Update by Eric Crouthamel, Valid Shop Manager
Valid Bike Shop is the Bike Fed’s Safe Routes to School warehouse and Youth Mechanic training grounds. Over 200 bikes are stored and maintained in this Milwaukee Public Schools Ex-Auto Shop. It hosts Open Shop hours and trains local urban youth on basic bike mechanics. -Jake
This spring the Valid Shop had a goal of having 150 bicycles ready for use by the Safe Routes To School program by June 13th. We met that goal ahead of schedule on June 6th. Having reached our Safe Routes fleet goal we shifted gears to extended fleet maintenance and hosting open shop time for youth at North Division Community Learning Center. We also began to sort through the many parts and dusty bicycles to determine which were usable and which should be consigned to the scrap pile.
AJ and I have been hosting Open Shop times on Wednesday afternoons from 1:00 to 3:00 and to date have had seven Community Learning Center members earn bikes by volunteering 12 hours. During their volunteer hours the kids learned basic tool use skills and the workings and parts of a bicycle. The kids then used these skills to begin to be able to locate, diagnose, and fix mechanical issues with the bicycles that they would eventually take home. One student, Brandon ” Peanut” Wilborn, has distinguished himself as our star pupil. He constantly exhibits enthusiasm and willingness to help out in the shop and has volunteered approximately 20 hours to date.
Brandon first came to the shop 3 years ago when I (Jake) was still working in Valid on a regular basis. He lives around the corner from Valid Shop and it is great to see that his enthusiasm is still there! -Jake
The Wednesday hours became so popular that we will now offer Monday afternoon open times for the rest of the Summer.
We have also been selling bikes from the stacks of older and larger adult bikes that have been donated but are not usable for the elementary school programs. We will post pictures of bikes for sale on Facebook and have met favorable results getting the word out in this manner. We will continue to repair and sell bikes throughout the summer and into the fall as long as there is demand. All proceeds from bike sales go back in the our programming to buy supplies and using bikes as a vehicle of social change.
Follow us on Facebook to see hours (generally Mon-Fri, 10am – 4pm, but we can stay later for you to look at a bike for sale if you contact us ahead of time) and current stock of bikes for sale, or feel free to call the shop and ask if you’re looking for something specific. Stock always varies.414-267-5062