Bici Co Updates

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BiCi Co. 2017 Roundup – Heckuva Year!


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Friends and Supporters of BiCi Co. – We are on track to finish out another fruitful year for the BiCi Co. programs at the Center for Latino Progress.  With your help and support, BiCi Co. has been able to exceed the goals of our startup 3-year strategic plan.  This is the time of year, we ask you to renew your valuable BiCi Co. Membership or become a new supporting Member.  Remember, membership gets you access to DIY Member Hours, discounts on parts and up-cycled bikes, low cost bicycle rentals, and a low cost workshops and classes.  Thank you to all our 2017 and prior year supporters, members, and volunteers!

Check out these 2017 accomplishments!

  • Earn-a-Bike Youth and Teen Programs – Ages 12-20.  Two cohorts in 2017.  Each participant leaves the program with an up-cycled bicycle, lock, lights, and helmet.

Elijah working with fellow interns to unload UConn donated bikes

  • BIKELIFE HARTFORD! – 60+ bicycles in April during Spring Break to Hartford youth and teens that complete a safety course.  20+ bicycles at a Winter BIKELIFE event in the North End in cooperation with Community Solutions and the City of Hartford Parks Department.  We also collaborated with the Maple Avenue neighborhood annual block party to tune up and donate 20 bicycles to teens and adults.

Photo Credit – Andy Hart. 2017 BIKELIFE

  • Teen and Adult Interns at BiCi Co. – BiCi Co. hosted many interns in 2017, both teen an adult as mechanic trainees and retail / customer service trainees.   Having internship placements at the Center’s programs and local to Park Street’s business district are key to the Center’s mission of locally building skills and assets in our community.

Khamdi bringing a bike over for a safety check

  • BiCi Co. Teens at 4H Summer Camp – BiCi Co. member and supporter, Tony Bezzini, was able to connect two of our Earn-a-Bike participants to a wonderful week long summer camp in 2017.  It is all about connections and community!
  • Do It Yourself Hours – A cornerstone program started in Fall 2015.  Your memberships and financial contributions keep this operating from year to year.  DIY is an important resource for basement mechanics to utility, urban bike commuters.
  • W.T.F. / Women’s DIY Hours and Workshops – Bicycles should be equitable in providing access, mobility, and recreation.  We intentionally make space on Monday nights for our women, trans, and femme identifying members.

Carolyn truing a wheel during WTF Hours

  • The BiCi Co. Storefront – The storefront and bicycle service are new in 2017.  This was our big lift in 2017, and we are LIVE!   Look for the storefront hours to expand in 2018.

Benji welcoming Summer of Solutions to tour the BiCi Co. storefront

  • A Statewide REI Bicycle Drive – BiCi Co. coordinated with Mason at REI to hold a Connecticut used bicycle drive that connected their locations to local community bicycle programs.  The West Hartford location collected 70+ bicycles that were transported to BiCi Co. with help from super volunteer Jack Dougherty.  We love networking bicycle programs and sharing connections beyond Hartford!
  • Slow Rolls and Meetups – Connections and community are part of our roll.  We hosted many Slow Rolls and coordinated with the Transport Hartford Happy Hours to mix it up around Hartford.

Many Slow Rolls came in to Night Fall 2017!

  • Bicycle Rentals – Yes.  We rent bikes.  Trinity College rented a fleet for their new student orientation, and University of Hartford rented a pair for a month.  Visitors and prospective employees have been checking out bikes for $20 a day, while members can rent at only $5 a day.  A great option if you need a loaner bike for a visiting friend.
  • Bicycle Valet Parking at Hartford Events – With help from BiCi Co. volunteers we staffed bicycle valet parking at the Farm to Street dinner and at Night Fall.  At both events, the racks were full!

Bike valet parking loaded up!

  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Traffic Counts – In cooperation with Transport Hartford interns, we helped CRCOG collect important intersection data for bicycle and pedestrians.  The interns are also collecting bicycle, pedestrian, and car behavior data at select intersections to help improve our understanding of road safety, specifically for vulnerable users.

Josh and Ben do an intensive bicycle and pedestrian count at Asylum and Sigourney

  • Complete Streets Advocacy – BiCi Co. and and Transport Hartford Academy have a seat at the monthly City of Hartford Complete Streets meeting, where many innovative policies and projects are moving forward.  Anthony Cherolis is involved with the Bike Walk Connecticut Advocacy Working Group, the CRCOG regional bicycle and pedestrian committee, and the I-84 Project Public Advisory Committee.  We are working on making it safer and more convenient for those walking, biking, and taking transit in our region.
  • BiCi Co. Ride Club and Race Team – New for 2017!  BiCi Co. youth and teens have been learning riding skills, going on training rides, and even racing (road and mountain biking).  Beyond the healthy physical activity, training and racing is important networking for these teens in the region and state.

Getting ready to race in New Haven

  • Bicycles for Jobs – This prototype program just received funding for 2018!  Social workers and staff from shelters and transition homes refer participants to get a bicycle, lock, lights, and helmet for only $20.  The program is set up to improve mobility and jobs access for those that need it most.

Key transportation for getting to work

  • 2017 Bike Walk Connecticut People’s Choice Award – Joe Dickerson, BiCi Co. Program Manager, and Tony Cherolis, Transport Hartford Coordinator, we recognized at the Bike Walk Connecticut Annual Dinner for their work with BiCi Co. and Transport Hartford.

Tony and Joe win People Choice at the Bike Walk CT Annual Dinner, Photo – Jack Dougherty

  • The Center is now a CTrides Employer – In 2017, the Center for Latino Progress signed up with CTrides and the Emergency Rides Home program for bus transit monthly commuters and bicycle riders.
  • A New Partnership with Victus Coffee and J Rene Coffee Roasters – BiCi Co. is now working with Victus Coffee as a youth program and race team sponsor.  We’ll be looking into carrying coffee at our Park Street shop, and J Rene Coffee Roasters will be hosting one of our top end, up-cycled bikes in their West Hartford shop.  This is a Park Street / Park Road partnership based on caffeine, bicycles, and a passion to ride.
  • Traffic Skills / Safe Cycling 101 – BiCi Co. continued in 2017 with two offerings of this comprehensive, full-day adult bicycle safety course.  Bicycle riders are much safer and confident after taking this course.  This adult offering complements the many youth bicycle safety classes offered at BiCi Co. throughout the year.

ABC Quick Check hands on tutorial at BiCi Co.

  • Hartford Bicycle Share Task Force and Recommendation – BiCi Co. worked with our internal Transport Hartford program and our friends at Leadership Greater Hartford to research bicycle share and make several recommendations, including offering “Bike Share in a Box” to regional employers, apartment complexes and building managers.  The City of Hartford is currently negotiating with LimeBike for a potential 2018 bike share pilot project in 2018.

Group photo with LGH from the Bike Share Roundtable

  • Bike to Work and Multimodal Meetups – BiCi Co. and Transport Hartford coordinated monthly breakfast meetups on First Fridays in Hartford and nearby towns.  We ride year round, and sometimes we ride buses and carpool.

Bike to Work and Multimodal Meetup at Ashley’s

  • Hartford Cranksgiving – BiCi Co. helped promote and fielded a team (109 lbs donated) at this year’s Cranksgiving, a wonderful reason to ride.

Stopping for rice and lentils during Cranksgiving

  • Bicycles for Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief – At the end of 2017, BiCi Co. is collaborating on a bicycle build and donation effort with our friends in New Haven that will be shipping containers of relief items (including bikes) to PR.  Some bicycles will be donated locally in Hartford or New Haven to those coming state side due to the natural disaster.

Dang!  That is a long list.  Hook us up with your support in 2018, and we’ll keep rolling.  Stay tuned for the announcement the mechanic workshop series in January, and for events around the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in February.


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Bicycles make us smile like this!

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