By Jen Jackson, Executive Director
The Palouse Bicycle Collective (PBC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a non-discriminating bike shop and recycling cooperative. The PBC enhances the local community by providing bicycle resources, hands-on-education and sustainable transportation. As a small, grass-roots, locally-operated organization, the PBC is working to grow and nurture the community by providing citizens with quality recycled bicycles, parts and accessories to keep ridership active, affordable and sustainable. Additionally, the PBC offers annual memberships and day passes for anyone wanting to self-service their bicycle using the shop tools and stands (with help always available). Continuous outreach/education is also a major activity for the PBC in partnership with local groups and agencies. Groups and families may access and learn together how to maintain and fix their bikes while socializing and enjoying each other’s company. Fostering learning, sharing knowledge and enjoying the process is a kind of personal empowerment that the PBC facilitates for all people and skill levels.
Sustaining environmentally friendly operations is important to the PBC. Significantly, the past year included the following trends: 1) refurbishing 157 bicycles; 2) assisting with 181 flat repairs; 3) recycling 800 lbs. of metal frames and parts and 4) recycling 300 lbs. of rubber tires and tubes. Additionally, volunteers and members have been pivotal to the continued growth and success of the shop. The WSU Civic Center for Engagement continues to volunteer during the academic year. There is an increase in community service hours completed at the PBC, and excitingly, the shop saw its youngest volunteer learning bike mechanic skills at the ripe age of 11 years old. A first ever “lifetime” membership or grand fondo was sold to a local cycling commuter, and the PBC staff helped three shop joyride members build from scratch, their own bicycles. There was a total of 31 joyride memberships sold this season and 56 day passes for those needing shop time and tool access. DIY bike education is successful!
The PBC intends to use the Dime-In-Time funds to support the following: 1) youth bicycling helmets for young riders (1-12 yrs.) that do not have the means to purchase helmets; 2) purchase tools that are “high use” in the shop; and 3) purchase resources for an “outdoor station” that provides basic tools (Allen wrench, screw drivers, tire pump) for any cyclist to use as self-serve during the riding season. Receiving assistance allows the PBC to best support people of all ages in the community.