New Volunteer Orientation

Learn about Sharing Wheels and the ways you can help as a volunteer – in the shop or out in the community.

Register in advance for our monthly Volunteer Orientation via Zoom with Shop Manager Ed Roos.

To get the link to participate, email Ed.

You can also give us a call at (425) 252-6952, or stop by the shop during open hours.

Board News Volunteers

New vision and goals for 2024

Sharing Wheels Board of Directors

Vision: A Snohomish County where anyone can ride, fix and recycle a bike

Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop

Goal 1 : Establish a Sharing Wheels location that meets the needs of staff, volunteers, customers and stakeholders

Strategy: Define what we need in a location with input from staff, volunteers, customers and stakeholders

Goal 2: A bike shop staffed with enthusiastic and highly skilled employees and volunteers

Strategy: Nurture and train current employees and volunteers

Goal 3: A trusted bike shop that provides reliable bikes, parts & accessories along with friendly expertise

Strategy: Process bikes and other donations in a timely and cost-effective manner

The Sharing Wheels Board spent the last six months of 2023 in a strategic planning process facilitated by the Community Foundation of Snohomish County.

Board members found it fairly easy to agree on our updated vision (for the world we’d like to help create) and our top 3 goals for the coming few years (see below). What will be harder is implementing our strategies and tactics to reach those goals.

We welcome volunteers and supporters to be part of our efforts. You might join a committee, give input at a stakeholder meeting, or share your professional expertise or community connections.

Your first chance to be involved is at our Annual Meeting, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at the shop. Please RSVP if you are able to attend.

You can also email Executive Director Christy Cowley or talk to Shop Manager Ed Roos in person at the shop.

News Volunteers

Rolling into the holidays

By Christy Cowley, Executive Director

One-hundred-seventeen! That’s the total number of kid bikes volunteers refurbished and donated to Christmas House this holiday season.

Hundreds of new parts, lots of elbow grease and TLC is what it takes to bring life back to a used bike. Since October we’ve had 47 volunteers working 487 hours in our shop every Tuesday and Thursday evening (and a few Sundays) to ready these bikes for the holidays.  And while volunteer labor may be ‘free’, there are costs for parts, accessories, snacks, and staff time. 

Much gratitude goes to the Stillaquamish Tribe for funding this important program. Their generosity allows us to refurbish bikes with new and safer parts, ensuring a longer lifespan for each gifted bike.

We started collecting bikes for this year’s program in July, securely packing them into our back storage room. Trek Bicycle Redmond and Recycled Cycles donated dozens of gently used bikes and more than 50 used bikes were donated from individual community members.

We may never know if it was simply the excitement of working together in our unique shop space that fueled the volunteers each night or was it the 360 “bundtini” cakes donated by Nothing Bundt Cakes of Mill Creek? Either way, the heart and hustle of all the workers was evident throughout the entire season.

Thanks to our work party hosts Larry, Bruce, Kristin, Ion and Tony who did a remarkable job of mentoring and welcoming the volunteers, regardless of their prior experience. 

Watching these 117 refurbished bikes finally roll out of our garage and over to Christmas House, where lucky families were able to choose the perfect bike for their child, fills my heart with joy and reminds me how fortunate I am to be part of this community.

Happy Holidays to each of you.

News Volunteers

Where will our future take us?

Help us envision new space for Sharing Wheels

By Kristin Kinnamon, Board Member

Whenever the weather – and shop – turn cold, when volunteers and customers working on bikes bump elbows in our crowded work stands, when new customers wander in from the alley with a dazed look saying “I finally found you,” when bike donations block the entry or dirty hands cry out for washing (but there’s no sink), when the summer heat turns our space into an oven – when those things happen, we dream about a bigger, better shop space for Sharing Wheels.

We’ve been in our current, low-rent space in the Broadway Mall building since 2005. 

Two years ago, we seriously considered renting additional space here in this building. Or at least making major improvements to the garage and entrance to better welcome customers.

Unfortunately, after putting significant effort into those potential changes (figuring out work flow, pricing glass doors, giving tours during a December open house), we concluded that the Broadway Mall Building (built in the 1920s) is not the place for us to grow and pursue our vision of “A Snohomish County where anyone can ride, fix or recycle a bicycle.”

What kind of space do we need to accomplish that vision? That is the first question our Board hopes to answer with your help in 2024. We need to define:

  • Size – How many square feet do we need for our programs and services?
  • Function – What types of activities do we need to plan for (such as walk-in repairs, volunteers, classes)?
  • Features – We love having a garage entrance for rolling bikes in and out. What other amenities do we want to retain or add in a different space?
  • Location – We like being bikeable and close to transit. Do we need to be in Everett?
  • Budget – What can we afford in terms of rent, utilities and other costs, including moving?

Our Board of 8 volunteers does not want to answer these questions alone. Everyone reading this, everyone who’s ever bought a part or given us a bike, every local bike shop, and every leader in the community (elected or not) is considered one of our stakeholders.

We want your input.

There’s a big piece of butcher paper in the garage right now, waiting for you to write down your ideas. We’d also invite everyone to our annual meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 17 at the Sno-Isle Food CoOp.

Along with electing board members, we’ll be seeking volunteers who can help us pursue our goals of 

  1. Defining what we need in a space with stakeholder input
  2. Gathering data on rental and lease availability and costs, space-sharing and government support opportunities, and what we can afford
  3. Sharing our needs with community groups and leaders to build support and leads

Please participate in planning for our future. If you can’t make it to the meeting, feel free to email your thoughts to Executive Director Christy Cowley, Thanks for supporting Sharing Wheels Community Bike Shop.

News Volunteers

Mobile bike clinics keep people rolling

By Christy Cowley, Executive Director

We’ve gone and done it again for the third year. Partnering with libraries, community centers and WSU Repair Cafe, we’ve offered 26 free bike repair events in Snohomish County this year.* We fixed almost 180 bicycles, plus a few walkers and scooters as well.

The minor bike repairs are completely free thanks to 16 volunteers, who donated 312 hours of their time, and to the The Larson Legacy Foundation, who once again partially funded the purchase of the tools, parts and accessories necessary to run the program.

We never ask for payment at our mobile bike repair clinics, but some people just can’t resist showing their appreciation. Ted was one of those satisfied customers. With no reliable income and only a broken bike to get around town, he came to our monthly clinic at Everett’s Evergreen Library for help. When we were done fixing his bike, he emptied his pockets of all his loose change to thank our volunteers.

The average local bike shop charges $75 an hour for labor, so even basic bike repairs can be way beyond what many people can afford. That’s why we go out into the community to offer help.

Our volunteers helped a wide range of customers in 2023:

  • 43% identified as low or very low income
  • 15% had disabilities
  • 27% were Asian, 12% Hispanic or Latino, 8% Black or African American, and 3% were Native American

With all that diversity everyone still had one thing in common – a bike in need of repair. 

No one should ever have to ride a bike with tattered brake cables and broken pedals. That’s why Sharing Wheels will continue to expand the mobile repair program and offer this much-needed service in 2024 and beyond. 

*Mobile Repair Clinic Locations

  • Evergreen Library
  • Mariner Library
  • Bothell Library
  • WSU Repair Cafes throughout Snohomish County
  • First Baptist Church, Everett

Thanks especially to the Everett Public Library and Sno-Isle Library systems, whose staff helped host and promote the events.

Mountain Bikes News Volunteers

Elite mountain biker volunteered at Sharing Wheels

Photo by Annie Barker / The Herald

You may have enjoyed a recent article in the Everett Herald about a young mountain biker from Snohomish. But according to one of our super volunteers, Larry Williamson, the story starts five and a half years ago on April 12, 2018….

“At a Thursday evening kids’ bike work party for the June bike swap, a resident from Snohomish, Nick Pate, brought his son Alden, about 13 at the time, in to do some community service required by his school.  Nick and Alden refurbished a Mongoose bike that night.”

“Nick and I got to talking about bike storage and, to my surprise, he offered to let Sharing Wheels store bikes in the barn at his Raising Cane Ranch along the Snohomish River. The shop stored bikes there until mid-2019.”

Fast forward to today. Per the Herald article:

“Five years after his first race, Alden Pate, 19, finds himself traversing the globe as one of the top under-21 enduro mountain bikers in the world.”

The 2023 Snohomish High School graduate aims at a professional career in the sport.  He has raced in international events in Tasmania, Italy, Austria, and France!

Read the article here.

Xmas Kid Bike Work Party 2023

Volunteers of all mechanical abilities can help fix kids bikes at out Xmas Kid Bike Work Party. These bikes will be given to our partner charities this holiday season. We’ll be hosting work parties on most Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 6pm – 9pm, through early December.

Tony will host this event and he can host up to 6 volunteers to fix kid bikes for our 2023 Xmas House Project.

Advanced registration is required. RSVP by clicking on the button below.

Snacks will be provided. Please bring a bottle of water.

Volunteers are encouraged to take one of our classes, and to return more than once to keep learning and practicing basic cleaning and repair skills.