The Palouse Bicycle Collective opened their doors in October, 2013, and they now have over 250 members. The business was first envisioned by Jen Jackson, the executive director. Jen was getting her degree at the University of Idaho in Exercise Science and Health and opened the Collective as part of her internship. In the process she kept meeting people who were supportive of her vision. I spoke with the enthusiastic Tami Goetz, a self-described “permanent volunteer” who has shared the vision from the get-go. Current mechanic and sales staff include John LaMoreaux, Liam Knudsen, and Matt Dabbs. Tami said, “We have an outstanding crew of passionate bike people who make a huge difference.”
The Collective offers many options. People can buy a year's membership or a day pass to use the facilities for working on their own bikes, be educated on how to use the tools needed, and get advice on how to get a bike up and running. One can also purchase recycled bike parts. The parts building is full of gears, handlebars, pedals, wheels, and pretty much anything else needed to fix a bike. They sell some new items like locks and miscellaneous bike parts. People can pay to have the staff service their bike, and the business also rents out bicycles for $10 a day.
Palouse Bicycle Collective accepts donations of used bikes and bike parts. If bicycles are still functional they will make repairs to keep the bike going. If the bicycle is at the end of its life they will “part it out.” If they have an excess of bicycles, they donate them to the Village Bicycle Project. It is important to those involved in the business that they provide affordable access to bicycles for community members. Selling used parts keeps prices low, and people can also trade work hours for used parts or used bikes.
A big part of the Palouse Bicycle Collective is outreach. The mission of the business is to provide education, access, and empowerment to members of the community. This includes partnering with a multitude of groups such as Bike for Life, Palouse Bicycle Racing, Safe Routes to School, University of Idaho – Upward Bound, Moscow High School, Moscow Parks and Recreation, and many more. PBC hosts basic safety and maintenance workshops for members and special groups as requested. They have assisted Boy Scouts in earning badges related to bicycles, and have provided bicycles to adults and children being served by the Family Promise of the Palouse program (a group that provides shelter to families facing homelessness). Additionally, the Collective has set up bicycle fix stations at the University of Idaho and Washington State University. Recently they were actively involved with the bicycle pump track at the Palouse Clearwater Environmental Institute’s Sustainability Fair.
The Palouse Bicycle Collective is located at 224 West Third Street in a historic house built in 1919. They are open from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The Palouse Bicycle Collective feels they are on the same team as the Moscow Food Coop in supporting healthy living on the Palouse. Co-op members receive $5 off a year’s membership. To learn more about this wonderful business check out their website: http://palousebicyclecollective.org.