What is Open Shop?
In an industry dominated by retail operations, Cycles for Change’s Community Open Shop is unique because it focuses on educating community members in do-it-yourself bicycle mechanics.
Our Community Open Shops are staffed by our expert youth apprentice mechanics. These high school-aged apprentices are paired with patrons as they arrive to Open Shop, assess the bicycle, and then teach the patron how to fix what needs to be repaired–how to true the wheel, change brake cables, or just pump air into the tires.
Open Shop is a necessary resource in our Twin Cities community. According to the MN Pollution Control Agency, on- and off-road vehicles contribute nearly half of all air pollutants emitted in Minnesota. Transportation accounts for nearly 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, contributing to global climate change that harms people and communities, especially communities of color who experience higher rates of asthma. In addition, low-income residents are more likely to drive cars that are older, run-down, and often not meeting emission limit standards. C4C engages these low-income communities around bicycle education and mechanics which helps get some of the most polluting vehicles off the road and supports these individuals with access to a financially-reliable and environmental-friendly transportation option.
Open Shop is offered twice a week during the winter season at our Minneapolis Shop (Wed 4-7pm, Sat 1-6pm). Additionally, we offer Grease Rag (Women/Transgender/Femme/Non-Binary) Open Shop Tuesdays 5-8pm in Minneapolis. Please refer to the side bar for up to date hours (Winter Hours are effective October 16, 2018 – April 16, 2019).
If you have an issue with your bike, we look forward to helping you fix it. Everyone is welcome at Open Shop–work on your bike, use our tools, and talk to mechanics about your bike!
Open Shop is the perfect opportunity to learn new skills and fix your own bicycle. As an organization dedicated to bicyclists, both new and experienced, Open Shop provides a mechanism to enable people to get on their bicycles and choose an alternate form of transportation. Also, for those whom transportation is a large portion of their expenses, Open Shop provides an opportunity to fix up one’s bicycle to have a free choice of transportation.
How much does Open Shop cost?
No one will be turned away for inability to pay for Open Shop. We suggest a $2-20/hour to help cover staff time, use of the space and tools, and as a way to keep supporting this and other programming at Cycles for Change.
Please donate if you are able to–your donation helps support the work we do!
We have used and new replacement parts for sale at both locations during Open Shop hours to purchase when working on your bike.