Quietly the bike room in Patchwork’s studio has been reorganized, tools found, and space cleared. Quietly we’ve begun to restore bikes to working order. Quietly a few have rolled out our doors with new owners who rely on them for transportation.
We’re excited to provide this service to the community once more. Our past experience shows us that our guests’ need for working bicycles is great and that the bikes are highly valued. For many, a bike is their primary transportation and they are no longer able to get around town when that bike breaks or gets stolen.
Coordinating the Bike Shop is Pete Emery (below, on left, with Steven). Pete has already put in many volunteer hours organizing the bike shop and the bike program. Slowly the word has spread that there’s a new bike guy and our guests have approached us for help.
Shawn tells this story about one recent bike recipient, “We gave out our second bike last week to an older gentleman named Charles. Charles comes to Patchwork from time to time and always tells me about his fishing experiences. He loves to fish and often rides his bike to his favorite fishing spot. His bike was recently stolen, and he was no longer able to get there because the walk was too far. Pete was able to fix up a bike for Charles. He was very grateful for the bike, and Pete told him anytime that he needed any maintenance done on it to be sure and stop by the bike shop.”
If you would like to support this program, the most helpful donations are money for bike tires and tubes and for utilities and other core expenses related to our studio/bike shop. We can accept a limited number of used bicycles. If you have a bike to donate, please call ahead to find out if we have space to accept it. Pete can also use help from volunteers who are experienced in bike repair. The Patchwork Bike Shop is open most Tuesday and Thursday mornings, though that schedule is subject to change depending on our other programming. For more information or to contact Pete, please call our main office at 812-424-2735.
The history of Patchwork’s Bike Shop goes back to 2000 or 2001 when Rick Unger was a Mennonite Voluntary Service Worker here. Rick watched as a child who lived nearby tossed his bicycle into the dumpster because it was broken. It turned out that the bike only needed a minor repair, so Rick decided to start teaching children how to make their own bike repairs. Custom art bikes soon followed. Here’s a news report about our early bike shop: