The Fort Collins Bike Co-Op has steadily grown since its founding in 2003. After starting in a small residential location, the non-profit has moved through three locations in the past 11 years, and they are almost ready to move to their own building. But it needs a few repairs first.
The co-op plans to move locations and is working to raise $50,000 to repair the new building they bought, according to President of the Co-Op Board of Directors Doug Cutter.
“Our current location has been purchased by a local developer and is planned for redevelopment,” Cutter wrote in an email to the Collegian. “We purchased our new location to give us a permanent home and the stability to continue to provide services to our community without moving from place to place as redevelopment occurs in downtown.”
According to shop manager Justin Mohar, the building they are currently in is a rental and they already bought the new building on North College Avenue. The new building needs some repairs, and they have already begun some of the maintenance.
They hope to move to the new location at 1501 N. College Ave. fall 2015. Their new building previously housed Resource, a used building supplies store.
The co-op raised a little under $22,000 in their CommunityFunded effort throughout March, according the co-op’s Treasurer Tom Overton.
“While we did not hit our optimistic goal of raising $50,000, we appreciate the support we received from all the donors and will pursue additional sources to make our project successful,” Cutter wrote.
They are still accepting donations via cash, check or PayPal on their website.
“We’ve still been receiving donations from people,” Overton said. “We’re probably close to $25,000 now.”
Overton said they are still waiting to hear back about approximately $60,000 in grant money they applied for.
Cutter wrote that people can also donate bicycles, as the Bike Co-Op sells used bikes and used bike parts.
The Fort Collins Bike Co-Op is a non-profit, so most funding comes from selling used bikes and bike parts, Overton said. They also have volunteer mechanics who help people who come in learn how to fix their bikes for $10 and hour.
“We provide the knowledge, tools and parts to keep your bike running well,” Cutter wrote. “Not only will you have a better riding bike, you can learn a valuable ‘life skill’ and begin maintaining your own bike.”
People interested in volunteering at the Co-Op can visit their website and fill out a volunteer form, Overton said.
Along with teaching people how to fix their bikes and many other programs, the Co-Op hosts the Earn-a-Bike program, where people can earn a refurbished or donated bike from the Co-Op by volunteering outside of the Co-Op for 20 hours at a non-profit.
Mohar said the new building is larger than the current one, and will eventually provide more shop space to work on bikes.
“We will be able to continue everything the same way we have been,” Mohar said. “(It will be great to) have a true place of our own that we own.”
Collegian City Beat Reporter Sady Swanson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @sadyswan.