By Brett Stonecipher
Long after the race has come and gone, Richmond’s thriving bike culture will still be there—sharin’ your roads, deliverin’ your dinner, gettin’ you fit.
Excerpt from the article below, read the full article here.
…Located in Scott’s Addition, Rag and Bones shares a great deal of ground with aforementioned organizations, but has situated itself squarely in a gap in bike culture; volunteer Phil Cunningham says that’s exactly the goal.
When I first meet Phil, he is hunched over a workbench, teaching a VCU student how to change an inner tube. I wait and observe him demonstrating, then watching as the student attempts on her own. She succeeds and he approves excitedly as he walks over to greet me. Phil tells me that he began frequenting Rag and Bones during his second year at VCU. After hearing about the local co-op, he brought his bike over to have some work done. Soon, he found himself not just getting his bike fixed, but learning how to do the work himself. “I guess I kept coming back at first because I kept messing up my bike,” Phil says with a smile, “Then I hung around because I enjoyed the sense of community I found there.” The co-op, which began in 2010, aims to provide equitable access to cycling. That means empowering others through the knowledge of bike maintenance, Phil says: “The main goal is to fill that gap, to create an inclusive space that particularly reaches marginalized groups.” The co-op currently has open hours–during which you can buy bikes, rent workspace and tools, and learn from volunteers–on Tuesdays from 5:00 to 9:00 PM and Sundays from 12:00 to 5:00 PM.
Phil isn’t all that excited about the competitive aspect of the Big Bike Race™; he explains that it’s mostly owing to ignorance of the sport. He is excited for what comes after the races, though:
“Better biking infrastructure, maybe economic development. I think that UCI is definitely a launching pad, the start of something.”
We talk a lot about the Richmond Region being a great place for bikes and how excited we are for the world to Ride in Richmond at Richmond2015. Today we want to give high fives to four organizations in the Richmond Region who make biking here a joy day in and day out.
Below are quotes from an earlier article in Style Weekly titled ‘Changing culture, one bike at a time‘.
“The shop’s run on little money and big ideas: sustainability, empowerment of the lower income work force and the shifting of culture away from cars.”
“‘When I [first] came here I didn’t know all the parts of a bike…’ Crawford says. ‘I can probably build my own bike now with [the help of] a book.'”
Some reviews from our Facebook page…
“Everything a bike shop should be. If you haven’t been here and worked with these guys you’re missing out. Even if you’ve never touched a bike they can help get you started.”
“They went out of their way to make sure that my bike was riding well and spent tons of time teaching me some bike repair!!!” -Summer
“Super nice and helpful peeps! Cool place :)” -Craig
“The best. So helpful!” -Claire
Watch Mark Holmberg feature the Bicycle Parade that many of our members participate in.