Our mission to keep people and bikes moving is expanding way beyond our shop walls…
Last week we kicked off the first of several scheduled mobile bike repair outings for 2022. Thanks to the kind and generous Larson Legacy grant we can now bring our volunteer mechanics (along with a tool box and lots of bike parts) to the streets of Everett and perform minor bike repairs for free.
Not only is this service a great way for us to increase Sharing Wheel’s visibility, but it also enables us to reach a geographically wider and more diverse audience.
Want to meet our biking community members where they congregate and help fix their flat tires and worn brakes? We still need volunteers to sign up and staff these community pop-up events.
We have regularly scheduled repair clinics at First Baptist Church and Evergreen Library and (fingers crossed) soon to be set up at the downtown Everett Library and in the Casino Road neighborhood (South Everett).
Increasing access to bike repair services has been a long-time goal of Sharing Wheels. With the help of our talented volunteers and supportive community partners we can now temporarily ‘park’ ourselves on the streets of Everett and offer repair services in multiple neighborhoods.
Some people can serve as champions of our organization and send a simple email to help us reach our goals. Meet Piper Peterson who did just that last November when we realized we were short on kid bikes for our annual Holiday Kid Bike Giveaway.
Piper sent an email to her large network of friends requesting gently-used kid bikes and hours later the bike donations came pouring in. The generosity from the community was amazing.
Piper’s support for Sharing Wheels went beyond sending an email.
Thank you, Piper, for spending so many hours collecting, storing, and arranging transport of 87 kid bikes.* We ultimately met our goal of donating 131 kid bikes to low income families, thanks to Piper and all of the volunteers who helped refurbish donated bikes.
If you have considered volunteering at Sharing Wheels, but have no interest in refurbishing bikes, please reach out to me or join our next monthly volunteer orientation meeting to learn more about the ways you can help Sharing Wheels.
* Much of the credit for transporting kids bikes last year goes to long-time Sharing Wheels volunteer Larry Williamson. He is a stalwart of our kids bike program. Larry and Piper both live in Edmonds – and now they know they have a shared passion for getting bikes to kids.
Thanks to so many of our loyal (and brand new) volunteers who donated much of their time, we managed to successfully gift 118 refurbished kid bikes to deserving families in our community this holiday season.
All the work started back in October when we encouraged neighbors and friends to sign up and help at one of our 19 scheduled workshop parties. The spirit of wanting to help children in need was great and giving back time and energy is what so many of you did.
A total of 39 folks donated 200 hours of their time cleaning, repairing, and distributing the kid bikes just in time for the holidays. Thanks to the generosity of the Stillaguamish Tribe, Sharing Wheels was able to purchase hundreds of new parts to make each bike safe, shiny and ready to ride.
I cannot end without giving a special ‘shout-out’ to our work party hosts Larry, Tony, and Ion who once again did a spectacular job of leading and mentoring the volunteer crews and keeping everyone well-fueled during their shifts. Thank you, guys, for your continued dedication and willingness to manage the kid-bike holiday program.
There will always be kids who need bikes, so please, everyone, plan on joining us in 2022 for another successful event. Happy holidays and ride safely!
Thanks to our volunteers and community support, Sharing Wheels served a huge need for healthy outdoor activity and affordable, personal transportation in 2020.
We couldn’t create community within our shop due to COVID limitations, so we built bikes and connections in new ways. Volunteers took bikes home to clean and fix. Local nonprofits helped us match bikes with adults and kids who needed them. Our board met monthly via Zoom. Donations of time, bikes and cash kept us rolling despite a difficult year.
Bike Sales: While retail bike shops ran low on inventory, quality donations kept us stocked with a huge variety of bike styles, sizes, and prices. We loved helping new riders buy a bike to fit their needs and budget. 246 bikes.
Kids Bikes: Instead of the annual Kids Bike Swap and Christmas House events, we matched bikes with families directly, and partnered with other nonprofits to distribute bikes to low income kids. 194 bikes.
DIY Shop Use: Our free self-help station was moved out to the garage due to COVID shop limits. That made it harder for people to access our tools and advice. 75% of our 129 users bike for transportation and report low income.
115 people spent 2,615 hours helping in the shop and from their own garages. Boeing, Microsoft, & F5 Networks gave $2,500 to match employee efforts.
Top Volunteers: Larry Williamson, Bruce McLachlin, John Kasey, Don Sperlin, Dave Fox, Claudia Douglass, Patrick Sullivan. More than 100 hours each.
Giving & Support
Individual donations doubled this year thanks to spring and year-end campaigns. Donations were needed because shop activity and revenue were reduced due to COVID. 71 people gave $50 or more.
Grants: City of Everett Community Development Block Grant, Everett Port Gardner Rotary, Stillaguamish Tribe.
Education & Outreach
Repair Classes: We managed to teach several small, in-person bike mechanic classes. We also started mini-courses for mechanical volunteers. 25 students.
Adult Earn-A-Bike: We taught 12 formerly homeless or at-risk adults to fix a flat, gave them a fully-equipped refurbished bike, and took them on their first ride. “This is the best bike I’ve ever owned,” said a grateful 80-year-old recipient.
Velo Art Contest: While most events were canceled, we started something new to put our excess new and used parts to creative use. 6 artists, lots of fun!
Actual income and expenses for 2020.
Other Shop Costs
* The adopted budget anticipated use of reserves to balance.
We all know volunteers are the foundation of Sharing Wheels’ mission of Keeping People and Bikes Moving. We simply couldn’t accomplish our goals without our volunteers. What you may not know is that we no longer have our volunteers simply cleaning and wrenching bikes.
Volunteer roles have expanded to include Customer Service Representative, Bike Maintenance Instructor, New Volunteer Mentor, and Newsletter CoEditor.
This year 73 volunteers donated 1600 hours of service to our organization and 4 Super Volunteers have donated more than 200 hours each.
Sharing Wheels loves to recognize the efforts of volunteers and for many years offered shop discounts and wholesaler special order pricing. Now, we would like to expand our volunteer rewards program and offer additional incentives to show our continued appreciation. These include:
10 hours/month allows you to make special orders through our wholesaler at cost plus 20%
3 bike work parties earns you $20 credit on anything at the shop.
15 hours you receive a 50% discount off any Sharing Wheels bike maintenance class, plus NEW free classes just for volunteers to build skills.
50 hours, you earn a Sharing Wheels soft and comfy t-shirt.
60 hours, you will receive a 50% discount off any used parts or bike in the shop.
200 hours, you earn a bike multitool
500 hours, you earn a Sharing Wheels fleece vest.
We are always looking to grow our volunteer base so we can continue to provide such an important resource to Snohomish County. If you’d like to get started volunteering with Sharing Wheels, email me.
Fix Kids Bikes – with friends or at home
Speaking of Volunteers – the holidays are just around the corner and we could use lots of help getting 50+ kid bikes in tip-top shape for the low-income families in our community. Work parties are scheduled 5:30-8:30pm every Tuesday and Thursday in October and November. To comply with the public health guidelines, work parties will be limited to 5 volunteers and masks are required.
Reserve your spot and meet new friends, or request your own private work party with friends and/or family!
Prefer to avoid the ‘party’ and work on bikes in your own garage? Not a problem, just contact Alain at the shop and he will get you set up to take a bike (or two) home for repair.