The September shop schedule is as follows:
Tuesdays: September 1, 8, and 22 – Shop open 7 PM to 9 PM (closed September 15 and 29)
Thursdays: September 10 – Shop open 7 PM to 9 PM (closed September 3, 17, and 24)
Sundays: September 6, 13, and 20 – Shop open noon to 4 PM (closed September 27
The October shop schedule is as follows:
Tuesdays: October 13 and 27 – Shop open 7 PM to 9 PM (closed October 6 and 20)
Thursdays: October 15, 22, and 29 – Shop open 7 PM to 9 PM (closed October 1 and 8)
Sundays: October 11, 18, and 25 – Shop open noon to 4 PM (closed October 4)
As you can see from our schedule, the shop will be closed for about 3 weeks in late September and early October. One of our staff members is moving to Arizona and we will be taking an extended road trip to deliver her vehicle. Meanwhile, we don’t have enough volunteers available to open the store while we are gone, so we need to close. However, our volunteer mechanics will continue to work on bicycles to fill orders on our wait list. We have not closed the list yet, but if we get to 60 names, then we will close it.
We have some volunteer opportunities coming up. First, we can use someone with retail experience to assist customers when the shop is open. Mechanic skills are not required (although they would be a huge help), but a love of bicycles and support of our mission is essential. Duties will include sorting and stocking used bicycle parts, retrieving bicycles from the garage for customers who are picking them up, and writing up customer sales receipts and collecting money. We hope that at least one individual will become part of our core team and be able to fill in at the front desk when needed.
The next opportunity will be to attend one of our tear-down parties. Dates will be announced, but we expect at least two during the latter half of October. You don’t need to be a bicycle mechanic, but you do need to know how to use hand tools to take things apart. We will dismantle a large number of bicycles. These are one-time commitments – ideal for trying us out.
The third opportunity will be to help us at our annual BLITZ! event on Saturday, November 28. At this event we attempt to fix around 50 bicycles in 6 hours! We especially need mechanics, but can also use people to help us serve food and clean up. Again, this is a one-time commitment. The bicycles we repair on that date are earmarked for the United Way/St. Paul Pioneer Press Holiday Wishes program. This is one of our most fun events of the whole year, and Mr. Michael will serve up some of his famous apple pie, so you don’t want to miss this.
On a final note, the bicycle count for 2015 is currently 452 given away. We are a bit ahead of where we were last year at this time. In our best year, we gave away 755, and we sure would love to top that. Last year we gave away 610. We think we can beat that, but we want to do much better than that. Our ultimate goal is to give away 1000 bicycles every year, but to do that, we will need to add some mechanics and also expand our store hours. We plan to expand hours next year during the warm weather months.
Thanks to all our loyal volunteers. We couldn’t do this without you. Please consider becoming a part of our team. Thanks.