Yellow Bike News for October 2013

Daytime Hours

Thanks to everyone who has helped get Yellow Bike Project’s new Daytime Hours off to a great start! If you haven’t heard, YBP is now open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11am–6pm for sales of bicycles and parts, and to receive donations. We’ve got an especially nice selection of refurbished, ready-to-ride bikes on the rack right now, just waiting to find their perfect rider. (Please remember YBP currently accepts cash or checks only.)

The shop is open during Daytime Hours for sales and donations only. If you’d like to volunteer or fix up your own bike, come visit us during our traditional Open or Volunteer Shops. You can check out this month’s schedule at the end of this newsletter, or on our website at austinyellowbike.org/schedule.

Dove Springs Youth Program, Now Hiring!

Our expanded hours are just the beginning of the big news these days around YBP. We’re excited to announce that we’ve been awarded a grant from the City of Austin to launch a new bike program for youth in the Dove Springs neighborhood. Students will be introduced to cycling through rides ranging from short after-school excursions to overnight camping trips to multi-day touring in the Hill Country. Beyond learning how to ride skillfully and safely, our program will use bicycles as a tool to promote exercise and wellness, engage with the outdoors, and nurture personal growth.

YBP is seeking energetic, enthusiastic teachers, outdoor educators, and cyclists to help staff this program. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, able to ride up to 50 miles a day, and be interested in working with at-risk youth between the ages of 10 and 17. Previous experience in those areas, as well as First Aid, CPR, and WFR certification, are highly desired, and Spanish fluency is a plus. We are also seeking volunteers with an interest in furthering their own experience through this program, as well as donations of both cycling and camping gear. For more information or to apply, contact Sarah Welch at SarahRheaWelch@gmail.com.

Bikes Across Borders

Our friends at Bikes Across Borders are gearing up for another southern excursion in January. Each year, BXB repairs a fleet of bikes, rides them to Mexico, and donates them to an organization in need, building transportation autonomy and international solidarity two wheels at a time. Interested in taking part in this year’s migration? BXB is holding a meet and greet at Cherrywood Coffeehouse (1401 E. 38½th St.) on Tuesday, October 15, 7:30 pm. Stop by to learn more or to join the caravan to Monterrey.

Bicycle Advisory Council Opening

Back on the homefront, the City of Austin is looking for a civic-minded cyclist to fill an opening on the Bicycle Advisory Council. The BAC is a citizen panel informing and engaging CoA staff and elected officials with the commentary and concerns of everyday Austin cyclists. It’s a great opportunity to make you and your fellow riders’ voices heard while taking part in the process of making Austin the best cycling city it can be. Interested? Fill out the application online at http://www.austintexas.gov/BACapplication by Friday, November 1.

Let City Council Know You Ride at Night

One major cycling issue on the docket at City Hall is a proposed nighttime curfew on the Butler, Johnson, and Shoal Creek Hike and Bike Trails. While the uninformed might consider these recreational facilities, for transportational cyclists, they are major arteries, providing alternatives to some of Austin’s busiest, least bike-friendly streets. Cyclists have good reasons to ride 24 hours a day, and a curfew on these trails makes as little sense to us as a curfew on Cesar Chavez or Mopac. Council has postponed their vote on the trail curfew until their October 17 meeting. Let ‘em know what you think in the meantime by filling out one of our Yellow Postcards at the shop or contacting them through Bike Austin’s email campaign.

Backing Bikes is Good Business

Promoting cycling ain’t just a matter for the public sector—businesses can play an important role, too. That’s why we’d like to remind all the card-carrying foodies out there to vote for YBP as a Community Action recipient in Wheatsville Co-op’s annual election. Wheatsville member-owners have until Sunday, November 3 to cast a ballot—if you’re one of those, you can fill it out in person on Guadalupe or Lamar, or online at http://wheatsville.coop/membership/wheatsville-election-2014.

We’d also like to thank the folks at our local Patagonia outlet, who recently donated money raised as part of their Bike to Work Week festivities to YBP. There are so many great things businesses can do to promote cycling among their workforce and customers. Installing racks, keeping a pump on hand, providing shower facilities, and supporting organizations like YBP are all great ways for bike-friendly businesses to put their money where their mouth is. What does your employer or favorite store do to sweeten your cyclocommute?

Heart-Shaped Lugs

On a final note, this newsletter editor would like to extend his humblest and deepest gratitude to the YBP supporter who recently donated a Mercian King of Mercia to the shop. The uncommon, beautiful frames crafted in Derby, England are, for me, permanently attached to the memory of my favorite ride partner, and the Mercian that made its way to her through YBP. Words cannot express how much the opportunity to tune this fine machine meant to me. I am certain that whoever finds themselves pushing its pedals will appreciate your generosity as much as I do.

Some of the most profound joy in my life has happened while cycling and because of cycling. I think I speak not only on behalf of YBP, but for everyone who loves bicycles, when I say that I have experienced moments of the truest happiness in the saddle. Donations of bicycles and parts to YBP help us to generate the revenue that allows us to exist, improve, and flourish, but they also mean much more than that. They mean passing all the pleasure of a very special possession on to another rider. They mean the finishing-touch component for a volunteer who has worked diligently towards earning their own bike. They mean transportation and independence for recipients of free bikes who may have little else to call their own. They mean a hand that may have never even touched a wrench discovering it can fix things. They mean the very first ride after the training wheels come off, learning something no one ever forgets.

A bicycle is nothing but metal and rubber and grease. A person with a bicycle is one of the most magical things in the whole world. That’s why we do this, and why we could never do it without you. Thank you so much, all of you, for your donations of bicycles and parts.