YBP News for June/July 2013

Farewell, Freewheeling

Our first note of the summer is some sad news for longtime Austinites and new arrivals alike. Freewheeling Bicycles, the venerable West Campus shop that’s been serving our city since 1971, closed its doors in May. It’s an Austin story that’s all too familiar: the same economic and population growth that sets us apart among American cities led to rent that was just too damn high for an old-fashioned independent bike shop.

The Yellow Bike Project would like to extend its gratitude to Freewheeling for helping to create generations of Austin cyclists. We’d also like to shout the biggest, loudest “THANK YOU!” we can muster for their enormous, extremely generous donation of parts and accessories. We’re bummed to see another local icon go, but we’re honored by their altruism and aid in our effort to continue creating Austin cyclists for generations to come.

Communities in Schools

We’re very happy to announce that a program coordinator from Communities in Schools dropped by this month’s Collective Meeting to inform us that our partnership this summer has been a success! Thanks to your wrenching and donations of big-kids’ bikes, East Austin middle-schoolers are spending some of their summer vacation spinning pedals, staying in shape, and exploring their town like never before. Volunteers, give yourselves a great big pat on the back. YBP and CIS couldn’t do it without you.

Bike Austin Grows, and Takes Your Voice With It

It’s been quite a year for Bike Austin. Since changing their name from the League of Bicycling Voters and broadening their scope accordingly, Austin cyclists’ most committed advocates at City Hall have also doubled the size of their staff while massively expanding the size of their membership, and picked up some great commercial sponsors, to boot. Their latest order of business is rallying riders to attend a CoA open house on Wednesday, July 10, 6:00-7:30pm at Virginia L. Brown Recreation Center, 7500 Blessing Ave. to discuss the proposed addition of bike lanes on St. Johns Ave. between N. Lamar and Berkman. Like the sound of what Bike Austin is up to? Visit their website to learn more, become a member, or get involved.

Help YBP Beat the Heat

If you’re keeping a close eye on things, you probably already noticed that this is a bi-monthly edition of our monthly newsletter. You may also have caught the fact that our schedule has contracted in the last couple months, down an open shop or so from the usual. As an all-volunteer organization, summer can be a tough time for YBP. Coordinators leave on family vacations or epic bicycle tours, not to mention just needing a month here or there for some well-deserved R-and-R.

Bummed out about that Wednesday shop? Having a hard time arriving on Monday in time to grab a stand? There’s a way that you can help: become an apprentice coordinator! Coordinators are the committed volunteers that keep the doors open at YBP, answering your questions, selling those snazzy new-to-you bikes, fixing the toilets, and doing everything else that keeps the shop running smooth. More coordinators means a more consistent shop schedule, with more hands on deck to help visitors learn the ins and outs of bicycle mechanics. Spent some time hanging around the shop, and want to get more involved? Talk to a coordinator about apprenticing!