Yellow Bike News for March 2014

March 19th, 2014

The Modern Moloch

It is with the heaviest of broken hearts that we once again begin a newsletter with our deepest condolences to the victims of a tragedy. As of this writing, three human beings are gone forever from the lives of their families and friends. More remain in the hospital, and scores of witnesses to the terrible incident that occurred during SXSW are coping with the trauma of what they experienced.

The nature of this vehicular rampage may seem much different than the automobile fatalities we’ve become so dreadfully familiar with, but its outcome is brutally similar. The horror caused by a single car, the loss of precious, irreplaceable lives. The victims of a single driver joining those lost to hit and runs, to drunk drivers, those slaughtered by a means of transportation that too easily becomes a means of destruction when its operator loses touch with the sanctity of the lives on the other side of the windshield.

We don’t hate cars—at least not most of us—and most of us drive as well as ride our bikes. But we all agree that this needs to stop. It’s not sustainable. It’s not sane. We want justice, but justice isn’t enough. We want a culture that regards all automobile fatalities with the depth of grief and suffering that automobile fatalities actually cause. We ride knowing that it could have been us. We ride knowing it wasn’t. We ride knowing it doesn’t need to be like this. We may never have gotten to know these souls, but we will not forget them.

HONK!TX

Thanks to our fantastic volunteers, there’s a whole lot of people who won’t have to drive during next weekend’s music festival. The HONK!TX Festival of Community Street Bands returns on Friday, March 21 through Sunday, March 23. Brass bands from all over the country will arrive in Austin to fill our public spaces with free music, spectacle, and community. YBP is once again proud to be providing a fleet of loaner bikes to these volunteer performers. Many of you have been wrenching away over the last couple months to make this transportational support possible, so reward yourselves by shaking a leg in your favorite neighborhood parks and places! You can check out the full schedule of events at www.honktx.org.

No Cash, No Problem

We’re pleased to announce that after years of accepting cash and check only, YBP is now able to process debit and credit cards during our retail hours, Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11am–6pm. Our all-volunteer Open and Volunteer-Only Shops will remain cash and check only while the daytime staff are working out the bookkeeping kinks.

Yellow Bike News for February 2014

February 18th, 2014

Bouncing Babies of Yellow Bike

We’d like to begin this month’s newsletter with an enormous Congratulations! to all of the Yellow Bike Project coordinators who have recently become parents. The shop attracts some real good folks, and it’s a marvel to see all the cool moms and dads around here passing their devotion to cycling and community on to the next generation.

Of course, parenting is big work, and it’s gonna be quite a few years before the kiddos are old enough to follow in those volunteer footsteps. Like helping out at the shop, and want to see it continue to blossom for the next seventeen years? The time couldn’t be better to start apprenticing! Ask your favorite coordinator for more information next time you visit us on Webberville.

Workin’ for the Weekend

It’s been quite a February at YBP. Along with our usual shop schedule, the second weekend of the month found us hosting no less than three separate events. Hats off to everyone who offered aid to Refugee Services of Texas by pushing pedals in the Ride for Refuge. A big hand for the Permablitzing volunteers who bermed, swaled, and sewed some perennial treasures into our backyard. And last but not least, three cheers for Jean-Pierre Comte, who paid us a visit to run three Bike Machine workshops. Thanks to everyone who came out to pick up some know-how for helping to fabricate a pedal-powered blender and a fuel-free grinding wheel.

Urban Trails Infotainment

There’s more February fun around the corner for our neighbors in East Austin. On Saturday, February 22, 10am–noon, bring the whole family down to Rosewood Recreation Center (1182 N. Pleasant Valley) for the Your Path to Austin Open House & Bike Rodeo. The City of Austin will be on hand to share information and take input on Bike and Urban Trails programs, the Ghisallo Foundation and CoA’s Child Safety Program will be rounding up the kids for a bike rodeo, and YBP will be lending a wrench to make sure all the tikes’ tires are rolling true.