Sopo will be closed on Saturday, July 4, in recognition of Independence Day.
Happy Birthday America!
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…provides a central forum for sharing equipment, materials, and expertise, and facilitates affordable, practical, hands-on support for cyclists of all ages and skill levels.
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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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Entry for the race is $5 per person and $10 per family. Food trucks will be available on site.
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.
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.
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.
Stay safe and dry this week friends!
From March 26-29, Sopo Bike Co-op hosted friends and partners from Atlanta and the southeast for Bike! Bike! Southeast, a regional conference for bicycle cooperatives and nonprofits. Friends from Philadelphia, Richmond, Tallahassee, New Orleans and Atlanta gathered to discuss best practices, common problems, tips and wisdom when it comes to running a bicycle nonprofit. Sessions were as diverse as cycling, from kids programming to website building, to how to grow the Atlanta Cycling Festival as a profitable business.
The conference started off with a welcome party and Gold Sprints on Thursday night at Elmyrachi in Kirkwood. The patio was crawling with Sopo volunteers, conference guests and Atlanta cyclists as the local beer and tacos kept bellies full. Excitement ensued as local Gold Sprints legend and champion Will Bradley was dethroned by youngster David Baker. Baker won a $50 gift certificate to The Spindle. On the women’s side, Sopo volunteer Kat Volzer claimed the win and a $100 gift certificate to Haute Bicycle. Local brewers Eventide provided sponsorship to bring the Gold Sprints from Dick Lane Velodrome.
Conference sessions began with breakfast on Friday provided by Stone Soup Kitchen. Attendees learned how bike co-ops and advocacy groups can work together, how to build an effective website and how to communicate effectively through public relations. Sopo’s own Pat Davis, volunteer coordinator of The Link, presented on his successful program with the Gateway Center for the Homeless while Nedra Deadwyler of Civil Bikes presented on strategies for building positive alliances. Lunch was provided by Grant Central Pizza and Oz Pizza. Sessions concluded for the day with a snack time and leftover pizza before the 25 mile Critical Mass through Buckhead.
Saturday was a big day full of sessions, fun and food. Saturday kicked off with a pancake breakfast and sessions from Shawn Walton of WeCycle and Rachel Krause of Velo Vixen Zine. Before the group enjoyed a delicious taco bar provided by Elmyrachi, Jeffrey Wisard presented on The Atlanta Cycling Festival while others learned how to use Loomio to make collaborative group decisions. Sessions concluded with a key note discussion on safe spaces.
Saturday night’s festivities were again attended by the greater Atlanta cycling community with a chili cook-off at Wonderroot. The chili was just as diverse as the cyclists who enjoyed them. Cyclists tasted white chili, traditional chili with local farm raised meat, spicy vegan chili and a quinoa sweet potato chili. The meat category and overall winner was Tyler Williams and Emily Harris with an Indian style lamb chili and the vegan winner was John and Ethan Jewitt with their “Biking Buddha” Vegan Chili. Both winners took home bikes from Sopo’s front space as prizes. Saturday night concluded with an after party at Sopo while DJ Rasadon from Arrested Development spun some tunes.
Bike! Bike! Southeast and Sopo was not only host to fun festivities throughout the weekend, but also a forum for multiple bicycle community discussions. The shared reasons why conference attendees and party-goers ride bikes was as wide ranging as their abilities and what Atlanta has to offer as a cycling community. No matter how diverse the reasons or the cycling community may be, the outpouring of love and support for a common goal was both undeniable and amazing. One thing is obvious from the businesses that donated to the conference and cyclists who just showed up for a good time. The bicycle community in Atlanta is supportive, inclusive, caring and downright fun. But most of all, we are strong.
Special Thanks to:
Jenny Park for the fabulous artwork
All of our conference presenters
Everyone who participated and hung out with us for gold sprints and the chili cook-off.