The Athens Bicycle Co-operative

Athens, Ohio has a non-profit organization of volunteers that fix and play with bikes. The intent being to create a community of people who can enjoy bikes to their fullest. To do this we need a very active and savvy bike community. We further this goal by fixing bikes, teaching volunteers about bikes, creating an environment where volunteers can teach themselves about bikes, planning bike related events, and creating ways of getting more bikes to more people.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Welcome to the Athens Bike Co-op Newsletter!

This new feature of our operation will serve to inform you, the community, on our ongoing quest to enable others by virtue of mankind's noblest invention. Herein will be announced each month's schedule. (the schedule is agreed upon at our planning meetings, held the first Sunday of each month at 4pm.) Other content will follow in the newsletter, at the discretion of its author(s), who are also selected at meetings. You are invited to participate as well by sending e-mail and sharing your experience with or questions about the bike co-op, or any other suitable content.

If you would like to receive these e-mails, just send a simple request and compliance will be likely. Otherwise, please suggest this newsletter to anyone you think may want to receive it and have them sign up by sending us an e-mail and requesting it.

That being said, here comes the


Open Shop Hours -

Sundays 1-3
Mondays 7-9
Wednesdays 1-3
Thursdays 7-9
Fridays 3-5

These hours are often subject to change without notice, and even more so in the winter.

Special Events -

...uh...Christmas at home with the family?


-If you have a space heater that isn't being used, it would help us to keep working in a cold garage this winter.

-Your bike donations are always accepted. Please leave them (maybe with a note) outside our garage.

-Monetary donations can also be made by mail. Send checks made out to: Eric Cornwell / 18 Euclid Dr / Athens, OH 45701


-Sponsor a Bike Taxi! For $5, you can dub a yellow bike with the name of your choosing. For $10, You can add your favorite phrase or quotation to the side panel of a bike!


Q: "How does the bike co-op work?"

A: Basically, one (or more) of our volunteers will offer their assistance and expertise to help you with anything bike-related, such as they are willing and able. In return you are expected to make some sort of contribution that helps our cause, such as you are willing and able. (monetarily or otherwise) Hopefully, the exchange is something that is generous to both parties. Our policy is to be generous by both offering affordable bikes and by sharing our mechanical knowledge and expertise while we assist you.

Q: "How are things going at the bike co-op?"

A: Slowly but surely. Sometimes even little operations take more time than you would think, because we are working with either secondhand parts, cluttered space, or partial knowledge of what we are doing. Steadily, however, things do get done. Bikes get fixed and put in the sale rack. Small improvements are made here and there to organize the space. People get their hands greasy and learn new things about their bicycles, too. Since it's winter break, things are naturally a lot less busy, so our activity is mainly geared toward having lots of bikes ready for next spring, both for a spring bike sale and for a spring bike taxi release.

Q: "How does the bike-share work?"

A; It's called the Athens Yellow Bike Taxi Service, or AYBiTS (Aye, Cap'n! Bits o' steel!) Yellow bikes with universally keyed padlocks are put on public bike racks throughout campus and uptown Athens. By paying a yearly membership, you can access any of these bikes for free trips. This can be handy for students, locals, or visitors who can use a more affordable and convenient bicycling option.

Q: "How is the bike-share doing?"

A: I'd say that it's been going pretty well for its first 9 months. A few bikes are MIA and a number of repairs have been made on the bikes, but I notice them getting used and sometimes courteously repaired or delivered by one the members, which is great. Membership is around 35 and our fleet is at maybe 13-15 bikes. I have 13 frames on the rack so far, being painted for the release in the spring. They are getting decorated with stencils as opposed to printed stickers this time, hopefully with better-lasting results.


-The bikes always need attention to work properly! Bikes left to sit too long will often have deflated tires, so if you just air them up and they will likely hold. Bikes left under the weather will keep getting rustier, so choose covered parking spots for them if the weather is going to get nasty. That means you can bring a bike onto private property overnight and put it back on a public rack when there's better weather outside.

-If you come across a problem with a bike, please continue to let us know about which bikes need help and where they are.

-Thanks everyone for keeping an eye on those bikes!

-Your feedback on the Athens Yellow Bike Taxi Service would be greatly appreciated!


Logo - The Bike Co-op has a new logo!

Website - Francis Tatem has been working on a website for our humble organization, but I haven't any news yet as to when it will be available, or at what address. Stick with our blog for now.

Art Bikes - John donated his well-decorated singlespeed MTB for us to sell, and I had this idea for an art bike auction. Two other nice mountain bikes have found their way here, both with ugly spray-paint jobs that tell of being stolen. I was going to custom paint and decorate these bikes and maybe we can hold a fundraising event where we auction off a handful of rad-looking bikes.

Our Own Bike Rack - Welded from two scrap frames and forks, the thing will serve as a lock-up place outside our garage, and a place for outgoing and incoming bikes and taxis. It will have two flags on kickstands that will work just like a mailbox flag does. It's kinda funky-looking. and good for welding practice. It's OOBeR!


-A number of years back there was this idea for a fundraiser that involved cyclists riding stationary bikes in the cold, and stripping their clothes off for donations. Sound crazy/awesome? This of course is not happening until we have more drunk college students and some absurdly dedicated volunteers.

-Having a welder and lots of bike parts is inspiring. Next crazy custom bike idea: a bicycle sidecar.


Thanks for tuning in to what's happening at the Athens Bicycle Co-operative. As ever, our aim is to promote and facilitate cycling in Athens and beyond. Ride safely this winter.

____e  c

37 South May Avenue
Athens OH 45701

Thursday, December 3, 2009