Dear Cycles for Change Community,
We hope this message finds you safe and healthy. We also hope that, amidst the difficult circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you are finding opportunities to enjoy the beginning of spring on your bicycle.
As we communicated in our last update, we have officially closed the bike shop and moved out of our retail space at 2010 26th Ave in the Seward neighborhood. Despite our best efforts, we were not able to facilitate the continued use of that space by a community bike shop. We did complete the successful sale of all inventory and most equipment, tools, and fixtures to another nonprofit community-oriented organization, Lowertown Bike Shop. We encourage our community to check them out for your bike shop and service needs.
As a board, we have continued to meet regularly via conference call and have been hard at work considering possibilities for the future of Cycles for Change programming, namely adult Learn to Ride (LTR) classes and Open Shop services/space. Remaining funds from our existing Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) grant through the Metropolitan Council are set to expire in September 2020. In mid-February, we issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to carry out LTR programming, posting it on our website and sending it to a list of organizations, many of which were recommended by community members. Two organizations submitted proposals; both met basic eligibility requirements.
After careful review of the two proposals and follow-up conversations, we are excited to announce that Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN) will be our partner for 2020 LTR classes. BikeMN will act as a subcontractor of C4C and will plan, coordinate, conduct, and report on LTR efforts. BikeMN brings a breadth of experience with, and infrastructure for, community bike programming and, specifically, teaching folks to ride bikes. They are committed to fostering an atmosphere of inclusion and equity among participants as they work to provide classes and engage communities in our identified neighborhoods (Frogtown in St. Paul, the East Side in St. Paul, and Phillips in Minneapolis; as determined in our CMAQ grant). BikeMN will work closely with community organizations in these neighborhoods to identify the best outreach tactics and locations for classes.
Currently, BikeMN is diligently working to determine how to proceed with classes while prioritizing the safety and health of participants, staff, and volunteers. They have already begun outreach efforts, building on many existing relationships with community organizations. Keep an eye out for further information from BikeMN. You can visit their website and join their newsletter distribution list on their homepage. If you previously volunteered with LTR at C4C, we encourage you to reach out to BikeMN to get involved or they may be in touch with you directly if the need arises.
The future of Open Shop programming remains undetermined and the board is still exploring options. We will be back in touch with updates soon.
C4C Board of Directors