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

Open Shop Returns!

You know if must really be spring when Open Shop finally makes its triumphant return!  Free, DIY, guerilla-style bike maintenance is coming back to the streets of Allston this week.   For those of you who don't know what the deal, Open Shop is our flagship program.  We set up shop on the side of the road with our repair stands and tools, and then help you fix whatever might be ailing your bike, all for free.  We aim to demystify the bike so that you can maintain your ride yourself.

We're expanding our reach into North Allston this year, so Open Shop will alternate between Union Square (same location as last year), and Barry's Corner (corner of N. Harvard and Western Ave).  Here's a map with our two spots for the season.

What: Free, DIY, guerilla bike maintenance, and a great cycling community. 
When: Every Wednesday afternoon, from about 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm, weather permitting.
Where: Union Square Allston, or Barry's Corner Allston on alternating weeks.

Open Shop Returns!

You know if must really be spring when Open Shop finally makes its triumphant return!  Free, DIY, guerilla-style bike maintenance is coming back to the streets of Allston this week.   For those of you who don't know what the deal, Open Shop is our flagship program.  We set up shop on the side of the road with our repair stands and tools, and then help you fix whatever might be ailing your bike, all for free.  We aim to demystify the bike so that you can maintain your ride yourself.

We're expanding our reach into North Allston this year, so Open Shop will alternate between Union Square (same location as last year), and Barry's Corner (corner of N. Harvard and Western Ave).  Here's a map with our two spots for the season.

What: Free, DIY, guerilla bike maintenance, and a great cycling community. 
When: Every Wednesday afternoon, from about 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm, weather permitting.
Where: Union Square Allston, or Barry's Corner Allston on alternating weeks.

A,B,Cs of Bike Maintenance! Fri, 4/12 at 4:30pm

After cleaning your bike last Sunday, I'm sure you've noticed that your tires may be running a bit low or your brakes a bit soft or your chain skips a bit... Well, we've got you covered! On Fri April 12 from 4:30-6:30 we will be hosting an A,B,Cs of Maintenance workshop at the Harvard Ed Portal Annex. We'll have pumps to inflate tires, wrenches to tighten brakes, and we'll cover the basics of derailleur adjustments to keep you shifting smoothly.

175 N Harvard St
in Allston, MA
02134!

Come by, learn a thing or two about your ride, and hang out with the CommonWheels Open Shop Crew!

 


A,B,Cs of Bike Maintenance! Fri, 4/12 at 4:30pm

After cleaning your bike last Sunday, I'm sure you've noticed that your tires may be running a bit low or your brakes a bit soft or your chain skips a bit... Well, we've got you covered! On Fri April 12 from 4:30-6:30 we will be hosting an A,B,Cs of Maintenance workshop at the Harvard Ed Portal Annex. We'll have pumps to inflate tires, wrenches to tighten brakes, and we'll cover the basics of derailleur adjustments to keep you shifting smoothly.

175 N Harvard St
in Allston, MA
02134!

Come by, learn a thing or two about your ride, and hang out with the CommonWheels Open Shop Crew!

 

























Spring Bikes Party! April 6 at Refuge Cafe in Allston

We’re back in action!  to celebrate, we’re throwing a party in two weeks.

Come on out, enjoy a beer, get your dance on, paint some bikes!

CW bikes party4-6with love,

-CW

 

We’re Hiring!

We currently have a Winter Storm Warning in effect here in Boston, but Spring is, in fact, just around the corner.  We’ll be starting up our Open Shop program again very soon.  We’re expanding the program this year: multiple locations within Allston, two events per week, and a presence at two farmers markets.  In order to make this happen, we’re hiring on some passionate, friendly, organized, and hard-working folks for the season.  Hey! You’re a biker-lover with a passion for spreading the bike love and helping people get where they need to go by making sure their bike is properly maintained.  Why haven’t you applied yet??  It really seems like you should.

We have two positions we’re looking to fill.  The Event Coordinator is in charge of managing Open Shop from set-up to break-down.  The Mechanic takes the lead on repairs and instruction at Open Shop.  An Application consists of a brief cover letter and a resume, emailed to info@commonwheels.org with either “Event Coordinator” or “Mechanic” as the subject line by Friday, March 22nd.

Want to know more?  Just keep scrolling down!  Job descriptions are below.

* * * * * * *

CommonWheels Bicycle Co-Op is a nonprofit based in Allston. Our mission is to empower people to use the bicycle to enhance their lives. We aim to encourage bike riders of all experience levels and backgrounds to learn to maintain and repair their own bikes, to become confident, safe urban cyclists, and to discover new people and experiences on two wheels. We provide free skill-sharing workshops, creative group rides, tools and peer instruction, multilingual resources, and community.

Our flagship program is Open Shop, which takes place at Farmers’ Markets and on weekday evenings on major bike thoroughfares. We provide free access to tools and peer instruction on bicycle repair and maintenance. We flag people down as they ride by, and offer free air and bike checks; most people who stop to pump up their tires find that they could also use a brake adjustment, chain lube, or other repairs, maintenance, or fit adjustment. In addition to the ride- by participants, people seek us out for help with repair issues, to work on building a bike, or to purchase a discounted helmet or light. We do not keep many parts in stock; we are focused on simple repairs and diagnosis of major issues. Unlike a bike shop, CommonWheels shows people how to repair and maintain their bike themselves.

Mechanic/Bike Educator:

CommonWheels is seeking a passionate and self-directed person with demonstrated mechanics experience to staff Open Shop events in conjunction with an Event Coordinator and additional volunteers. This is a part-time, seasonal position.

Responsibilities:

  • Diagnose bike repair and maintenance issues
  • Walk participants through repair process, instructing them on how to do the repairs themselves, and demystifying bicycle mechanics for the participants
  • Complete bike repairs of minor and moderate intensity (e.g. fix flat tires, adjust/replace brakes and cables, true wheels, adjust/replace chains, repack hubs and bottom brackets, adjust derailleurs, adjust bike fit), particularly related to safety check
  • Diagnose major repair issues and make recommendations (running the gamut from “go buy this part and come back and we’ll fix it together” to “you’re really better off with a new bike”)
  • Keep track of tools and assist Event Coordinator with inventory of materials/parts used
  • Run workshops on bicycle repair topics such as fixing a flat, cleaning and lubing drivetrain, and occasionally more advanced topics

Requirements:

  • Must have at least 1 year mechanics experience.
  • Must be comfortable working with a wide range of bicycles of all styles, ages, and levels of disrepair.
  • Comfortable working outdoors from April through October (tent provided; events cancelled in cases of severe weather).
  • Conversational Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese or Korean a plus.
  • Must be highly responsible and able to work independently.
  • Must be friendly, patient, and excited to empower others to learn bicycle mechanics.

Time Commitment:

Open Shop: One weeknight per week from April through September, usually 5-8pm, – flexible depending on availability of Staff

Farmers’ Market: one per week from May through October, alternating Fridays 4-7pm and Saturdays 11-3pm

Location:
Allston, alternating weeks between Union Square (Jackson Mann Community Center) and Barry’s Corner (intersection of N. Harvard and Western Ave in North Allston)

Compensation: contract position, equivalent of $20 – $25/hr

Event Coordinator:

CommonWheels is seeking a passionate, organized and self-directed person to manage Open Shop events in conjunction with a mechanic and additional volunteers. This is a part-time, seasonal position for someone who wants to make a difference in their bike community. We are looking for someone who will take initiative, engage others, and promote our Open Shops.

Responsibilities:

  •     Transport equipment to and from storage space to event location via bicycle trailer
  •     Set up/break down events, including farmers’ market-style tent
  •     Be friendly and outgoing, actively reaching out to bikers passing by and visitors to the farmers’ market, and utilize social media to promote events.
  •     Ensure that all participants sign an electronic waiver before their bike is worked on
  •     Provide peer instruction on basic maintenance and repairs, such as pumping tires, fixing a flat, lubing a chain, and tightening brakes (training will be provided)
  •     Provide advice and resources on safe urban riding skills, good bike routes for transportation and/or recreation, where to buy a bike, etc.
  •     Keep track of donations and keep inventory of materials used at each event
  •     Coordinate with volunteers

Requirements:

  •     Ability to work independently.
  •     Must be reliable, consistent, organized and prompt.
  •     Experienced in cycling in and around Boston.
  •     Able to lift up to 25 lbs and ride a bike with a trailer attached in urban setting.
  •     Comfortable working outdoors from April through October (tent provided; events cancelled in cases of severe weather)
  •     Conversational Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese or Korean a plus.
  •     Must be friendly, patient, and excited to empower others to become their own mechanic.
  •     Skills with basic bicycle maintenance and repair not required but a plus.

Time Commitment:

Open Shop: One weeknight per week from April through September, available 4-9pm (event 5-8pm plus setup/breakdown)- flexible depending on availability of Staff
Farmers’ Market: one per week from May through October, alternating between Fridays 3-8pm (market 4-7 pm) and Saturdays 10am-4pm (market 11am-3pm)

Location:

 Allston, alternating weeks between Union Square (Jackson Mann Community Center) and Barry’s Corner (intersection of N. Harvard and Western Ave in North Allston)

Compensation: contract position, $15 – $18/hr

CommonWheels is an equal employment opporunity employer.  Women, people of color, LGBTQ persons, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.