One place I've been meaning to stop in and check out is the Bike Peoria Co-op space on Main Street for quite a little while now. Well, today is that day—to the MBIP Mobile...and yeah, I know this is a post about bikes, but I don't have a bike and besides it's like 129 degrees outside, so it's to the air-conditioned MBIP Mobile we go!
Here we go cruising up Main Street. My air-conditioner is cranking on high because it’s like 147 degrees outside with a roving heat index of 179! Plus it’s so fucking bright out here! Ugh! I really hate the daytime and pretty much wish death on myself constantly until the sun goes down, but that’s a whole different post and one that would really depress you, so we’ll just keep moving right along here!
Here we are at Bike Peoria Co-op. This Co-op is part of the Bike Peoria organization and you can read all about them right here. There’s a couple bikes outside, but I bet there’s a lot more inside of here, let’s go in!
Wow, there’s lots of stuff packed in here. It’s bigger in here than I thought it would be and it’s kind of a shotgun space. That’s Brent Baker over there on the right and he’s been the President of Bike Peoria for the last two years. I asked him to pose on a bike and while he’s taking one down from the ceiling, we’ll take a little look around in here.
Of course there’s lots of bikes in here! Brent told me that all of the inventory in here has been donated and that the Bike Peoria Co-op is 100% volunteer operated non-profit organization. As you can see, there’s a nice inventory in here and if you buy a bike you get a year’s free membership to Bike Peoria Co-op.
It's taking a while for Brent to get the bike down, so we'll just keep wandering around and taking photos while he gets set up for our photo of him.
Wheels and spokes are in abundant supply in here.
One thing Bike Peoria Co-op is all about is bike education and with a membership you can hang out in here and work on your bike and learn from other bike enthusiasts in here. Membership prices vary and you can also volunteer and get credit that way. Here’s all the information about becoming a member of Bike Peoria Co-op: BPC Membership.
Brent has the bike down, looks like we’ll get our picture of him pretty soon!
They also have shirts and custom made t-shirts with the Bike Peoria logo on them.
Okay, looks like Brent is just about on the bike...
Boom, there’s the shot! Here’s what Brent told me about the Bike Peoria Co-op:
“We advocate through contributing to planning, zoning, and traffic commission meetings here in Peoria and help advocate for more multi-modal infrastructure investments throughout the city. We also advocate with our feet: the most simple and fun way to advocate, just riding around the neighborhood. We host a monthly First Friday Night Ride that leaves from the co-op after the First Friday activities wrap up that keeps people downtown for a leisurely ride around our West Bluff neighborhood, it's a great way to spend the night. We also host two large events each year that focus on getting people using the trail and supporting local businesses along the Rock Island Greenway: Beers and Gears (in the spring) and Taste of the Trail (in the fall). We're also looking to roll out a bike friendly business program later this year that would help incentivize patronizing local business by bike.
Our education efforts are focused on two primary programs. First, is Bike Peoria Co-op which is a 100% member-owned, and volunteer-operated DIY bike workshop. Through the co-op we provide the tools, space, and support to learn how to maintain and repair your bike. We also accept donations of used bikes which we rehab if possible and get back out onto the streets and out of landfills; we salvage any bikes we can't save and use parts to help repair bikes, like a bike organ donor! Better yet, the cost to use the space is only $5 an hour The co-op is our primary cash flow for our organization and all proceeds go to supporting the co-op and our other programming. Our other educational effort is an Earn-a-Bike collaboration with Dream Center Peoria which works to empower younger riders with the equipment, tools, and knowledge to ride. Any children's bike we receive goes to support this program and to date we have given away close to 100 kids bikes!
Bike Peoria Coop is an Assisted DIY Learning Center. Our mission is to provide a gathering space for bicycle users of all skill levels and interests for the benefit of sharing knowledge about bicycle maintenance and repair. BPC does not aim to be a bike shop. We will not fix your bike for you, but we will fix your bike with you. Our aim is to teach you how to work on your bike.”
Here’s a link to a recent article about BPC at the Stong Towns blog. Thanks to Brent for a fun afternoon at Bike Peoria Co-op!
Oh, and Mary...here’s your wheel! We’ll see you all tomorrow! (I resisted saying, "Wheel see you all tomorrow," so I'm pretty proud of myself for that!)
612 W. Main Street