The February Shop Schedule is as follows:
Sundays – February 19 and 26 – Shop Open Noon to 4 PM (Shop closed Feb 5 and 12)
Tuesdays – February 21 and 28 – Shop Open 5 PM to 8 PM (Shop closed Feb 7 and 14)
Thursdays – February 16 and 23 – Shop Open 5 PM to 8 PM (Shop closed Feb 2 and 9)
Sunday, February 12 – Blaine Velo Swap
As we closed out 2016, we added things up and we gave away 616 bicycles. While that was quite a bit less than 2015, we have had a change in the mix of shop activity. Due to taking in a lot more paid repair work from the surrounding neighborhoods, as well as our contract to fix bicycles for the University of Minnesota ReUse Center, the shop income was up substantially from 2015. We ended 2015 with just under $19,000 in income. We ended 2016 with just over $30,000 in income! This is amazing growth. If we can keep shop income at this level, it will allow us to add some programming. We already added mechanic classes. The first series just ended, and several students learned quite a bit about bicycles and how to fix them. Of course, we are a bit selfish – it is our hope that some of our students go on to become volunteer mechanics at the shop. We believe that, in time, this will happen. Meanwhile, if you are into bicycle repair, consider volunteering at the shop. If you have basic bicycle mechanic skills, come to the shop any time that we are open and ask to volunteer. Mike will put you at a stand and give you a bicycle to repair. This gives him time to assess your skills and help you to get the most from your experience.
Note that on February 12 we will be taking our show on the road and will be selling stuff at the Blaine Velo Swap. This event is held at the National Sports Center in Blaine. There is an admission charge, but all proceeds go to benefit our local velodrome. There will be a lot of great local vendors there selling all manner of used bicycle parts and accessories. For those of you in the northern suburbs, here is a chance to shop the best of MMRB without having to drive all the way into St. Paul to get to our store. Of course, shopping at the store is much more fun than at the swap. We also will be doing a swap on Saturday, March 4 at LaCrosse, Wisconsin that benefits the Logan Bike Works. Again, a worthy cause and a fun swap, so if you are in the area, it is worth the time and price of admission. Last year I snagged brand-new bicycle shoes valued at over $100 for just $5!!! There are great bargains at these events.
Looking ahead, we will be doing the Coon Rapids Green Expo in April; our Free Bicycle Repair Day in Maiden Rock and Plum City, WI, also in April; recycling events at Andover and St. Francis on the last Saturday in April (volunteers needed); and a recycling event in Fridley in May. We haven’t schedule Free Repair Days for the Homeless yet, but we anticipate that those will be held sometime in May at the Dorothy Day Center and at Shobi’s Table (Payne Avenue in St. Paul).
Please note that we are collecting used recycling bins any time that the shop is open. We especially want the older style bins with the cut out on one side, but all types are welcomed. We will use them to store parts that are currently stored in cardboard boxes. If we get more bins than we can use, we will partner with another local organization and give them some.
Take advantage of the winter weather to come to the shop and check out all the great deals on used parts, used bicycles, and discounted repair service. We are offering our mini-tune package for just $25 – regular price is $40 – through the end of February. When the temperatures rise, so will the prices, so shop now to get our best deals. We hope to see you soon at the shop.