlesview and our involvement with their community allow us to succeed in that mission, year after year, bike ride after bike ride.

We look forward to our continued partnership, sharing the bicycle as an avenue to enhance the lives of Charlesview residents and the greater community.

Growing Roots & Building Ties in Charlesview Community

June 14th, 2015 was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and the wheels were turning at the Josephine A. Fiorentino Community Center at Charlesview. Close to 50 folks, most aged ten and younger, came out for CommonWheels’ first “Family Bikes Fiesta” of the season.

In addition to the crowd-favorite piñata, we provided bicycles to borrow, bike repair and one-on-one teaching of the basics of bicycle maintenance, and hosted a ride to the nearby Charles River pathways. At the end of four hours, kids had the skills to ride safe and fix smart, and eleven bicycles were donated to families who did not have access to bikes

The beauty of CommonWheels is the broad range of community we’re able to serve through our events, due in large part to the support and outreach of our neighborhood partners. Although four of the bikes donated went to Charlesview residents, seven other bicycles went to families who do not live at Charlesview—but in the nearby housing development of Faneuil Gardens, or to families who reside with state assistance at the Days Inn Hotel less than a mile from the Josephine A. Fiorentino Community Center. The energy and community of the Fiesta attracted these families from outside of Charlesview, and in turn, these children were able to meet and play with local Charlesview residents, and their parents were introduced to the services and staff of the community center.

Over the past year, working with Charlesview staff and the Community Center, CommonWheels has hosted six different clinics on bicycle repair and riding, and donated roughly thirty bicycles to Charlesview residents. Our regular presence at Charlesview has resulted in a strong community of families who turn out, time and time again, to fix their bikes, to learn bike handling skills and safe riding, and has helped to build relationships and trust amongst the neighborhood.

We want to grow these relationships over the years. First, we get young kids riding confidently when they’re 7 years-old, and we stay with them as they learn to fix their own flat tires at age 9, and later help them design a safe route to bike to middle school when they turn 11, and we can look forward to hiring them as CommonWheels staff in their teens.

CommonWheels doesn’t view our work as a charity resource to be given out, but rather as a relationship that grows stronger and deeper with each interaction. It is through these relationships that our own collective organization, and our own sense of community, grows.

The overarching mission of CommonWheels is to “empower people to use the bicycle to enhance their lives.” We want the bicycle to be part of everyone’s lifestyle, a free way to access transportation, to gain personal freedom, and to foster a sense of community through the simple joy of riding bikes with friends and neighbors. Our work with Charlesview and our involvement with their community allow us to succeed in that mission, year after year, bike ride after bike ride.

We look forward to our continued partnership, sharing the bicycle as an avenue to enhance the lives of Charlesview residents and the greater community.

CommonWheels is Hiring for the 2014 Season!

We’re looking for two passionate, self-directed people: 

Event Coordinator:

CW is seeking an outgoing and organized person to manage Open Shops. This is a part-time, seasonal position for someone who wants to make a difference in their bike community and will take initiative, engage others, and promote our mission. Compensation is $15-18/hr

Mechanic/Bike Educator:

CW is seeking an experienced bike mechanic to staff Open Shops in partnership with the Event Coordinator. This is a part-time, seasonal position for someone who wants to empower every biker on the street to become their own mechanic. Compensation is $20/hr

Read the Full Descriptions at www.commonwheels.org/jobs

CWRecruit

CommonWheels is Looking for Board Members!

The CommonWheels Board serves as the backbone for all of our programs, keeping the organization running smoothly administratively, planning events and programs, and pitching in as volunteers on the ground. Board members play a brainstorming, fundraising, and leadership role to make our programs happen.

CW is excited to expand our Board and bring in people with new and diverse ideas about how to bring to life our mission “to empower people to use the bicycle to enhance their lives.”

To join CW for the 2014 season, please send an email to info@commonweels.org with the subject “Events Coordinator”, “Mechanic”, or “Board”

…and Stay Tuned for an ALLSTON BIKE SOCIAL coming up at the end of the month!

Help us win $4K to give out BLINKY LIGHTS

CommonWheels needs your help! Take 20 seconds and vote for our idea for a $4,000 grant from the B Good Family Foundation. http://www.bgoodfamilyfoundation.com/you-decide/

We want to use the money to make biking safer in Boston by heading out to the corner and handing out blinky lights to folks who are riding at night with no lights. We think riding at night without lights is just too dangerous, and B Good agrees. This is a simple way to make a big difference to make biking safer in Boston.

Please go to this link and vote for our idea: http://www.bgoodfamilyfoundation.com/you-decide/

And Thank you for the support

bgood