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Fun at the Velodrome

This past Saturday Sopo managed the bike valet at the Dick Lane Velodrome Omnium Pro Race Series.  Riders met up at The Spindle to hang out, then rode to Sopo to pick up others and fix any mechanical issues, then on to the Velodrome in East Point.  About 30 people made the 10 mile trip by bicycle to enjoy the amateur, pro, and even youth races.

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Local youth take the track between pro races. The Dick Lane Velodrome has a free youth program to encourage youth cycling. For more information, visit their website.

 

Bike Train and Valet at the Velodrome

Sopo and The Spindle are teaming up to lead a bike train!  Join us this Saturday as we ride to Dick Lane Velodrome to watch their pro race series.  We will be leaving Sopo at 5:00 p.m.  The ride is about nine miles and will be a no-drop, easy pace.

Schedule of events:

3-4:30pm: Hang out at The Spindle
4:30pm: Ride bikes from Spindle to Sopo Bicycle Cooperative
5pm: Bike train to the Dick Lane Velodrome
6pm: Professional races begin

Click here for more information about the pro race. 

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Shop Closed Saturday, July 4

Sopo will be closed on Saturday, July 4, in recognition of Independence Day.

Happy Birthday America!

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Fifth Monday Shop Clean-up–We Got Your Summer Project!

Every so often, the calendar allows us to have a 5th Monday where no previously scheduled program is planned.  Last night, Soponistas spent some time cleaning the shop, parting out bikes, organizing wheels, and pricing bikes for sale.  One thing’s for sure–we got wheels!

It might not look like it, but these wheels are actually organized according to size.  That big pile there?  26 in wheels galore.

It might not look like it, but these wheels are actually organized according to size. That big pile there? 26 in wheels galore.

The before scene.

The before scene.

OMG...There is a floor!

OMG…There is a floor!

monday night 3-frames

Frames, frames, frames…we got ‘em. Perfect for a summer project!

Specialized Rockhopper as-is: $25.  We got all the parts you need to make it your own!

Specialized Rockhopper as-is: $25. We got all the parts you need to make it your own!

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Motobecane road bike as-is: $20. Solid bike, just needs a few parts, love, and maybe a bath.

 

Shared

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Sopo volunteer and board member, Kat Volzer, recently returned from a trip to Vancouver.  Vancouver was an incredibly bike friendly city with bike lanes on almost every street, most of them protected.  This shot was snapped near Jericho Beach where there was a crushed gravel walking/bike path.  Share the road, share the path, share the love!

 

The Link: Spring Session Wrapup

 

Army veteran Randy poses outside of Sopo's back door with a mountain bike he completely rebuilt at Sopo.

Army veteran Randy poses outside of Sopo’s back door with a mountain bike he completely rebuilt at Sopo.

6 weeks. Each Saturday morning for the past 6 weeks, Sopo Bicycle Cooperative has welcomed a group of residents from the Gateway Center for the Homeless into the shop.  As part of the Link, Sopo’s earn-a-bike program with Gateway, over 31 Gateway residents made it to the shop and 17 earned bikes through volunteering.

Navy veteran, Calvin, from the Gateway Center fourth floor shows off the bike he earned at Sopo.

Navy veteran, Calvin, from the Gateway Center fourth floor shows off the bike he earned at Sopo.

Each participant from Gateway either earned a bike or fixed up their own bikes over the six weeks. While a bike might seem like a small thing, the increased mobility, better health, and sense of confidence that two wheels can provide should not be overestimated.

Nathaniel, a veteran of the US Army and Gateway resident, gets ready to ride off on his new Schwinn from Sopo.

Nathaniel, a veteran of the US Army and Gateway resident, gets ready to ride off on his new Schwinn from Sopo.

In exchange for a free bike, each participant had to volunteer at the shop for four hours. In all, over 76 hours of volunteer service were provided to the shop by Gateway residents. For a small, local nonprofit like Sopo with no employees, those volunteer hours make a huge difference.

Sopo volunteer Chris helps Gateway resident Larry fix a flat.

Sopo volunteer Chris helps Gateway resident Larry fix a flat.

In addition to volunteering at the shop to earn a free bike, Gateway residents also attend classes on bike repair at Sopo. This past session had great classes on topics such as, the ABCs of Bike Maintenance, Fix-a-Flat, and Brake Adjustment. Besides getting a free bike, but keeping it in good working order is just as important.

Sopo boardmember, Kartapreet Singh, gives a class on bike safety at Sopo for the Link.

Sopo boardmember, Kartapreet Singh, gives a class on bike safety at Sopo for the Link.

A great group, very eager to hit the streets and get their lives back on track. We also had many veterans (over half of the participants). Certainly an honor to give back to those who have served our country.

Mark, a resident of Gateway's veterans floor, shows off his muscles and his new Royce Union.

Mark, a resident of Gateway’s veterans floor, shows off his muscles and his new Royce Union.

What really makes the Link special are those participants from previous sessions who come back and work on their bikes. Witnessing the transformation from living on the brink of disaster to rebuilding a functioning life is very gratifying. Not saying that a bike can do it all, but I am sure it plays a part.

Troy, a veteran of the US Navy and previously a employee during the Link employment program at Sopo, comes back to work on his bike.

Troy, a veteran of the US Navy and previously a employee during the Link employment program at Sopo, working on his disc brake.

Bike Train to DLV Pro Race

Join us this Saturday for a bike train to Dick Lane Velodrome!

Sopo will be leading a bike train from the shop to Dick Lane Velodrome in East Point Saturday, May 9, for the pro race series.  Meet at Sopo at 4:45 p.m.; the train will be leaving around 5 p.m.  Don’t worry about bringing a bike lock–bike valet will be there!

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Entry for the race is $5 per person and $10 per family.  Food trucks will be available on site.

Click here for more information about this event and Dick Lane Velodrome. 

Sopo Tries Enduro

Imagine launching yourself down a trail as fast as you can while not having to worry about anybody yelling “on your left” and looking to pass you.  You and your bike are taking everything the trail throws at you, one rock, root, and berm at a time.  The trail is intense, but it only lasts for a few minutes.  Then, when it’s all done, you meet up with your friends, tell the stories of your triumphs (or wipe-outs), then you take your time getting up to the next hill to do it all over again.  This is enduro.

This past Saturday, members of the Sopo race team and their friends decided to try their hands at enduro mountain bike racing in the second annual Big Creek Quick Six Enduro.  Roswell-Alpharetta Mountain Bike Organization (RAMBO) put on the event and worked hard in the rainy weeks leading up the race by preparing fresh new trails just for the event.  A little over 100 racers from the Greater Atlanta area as well as Tennessee, Florida, and Alabama came out for the race.  Many had never tried enduro racing before and several had only just participated in last year’s Quick Six race.

The race consisted of six stages, three on the freeride/downhill section of Big Creek, and three near the entrance close to Old Alabama Road.  Most stages were only about a mile long, lasting 1-2 minutes.

Enduro has taken the mountain biking world by storm recently and it’s easy to understand why.  There’s less pressure to “compete” and the main focus is having fun and trying new things.  All in all, Sopo race team members remained unscathed (for the most part) and had a blast meeting new people and sharing the thrills of the hills.

 

Racers hanging out after the six stages are complete.

Racers hanging out after the six stages are complete.

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Mad hops by Jeffrey Che. Photo courtesy of Dean Thornton.

 

Clayton Marcotte gears up for the first stage. Photo courtesy of Dean Thornton.

Bobby Brown in a blaze of glory on stage 6.

Bobby Brown in a blaze of glory on stage 6.

Kat Volzer takes the trail.  Photo courtesy of Stephanie Aylworth.

Kat Volzer takes the trail. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Aylworth.

The Link 2015 Spring Session – In Full BLOOM

Another round of our program The Link  in partnership with The Gateway Center has started up again. It will run until Memorial Day Weekend. Gateway residents are taking bike classes from 11:00-1:30, before Saturday open hours (2:00-6:00). It’s a great program for both organizations and we are glad to continue it. Volunteer participation welcome. Contact: Pat@Sopobikes.org for more info. 

Thank you to Stone Soup Kitchen for donating coffee to our program.

The Link – offering Atlanta’s homeless access to bicycle transportation since 2013.

 

Tips for Biking in the Rain (What a Glorious Feeling)

April Showers bring May flowers…and wet cyclists.  It’s been pretty rainy this week and doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon.  Here’s some tips to help keep you safe and dry.

  1. Fenders are super helpful in keeping water from your tires splashing in your face and up your backside.  Don’t have any?  Make you own with old milk jugs, shampoo bottles, etc.  Check out one of our older posts here.milk jug fenders
  2. Try a poncho over a rain jacket. On days where it’s humid and rainy, (What? Atlanta is humid? No way…) try using a poncho instead of a rain jacket.  You’ll enjoy the cool breeze and airflow.  Be sure to cover your handlebars with the poncho to keep your hands and your thighs dry.  If you’re riding with a backpack, they also tend to fit better under ponchos than jackets.
  3. Hats with bills. Eye protection while you’re riding is always a good idea, but unless you have tiny windshield wipers for your glasses, it can be a nuisance while riding in the rain.  Throw a hat with a bill on it under your helmet and the bill will help keep rain out of your eyes.
  4. Slow down! Remember that wet conditions increase your stopping distance.  It will take you longer to slow down when that traffic light turns yellow, so be alert and start breaking sooner than you usually would.
  5. Blinkies, blinkies, blinkies…oh, and reflectors. You should always carry blinky lights with you anyway in case you end up riding past dark, but make sure you turn those on during the day if it’s raining.  Motorists have limited visibility in the rain and might not see you, even if it’s daytime. (Both Sopo and ABC have free blinky lights to those in need)wpid-imag4093_1.jpg

Stay safe and dry this week friends!