Thank you to everyone who participated in the Bike-a-Thon!

Together we raised over $8,500 for Cycles for Change and over $3,000 for West Side Community Organization (WSCO) in the 2018 Cycles for Change Bike-a-Thon! We are grateful for the generous support of our communities.

Didn’t get a chance to donate? There’s still time! Donate now: http://tinyurl.com/2018c4cbat

Announcing our New Executive Director!

Cycles for Change is pleased to announce our new Executive Director: Tina Cho!

 

“After working with Cycles for Change in various capacities, I am absolutely elated and honored to join the team as Executive Director,” Tina said. “From the Yellow Bike Project to the Youth Apprenticeship program, Cycles for Change has left a lasting, positive impact on the Twin Cities. I’m looking forward to creating a bright future alongside all the dedicated people who make Cycles for Change possible.”

Tina (she/her/hers) is a queer Korean-American who has called Minneapolis home since 2004, when a rowing scholarship brought her to the University of Minnesota. With a background in Kinesiology & Coaching Pedagogy, she has spent (nearly) her entire working career in the nonprofit sector. From starting Minnesota’s first youth-only rowing organization to creating community programs at Nice Ride MN, Tina believes that real change starts locally, with our own communities and neighbors. With her charming wit and humorous grin, Tina works tirelessly to create equity and access in our community, one bike at a time. During the summers, the best place to find Tina outside the office is probably on a bike or in a hammock by the lakes, alongside her partner Anna Min, a renowned local photographer.

Board Chair Andrew Petriuusi is excited about the new leadership at Cycles for Change. “I am personally inspired by Tina’s enthusiasm, energy, and people-focused mindset,” he said. “I have confidence that she will be able to leverage her experience and skill set to lead Cycles for Change as it stands now, and I believe that through her vision and passion she will be able to support the organization as it develops in the future.”

A note from our outgoing ED Jason Partridge: “It’s been an honor and a privilege to be a part of Cycles for Change for these last 12 years. I’m so excited for the energy, passion, vision, and community connections that Tina Cho will bring to C4C as the incoming Executive Director. Tina is an incredible leader, visionary, and bicycle advocate who will help lead C4C into the next phase of success. The organization is in strong and capable hands with Tina at the helm.”

Congrats to our Graduating Apprentices!

Cycles for Change is honored to have worked with many brilliant young people over the years. This spring, we have several of our long-time rockstar apprentices graduating from high school. A few of them have nailed down their fall plans and wanted to share them!

Cheng Yang: Cheng will be attending Dougherty College, with plans to transfer to St. Thomas to major in Social Work.

Liliana Martinez: Liliana will be attending St. Paul College, with plans to transfer to a 4-year institution. Liliana is considering a major in Social Work.

Angelica Tonge: Angelica has been at Cycles for Change for 4 years and likes to get her hands dirty. She is researching automotive programs and plans to specialize in collisions.

May Community Artist: Blythe M. Davis

Blythe M. Davis’s art will soon be showing on the walls of our Minneapolis shop!

Cycles for Change is excited to announce our next artist: Blythe M. Davis! Blythe makes creative and whimsical Wild REcycleD bike pieces. Her work is inspired by Pablo Picasso’s 1942 work, Tête de Taureau (Bull’s Head), and–similar to C4C’s reuse ethos–Blythe uses collected bike components that have been salvaged from Twin Cities bike shops and local community members. The wood bases of her art are created from found wood or thrifted game boards, old signs, cabinet doors, cutting boards, and plaques. You can find Blythe’s pieces in our Minneapolis shop (2010 26th Ave S) beginning Friday, May 4, 2018.

To learn more about Blythe and see more works, visit www.blythemdavis.com or follow her on Instagram: @blythemdavis_art.

It’s AmeriCorps Week!

It’s AmeriCorps Week!
 
Our AmeriCorps VISTA, Paj, started in August 2017 as our Volunteer Coordinator. In the last 7 months, Paj has done some amazing work! He’s evaluated our former volunteer programs, created an orientation for new volunteers, created positions for a new St. Paul Open Shop volunteer program, and is currently recruiting Volunteer Shop Mechanics and Volunteer Shop Assistants for this program, which will begin next month. If you are interested in volunteering at Open Shop in St. Paul, you sign up for an orientation here: https://cyclesforchange.org/open-shop.
 
Additionally, Paj has had an instrumental role in our pilot Sprouts Program for youth in St. Paul. He helped create the foundations of the program as well as two additional skill levels that youth can achieve. This program is slated to begin later this year.
 
We are excited for what Paj will bring to C4C in the next five months of his year of service with AmeriCorps VISTA. When he completes his service he plans to get his PhD in Applied Anthropology.
 
Thanks for all you’ve done, Paj!

Statement on Giro and Bell Products

We at Cycles for Change have made the decision to discontinue orders from Giro and Bell whose parent company, Vista Outdoors, contributes significantly to the National Rifle Association. We are working to find an alternative helmet supplier at a similar price point and quality. This decision was made because we do not support the NRA. Its mission and work run counter to our own values of equity and justice. If and when Giro and Bell are sold to a company that aligns more closely with the values of promoting safe and violence-free communities, we will resume orders from them. We’re grateful for your understanding and support. We realize this is a small step toward making the world a safer place, but we thank you for accompanying us.

From the Mechanic’s Bench: DIY Spring Tune-Up

 

During the winter months, our mechanics will be providing blog readers with maintenance and mechanics articles on different skills, knowledge, and tips for safe riding.

In this article, Andrew Magill suggests how to get your bike (or trike) ready for spring riding–DIY style.

 

Here are some suggestions for checking and preparing your bicycle for spring riding. They apply equally to bicycles which have not been ridden over the winter, those which have been ridden over the winter, or a “new to you” bike that has not been repaired by a pro.

You can do these checks at home, at a C4C Open Shop night, a Grease Rag FTW-only Open Shop night, or take your bike to our retail service department for a free check and labor/replacement parts quote. Open Shop, Grease Rag, and Retail are available at both shop locations.

Essential Checklist:

  • Lightly clean the entire frame and fork of the bike and look for serious rust and dents or cracks. Pay special attention to higher stress areas including the fork, headtube, chainstays, and bottom bracket area (you are not likely to find anything, but it’s good to check).
  • Check tires and wheels: add air to the tires so they are within the PSI range printed on the tire’s sidewall. Check tire condition–look for worn-out tread, cuts, or cracking sidewalls.  
  • Check that the wheels spin freely and are true (wheels that are true do not have large wobbles as they spin). Check that the wheels are secured in the frame properly.
  • Clean and lubricate the chain.
  • Check that the brakes securely stop both wheels and that the brake lever is not hitting the handlebars before the brake system stops the wheel.
  • Check the seat height (for most folks the seat should reach their pants’ side pocket area as they stand next to the bike).
  • Do a short test ride in a safe area where to test the brakes, shifting, steering, and to ensure smooth pedaling.

Important Checklist:

  • Check brake pads for wear and braking system for proper adjustment by spinning the wheel and squeezing the brake. Check the condition of the brake cables and housing.
  • Check the sides of the wheels for rim wear and look for any broken spokes.
  • Check the bearing systems for proper adjustment and wear/contamination.
  • Try to move the wheel from side to side in the frame. Spin the wheel. There should not be any movement (but there may be a slight amount of wheel flex). A loose or a grinding hub needs service.
  • Grab the crankarms and try to move them side to side. If they are able to move sideways, the bottom bracket will need adjusting or replacing. Check that the cranks and pedals spin freely.
  • Check headset bearing adjustment/condition.
  • Check chain for wear/stretch by using a chain checker. Inspect the teeth of the front chain rings for wear or damage.
  • Lubricate derailleur cables and derailleurs while testing for proper shifting (ability to reach all gears and no dropped chains).
  • Check condition of shift cables and housing.
  • Remove, clean, and grease seat post with the appropriate lubricant.
  • Check condition of bar tape or grips.

Checklist for accessories, if any:  

  • Are the bolts for racks, fenders, light mounts, or water bottle cages tight?
  • Are the lights and lock functioning?
  • Do you have the accessories you need (such as a rack or a basket for carrying things with you when you ride)
  • Do you have clothing to keep you comfortable and visible when you ride?
  • If wearing a helmet (recommended!), check the condition of it.
  • We have a variety of new and used accessories at both shop locations.

Okay, grab a snack and head out for a ride!

C4C Retail and Open Shop mechanics are always here for you–come visit us (especially if you just baked cookies)!

–Andrew

Welcome Norman and Anne, our new Mpls Retail Managers!

 

Norman Whitfield and Anne Sombor have joined the Cycles for Change team as co-Retail Managers at our Minneapolis shop! Please help us in welcoming them to our team!

Norman (he/him/his, they/them) was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN, and has been in love with bicycles since he first learned how to ride at age six. He has a thing for cruisers, but an absolute obsession with Aero-styled T.T. bikes. He enjoys studying, designing, and building one-of-kind custom art bikes.

Anne (they/them) started biking in high school because of a love of the outdoors. In 2010, they moved from their hometown in upstate New York to Minnesota where they now bike around with instruments or sewing machines. They play all the string instruments, study Hungarian as a hobby, sew cycling caps in their free time, and use Photoshop in German. You can find them wrenching at the Minneapolis shop using their favorite tool, the lever extender.

February Community Art

 

The newest set of art will soon be showing on the walls of our Minneapolis shop!

The artists: Tantrum Art Collective

“We are urban artists bonded by our resilient experiences, challenging society as it is through experimental arts, community education, relationships, and action. The skills amongst our collective include painting, puppet-making, curating shows and installations, photography, ceramics, sculpture, stencil art, murals painting and other mixed-media forms. Since 2010, we have organized shows on topics ranging from our love of Minneapolis, to the human impact on our environment, to confronting police violence and systemic injustice.”

Their art will be displayed during the month of February.

From the Mechanic’s Bench: Lubrication

 

During the winter months, our mechanics will be providing blog readers with maintenance and mechanics articles on different skills, knowledge, and tips for safe riding.

In this article, Jacob Schile reports on the importance of–and difference between–wet and dry lubricants.

 

It’s been a wet and wild winter! If you’re riding out in the snow, or getting your bike ready to ride in the spring showers there’s no doubt that you and your bike will get a little wet! Fortunately, there are wet lubricants available which will resist water and prevent salt from wearing out a chain. There are even rad rust-resistant chains to stand up against St. Paul’s salt spray! Woohoo!

Frequently Asked Chain Lubrication Questions:

When should I reapply chain lubricant?

A dry chain lube should be reapplied when exposed to water, or applied weekly if riding daily.

A wet chain lubricant should be degreased and reapplied every week to two weeks. If the chain is not thoroughly degreased before new chain lube is applied, the old lubricant will get thicker and attract more dirt and grime. A wet lubricant is much better for wet riding, but will require more attention in degreasing and reapplications.

Do I have to use a wet chain lube if I’m only riding in the rain occasionally?

No, but you will have to reapply chain lubricant after drying the chain, as the rain and puddles have washed away the lubricant.

Example of chain and gears well past needing cleaning:

Rust-Proof Chains!

Is that such a thing? Yes! Well, mostly! KMC introduced their newest EcoProteq chains in 2013. We at the shop have been using the chains for our winter commuters with excellent results! KMC EcoProteq chains are tested with 650 HOURS of salt spray! They are a little louder, but a wet chain lube helps quiet them down! Available for all drivetrain types! Single speed up to 12!