Posts Tagged ‘bike kitchen’

Everything breaks.  It is a law of the Universe.  At some point in its life span, an object will begin to wear, degrade, and eventually come undone.  However, some of our tools, pieces of clothing, appliances, and furniture last longer than others.  For the past 80 or so years, planned obsolescence — the intentional design and manufacturing practice meant to ensure the failure of a product — has been a major contributing factor to landfill crowding, waste, and woefully poor construction.  As seen in Annie Leonard’s animation, The Story of Stuff, precious natural resources and good, hard-earned cash are being squandered in the pursuit of acquiring junk and replacing it with new, poorly-made models.

The clear answer to ensuring the longevity of your stuff is simple: fix it.  Yet, where do you go nowadays to make simple repairs that will not break the bank?  Head on down to your local repair cafe, a concept that is beginning to draw proponents of conservation, tinkerers, caffeine hounds, and community advocates.  Beginning in the Netherlands two and a half years ago by a former journalist, the world’s first Repair Cafe occurs in an Amsterdam community center every couple of months.  The gatherings are open to whoever needs assistance or to those willing to help others tune up their miscellaneous odds and ends.  Branching out from its initial humble incarnation in the foyer of a theater, the Cafe is now supported by an official foundation, small donations, and grants from the Dutch government.  There now exist over forty similar start-ups throughout the country, and even a Repair Cafe bus.  The Foundation is working on translating DIY material and tutorials for use in the  United States.

A little closer to home, repair collectives are sprouting up in community centers, coffee shops, and auditoriums.  The West Seattle Fixers Collective holds meetings twice a month at the West Seattle Tool Library, featuring events such as re-sewing umbrellas, repairing espresso makers, laptops, appliances, and mending antiques.  In New York, the Fixers Collective, which has been running since 2008, began as part of an art exhibit in Brooklyn, and continues as a project in residence at Protues Gowanus, and interdisciplinary gallery and reading room.  Fixing sessions include “Master Fixers” who have a range of knowledge and experience, apprentices, and drop-in visitors looking to putter and socialize.

Here in San Luis Obispo, you can cruise on over to the SLO Bicycle Coalition’s Bike Kitchen (860 Pacific St., Suite 105).  The space comes equipped with tools, gear, parts, and experts who can help guide you in your mission to tune up your ride.  The Coalition offers seminars on traffic safety and bicycle maintenance with hands-on demonstrations.  The Kitchen is open Wednesday and Thursday from 4-7pm, and Sunday from 12-4pm.  Day use is $5 (plus any parts purchased), and Coalition members receive 4 free visits.

Give your possessions a little TLC instead of the old heave-ho.  Ask a friend, attend a repair cafe meeting, or search for a video on YouTube.  Your wallet and Mother Nature will thank you!


It is now May, and in San Luis Obispo that means wildflowers, the return of the swallows, and Bike Month.  Rated as one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the United States by the League of American Bicyclists (Silver Level), SLO pulls out all the stops for one month each year to show its support for riders across the county.

Here at Bambu Batu, we are expressing our cycling pride with a locally printed, American-made, 100% organic cotton t-shirt depicting the two-wheeled wonder in all of its glory.  Other than stylish, environmentally friendly clothing, what are some of the events you look forward to this Bike Month?

Commuter Bike Challenge- Gather together a team and log your commuter stats on the SLO Rideshare’s website for the thrill of victory, bragging rights, and an iron-clad excuse to indulge in the office donuts in the break room.

Bike Kitchen- Tune up your ride at the SLO Bike Kitchen every Wed, Thurs and Sunday from 4-7pm.  Parts, tools and advice are available at low cost for a day fee and also by donation.

Bike to School and Work Week-  Enjoy free coffee from May 16-20 at participating shops by wheeling yourself in for your daily caffeine fix.  Show your helmet for a cup-o-joe.

Bike ‘N Movie- On May 13th, cycle to the YMCA at 6:30 to view a flick without having to worry about hauling thousands of pounds of automobile along with your popcorn.

Full Moon Ride- Howl at the moon with your nocturnal brethren on May 17th at 7:30 starting at the Jennifer Street Bridge.

Amgen Tour of California- Paso Robles will witness world class riders whizzing through town on May 19th.  Grab a spot along the race route to experience a little Tour de France here on the Central Coast!

Bike Fashion Show- The Old Art’s Cyclery (2140 Santa Barbara St.) will be exhibiting the most chic of cycling couture on May 20th, beginning at 7pm.  There will be music, drinks, food, clothing, and models.  What else could you ask for in a good time?

Tweed Ride- Throw on your most dapper vestments for the Running of the Tweed.  Penny farthings, elbow patches, and creative facial hair are all encouraged.  Meet up at the Train Depot on Sunday, May 15th at 12:30pm for tea, music, and hobnobbing with other arcane fashion enthusiasts.

World Bicycle Relief Festival- An organization dedicated to provide access and independence to those in developing nations through the power of bicycles, World Bicycle Relief will be sponsoring a number of fundraising events on May 14.  SLO will be hosting a Poker Run at participating businesses around the downtown area. Delight in music, prizes, and the great feeling of knowing that you have just gambled for positive social change.

Cote de Tolosa Velo Challenge- On May 22 at 7am, join competitive cyclist Larry Brooks on a 52 mile loop including 5,000 feet of climbing, and a lunch at the end of the tour with all of the proceeds being donated to the SLO County Bicycle Coalition.

Wineries by Bike-  Ride through Edna Valley’s wineries on May 22 starting at 11am.  For route maps, visit the SLO County Bicycle Coalition’s site and download your day’s game plan.

Come and enjoy spring here in San Luis Obispo with your family, friends, and favorite be-spoked companion!

For a full schedule of events, visit the Bike Month Calendar.