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September Schedule and Update

The shop is closed for a couple of weeks to allow us some time for much needed rest. The schedule for the rest of September is as follows:

Tuesday, September 25 – 5 PM to 8 PM

Thursday, September 27 – 5 PM to 8 PM

Sunday, September 30 – Noon to 4 PM

The Saturday, September 8 Minneapolis Star-Tribune did a wonderful article about our shop. We appreciate the warm responses from the article. Please understand that the easiest part of the business is getting bicycles. Our storage space is limited, so we are asking that people please hold off on donations unless they are mountain or hybrid style bicycles to fit riders 5’10” and taller. We never get enough of those to satisfy demand. We also request that you take any kid size bicycles to one of the Allina drop off locations for Free Bikes 4 Kidz on Saturday, October 6. We have way more kid size bicycles than we can currently use. The best ways to help us are to volunteer your time to repair bicycles (mechanic experience is required), buy our bikes and/or parts, and pay us to repair your bicycles. We appreciate your support.

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August Schedule and Update

The shop schedule for the rest of August is as follows:

Sundays – August 5, 12, and 26, noon to 4 PM (closed August 19)

Tuesdays – August 7, 14, 21, and 28, 5 PM to 8 PM

Thursdays – August 9, 16, 23, and 30, 5 PM to 8 PM

Coming at the end of the month are two huge events. On August 31 we will be at the Minnesota State Fair staffing the ReUse Minnesota booth located in the Eco Building. Stop by to see us between 9 AM and 9 PM. We will also do a show on the Sustainability Stage at 5 PM on August 31, so stop by and see the show and you may even win a fabulous prize.

On September 1, we will again be at the University of Minnesota ReUse Center for the fall bicycle sale. This event runs from 10 AM to Noon, but people start lining up at least two hours before the sale opens. At least 150 bicycles will be available for sale with prices starting at just $50. Here is your chance to score a great deal on an affordable bicycle, so you won’t want to miss this sale.

Please note that we will be closed for a couple of weeks in mid-September. Otherwise, we are here most of the time at our regular hours so stop by the shop and see us soon.

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Wait List Reopens July 24 at 9 AM

The wait list for gift bicycles will reopen on Tuesday, July 24 at 9 AM. To get on the list, call 651-641-1037 any time after 9 AM on the 24th and leave the following information on the voice mail: Your first and last name, your height, the style of bicycle you prefer, and a reliable telephone number where we can reach you when your bicycle is ready. If you are a social service provider and wish to get a bicycle for a client, the request must be in your name, not the client’s, and you need to leave your telephone number. It is your responsibility to arrange to pick up the bicycle and deliver it to your client. You may bring your client to the shop, but do not tell the client to come and get it. The reason is that we have a very high no-show rate when clients are tasked with picking up bicycles. We have adopted this policy based on our 20 years of experience giving away bicycles. To all, please do not call before 9 AM on July 24. Any requests received before July 24 will be disregarded, while any requests received on July 24 but prior to 9 AM will be placed at the end of the list of timely requests received on the 24th. We have built some bicycles ahead, so some folks may get calls within a day or two to come and get bicycles. Please be prepared to get your bicycle within one week of our call to you, and please be sure your phone number is in service and the voice mail is properly set up. Thanks.

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Wait List Is Closed

We are sorry, but we have to close our wait list for gift bicycles. We have reached our limit of 60 requests. If you want to receive a bicycle, please call back any time after 9 AM on Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Thanks for your understanding.

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March Updates and Schedule

The March shop schedule is as follows:

Sundays – March 11, 18, and 25 – Shop Open Noon to 4 PM (closed March 4)

Tuesdays – March 6, 13, 20, and 27 – Shop Open 5 PM to 8 PM

Thursdays – March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 – Shop Open 5 PM to 8 PM

We also have two special events. First is our final swap of the season at LaCrosse, WI on Saturday, March 3. If you are in the area, come to the LaCrosse swap at Logan Middle School between 10 AM and 2 PM. They always have some great deals, including closeouts and technical clothing samples from Team Borah. You won’t find better prices anywhere on new jerseys, shorts, tights, and jackets, all first quality clothing at thrift store prices. What’s not to love? We also will have the best of MMRB at our booth.

Our other special event is our first-ever pop-up sale at Zion Lutheran Church. This is scheduled for Saturday, March 24 and no bicycle will be priced over $100!! We also will offer free minor repairs on a walk-in, first come first serve basis. Pastor John always hosts fun events, and we’re sure that there will be some fun activities in addition to our sale. Anyone wishing to help us with this sale or with the repairs should contact us at 651-641-1037 to volunteer.

We are gearing up for spring. One issue we have is that all our garages are stuffed to the max with bicycles, and we are getting calls from our city partners that they have bicycles waiting for pickup at the recycling centers. We don’t know where we will put them. However, we do know that we will be offering a really huge sale on almost everything we have at MMRB just as soon as the weather cooperates.

If you know how to repair bicycles, we can always use your help. Just stop by the shop any time that we are open and Mr. Michael will find you a bicycle to repair. If you don’t know how to repair bicycles but still want to volunteer, we have parts that need sorting and plenty of things that need cleaning. Whatever your talents, we’re sure we can find you a way to contribute to our mission of giving bicycles to people in need.

As always, a huge thanks to our faithful volunteers. There is no way we could do everything that we do without them. We hope you will consider joining them. Hope to see you soon at the shop.

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January Update and Schedule

The shop schedule for January is as follows:

Sundays – January 7, 14, 21, and 28 – Shop Open Noon to 4 PM

Tuesdays – January 9, 16, 23, and 30 – Shop Open 5 PM to 8 PM

Thursdays – January 11, 18, and 25 – Shop Open 5 PM to 8 PM

Thursdays – January 11, 18, and 25 – Repair Class 8 PM to 9:30 PM

A quick recap of 2017. First, we set a new record for bicycles given away in one year. In 2017 we gave away 869 bicycles!!! Our old record was 842. Second, we set a new income record. In 2017 we took in over $36,000! Our old record was $31,000 set in 2016. Third, we set a new record for individual bicycles repaired to give away. In 2017 we repaired 405 bicycles to give away! We repaired 404 bicycles in 2016. We also did a lot of paid repairs for customers, and a whole bunch of contract repair work for the University of Minnesota Re-Use Center.

This month we continue our repair classes. Our topic for January 11 is bottom brackets and drive trains. We will rebuild a bottom bracket in class. January 18 is our wrap up instruction session where we cover accessories, and any other topic that students want to know about. On January 25, we will have some open shop time for the students who have attended at least two classes can work on their own bicycles in our shop. Discounted parts will be available for that night only.

Swap season is here! On Saturday, January 13, we take our show on the road to Madison, Wisconsin for the Crono-Metro Swap. This event is fun and we usually score a few good deals for ourselves, as well as sell a whole bunch of stuff from the shop. However, you don’t need to go to Madison to shop our full selection. Just come in to the shop. We will also set up shop at the Blaine Velo Swap on February 10, and the LaCrosse Swap in March.

We have so much planned for this year, so watch this space for details. Hope to see you soon at our shop.

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December Update and Schedule

The shop schedule for the rest of December is as follows:

Sundays – December 10 and 17, shop open noon to 4 PM (closed December 24 and 31)

Tuesdays – December 12, 19, and 26, shop open 5 PM to 8 PM

Thursdays – December 7, 14, 21, and 28, shop open 5 PM to 8 PM

Also on Thursdays – December 7, 14, and 21, beginning bicycle repair and maintenance class, 8 PM to 9:30 PM (No class on December 28)

We have been so busy at the shop that I haven’t had much time for updates. We have broken our record for bicycles given away in a calendar year. Our biggest year was 2015 when we gave away 842! In 2017 we have given away 857 bicycles and the year isn’t quite over yet! We also are closing in on the record for bicycles repaired for give away, as well as have blown away our record for shop income. We increased the number of city partners from 6 to 8, and have processed around 2,000 bicycles! The extended streak of mild fall weather in late November and early December brought with it a whole lot of bicycles to recycle because people had more time to clean out their garages. We have been swimming in tear-downs. We can always use help dismantling bicycles. Just show up whenever we are open and we can give you some bikes to tear down.

This year we are partnering with two neighborhood groups to provide bicycles as Christmas gifts through adopt-a-family programs. We have already fulfilled a number of requests from East Side Christmas and Little Hope for Christmas bicycles. We are currently caught up on our orders, so we can take a few more Christmas requests. Call 651-641-1037 and leave your first and last name, your telephone number, and the height and gender of each recipient. We will call you to come and pick up your order when it is ready. It is really that simple!

We have some big plans for next year! University of Minnesota’s ReUse Center wants to have two of their popular mega-bike sales. The first will be on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, and the second will be the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. This means that we will need to up our production of repairing bicycles for the U, which means we can use plenty of help from mechanics. This effort pays a lot of the bills at the shop, so anyone who helps us provides an important contribution to our success.

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you. We hope to see you soon at the shop.

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August Schedule and Updates

The shop schedule for August 2017 is as follows:

Sundays – August 6, 13, and 20 – Shop Open Noon to 4 PM (closed August 27)

Tuesdays – August 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 – Shop Open 5 PM to 8 PM

Thursdays – August 3, 10, 17, and 31 – Shop Open 5 PM to 8 PM (closed August 24)

The 2017 bicycle give away count is now over 500!! Over half of those have been given away to individuals at the shop, and the rest have been donated to Free Bikes 4 Kidz. They have a generous supporter who has supplied free storage space so we are able to send our over abundance of kid bikes to them. This has been a great help to us, as we have been buried in kid bikes in past years and have struggled to store them. We also have supplied some bicycles to Family Means, which operates a couple of earn-a-bike programs in Washington County.

We have a lot of events coming up in August. First, we will be traveling to Winnipeg for the 2017 North American Bike! Bike! conference. This is where various community bike shops, non-profits, and bike program operators get together to teach each other skills to help all of us become more effective at what we do. We attended last year’s event in Detroit, and are eagerly looking forward to going to Winnipeg. We have never been there, so this is exciting.

Right on the heels of Bike! Bike!, we have two events scheduled with the University of Minnesota. We will bring some of our ready-to-ride bicycles to the U of M Welcome Week event on August 29, and then more of them to the September 2 bike sale at the U of M’s ReUse Center. At last year’s re-use event, over 100 bicycles were sold in just 3 hours! This is a major fund generator for MMRB. This sale is open to the general public, and hundreds of ready-to-ride bicycles will be available for sale at bargain-basement prices. People start lining up at least a couple of hours in advance of the noon sale start time, but it is worth it to get a shot at buying a ready-to-ride bike for around $100. There are seriously good deals at this sale.

We also will be at the Eco Building at the Minnesota State Fair on Friday, September 1 at the ReUse Minnesota booth. Stop by and chat with us about bikes, re-use, or whatever is on your mind. If you come at the right time, you just might meet junior roller derby’s own Pop Star! She helped us out at last year’s booth, and plans a repeat appearance. We always have a great time at this event, so plan your visit to the Fair on September 1 and come see us!

September starts cleanup season again, and we have recycling events schedule for the cities of Andover and Inver Grove Heights. This is our first trip to IGH, so if you live there and haven’t had the chance to visit us yet, bring your excess bicycles to us. September is also the St. Paul Classic, and we will again have an information table at the ride’s start/end at University of St. Thomas. Stop by our booth and say Hi.

As always, all are welcome at the shop, so if you haven’t been there for awhile, or have been meaning to visit, we look forward to seeing you there. Have a great month.

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April Shop Schedule and Updates

April Shop Schedule is as follows:

Sundays – April 2, 9, 23, and 30 – Shop open Noon to 4 PM (Closed April 16 for Easter)

Tuesdays – April 4, 11, 18, and 25 – Shop open 5 PM to 8 PM

Thursdays – April 6, 13, 20, and 27 – Shop open 5 PM to 8 PM

Saturday, April 22 – Green Expo at Schwann Center, National Sports Center, Blaine. We will have a booth there, stop by and see us.

Saturday, April 29 – Recycling events at Andover and St. Francis. Volunteers needed, call 651-641-1037 for more info.

Spring has sprung! Definitely an early spring for us, and the shop has been super busy with paid repairs and bicycle sales. The calls are coming in to get on our wait list for a gift bicycle. Sales-wise, March 2017 was the second largest revenue month in MMRB’s 9 year history. Speaking of 9 years, the 9-year anniversary of opening MMRB is coming up May 1. We will most likely celebrate on Sunday, April 30. Of course, every day is a celebration at MMRB – the most fun bike shop in town.

We have signed up for the 2017 Habitat 500 bike tour, so some of the charity portion of our revenue will go to build the bike.home. Every year a number of the riders on the tour earmark their donations toward raising enough money to build one house, which is designated as the bike.home. In 2016, MMRB provided free bicycles for the people moving into the bike.home, plus provided a bicycle for a Habitat homeowner to use so she could ride the tour. It is her way of helping to give back to Habitat. This will be the 25th anniversary for the Habitat 500.

We have several recycling events coming up. We will be at Andover and also a crew will go to St. Francis on April 29. Saturday, May 6 we will be at Fridley. We can use volunteers to help us do tear downs at the sites. If you are interested, call me at 651-641-1037, send email to info@mmrbstore.com, or post a message to our Facebook page. These events are a blast, and sometimes you can even score some great salvage item! This is a way for you to volunteer on one specific date.

We will again plan on doing a free bike repair day at a homeless shelter, and also at Shobi’s Table (street church that meets Thursdays on Payne Avenue in St. Paul). While our shop prices are the lowest in town, homeless folks cannot even afford that, so we try to give them opportunities to get their bicycles fixed for free. For many those bicycles are their only transportation. We want them to be safe to operate. Info about these events will be posted here as well as on our Facebook page. Volunteer mechanics are always welcome.

We know how busy people get at this time of the year, but we hope you will take a few minutes to come and see us at Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles.

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March Schedule and Updates

The shop schedule for March is as follows:

Sundays – March 5, 12, and 26 – Shop open noon to 4 PM (Closed March 19)

Tuesdays – March 7, 14, 21, and 28 – Shop open 5 PM to 8 PM

Thursdays – March 9, 23, and 30 – Shop open 5 PM to 8 PM (Closed March 16)

Warmer temperatures mean that the shop gets busy. This past month’s record warmth resulted in lots of you coming in to buy parts to complete your projects, to get your bicycles tuned up for spring, or to shop for a new (to you) bicycle! The place has been jumping! What’s ahead for March? Well, we just got back from the last swap of our season, which was in LaCrosse, WI, and we sold a bunch of stuff, along with two bicycles. March is already off to a great start financially. Our wait list is still short, but we anticipate that our phone will start ringing off the hook with requests, plus we have plenty of bicycles to repair for the U of M ReUse Program, so we have plenty to do. If you like fixing bicycles, stop by the shop any time that we are open and we will set you up at one of our repair stations. No appointment is needed. If you are not a mechanic and still want to help out, we have a lot of parts to sort. For those who want to really make a difference, we can use someone to keep the carpet swept and the bathroom clean. It isn’t glamorous work, but greatly needed. Finally, we want to train someone to work the front desk. This will take a special person – you must be social, good with numbers (you will write up sales receipts and collect money) and be able to manage the flow of customers. It is an important job. We want you to master this job so that you can run the front desk when we are gone. You don’t need to know a lot about bicycles, but knowledge of retail and customer service background is helpful. If you have what it takes, stop by the shop and we can discuss this. All jobs at the shop are volunteer, but we do pay out in chocolate, beer (malt or root), and all the laughs you can stand. We will even pick on you if you like. We are gearing up (pun intended) for our biggest year ever, so come be a part of it, either as a customer or as a volunteer. See you soon at the most fun bike shop in town, Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles!