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Bike Activist To Launch Repair Shop And Cafe In Historic Boston Building

Written by Boston Biker on Jan 14

Noah Hicks, a 28-year old self-styled bicycle mechanic, activist, and entrepreneur, is launching The Sip & Spoke Bike Kitchen: a minority-owned, full-service bicycle shop and cafe, in his native Dorchester. The Bike Kitchen will be housed in a historic, long-abandoned building with an important transportation-related history: a rest stop along a formerly busy streetcar line, today still an important transportation corridor that is increasingly used by local and regional cyclists.

Noah Hicks, a 28-year old self-styled bicycle mechanic, activist, and entrepreneur, is launching The Sip & Spoke Bike Kitchen: a minority-owned, full-service bicycle shop and cafe, in his native Dorchester.

Hicks, who grew up in Boston’s Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood, is the founder of the Bowdoin Bike School, a nonprofit bicycle repair and teaching center that engages local youth in mastering bicycle mechanics. The school, presently housed in a former automotive repair garage, is already an important community hub for youth development, economic self-sufficiency, transit justice, and health equity. By providing low-cost repair services and free instruction to over 1,200 youth and adults annually, Bowdoin Bike School has made cycling accessible to many who were underserved by traditional bike shops.

The Sip & Spoke Bike Kitchen and Bowdoin Bike School will bring new life to a historic, city-owned structure in an area of the city with limited amenities and where residents’ average income is significantly lower than the City of Boston as a whole. The project is made possible through a unique, early partnership with Historic Boston Incorporated, a nonprofit developer focused on historic preservation, and The American City Coalition, a nonprofit neighborhood revitalization group. Utile, Inc. Architecture + Planning, one of Boston’s leading architectural firms, is project architect. The partnership’s proposal was selected by the city, allowing for purchase of the property for $100.

The Bike Kitchen will be housed in a historic, long-abandoned building with an important transportation-related history: a rest stop along a formerly busy streetcar line, today still an important transportation corridor that is increasingly used by local and regional cyclists.

“I will be very happy to see this unused public asset brought into productive use,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “This project will help activate the street and continue the positive momentum of this historic Boston neighborhood.”

From an early age, Hicks used biking for exercise and exposure to green spaces, and as a means to access social activities outside of his neighborhood. Hicks outgrew bicycling as he got older, and embarked on a career teaching Latin at an urban charter school. When the school closed, he returned to bicycles as an affordable alternative to public transportation or cars, and to earn money refurbishing old bicycles—many of them abandoned on city streets.

“I ended up just experimenting on a bike I bought that was in bad shape. By doing that, I was able to save myself a few dollars,” said Hicks. Hicks then started flipping bikes, buying used bikes and throwing his own personal touch to his creations, realizing that he could make 3 or 4 more times what he had spent. “I started selling bikes for income and that was huge for me,” said Hicks.

“Biking can bring together youth and adults while promoting active transportation, which is healthy and environmental friendly,” said Karen Jenkins, Board Chair of The League of American Bicyclists. “Sip and Spoke Bike Kitchen will bring services and support, and will be a gathering place in a community that has had a dearth of support for cyclists while forging alliances with bike advocacy organizations, shops, and clubs in other Bostoncommunities.”

Hicks seeks to respond to the needs of low-income riders and working-class immigrants, who use the bike as a means of transportation that is both cheaper than a car and faster than walking. These “subsistence cyclists” comprise a large portion of the local and national cycling community.

“The absence of bike shops in many of Boston’s neighborhoods is very much akin to the absence of access to supermarkets,” said Richard Fries, Executive Director of MassBike. “We, as a culture, are not providing very good access to bicycles for the people who could benefit most. Noah recognizes and is responding to that need.”

“I have lived in this community for my entire life and there is a dearth of places for us to meet, to collaborate, to celebrate our neighborhood’s rich culture and unique character,” says Hicks. “Bikes and coffee are both tremendously unifying, and I see this project as an opportunity to bring people together and raise awareness about the needs of low-income riders.”

With construction financing in place for the structure, Hicks now must now raise the money for build-out costs for the historic structure—adding the amenities needed to create an inviting community hub in his Dorchester neighborhood. Hicks has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign with the hope that other individuals committed to socially conscious cycling and building community capital will contribute.


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New Bike Kitchen Co-Op In Somerville

Written by Boston Biker on May 11

This sounds awesome!  A bike co-op where you can use the tools, and the collective information of the folks around you for a very reasonable price.

About

The Somerville Bike Kitchen (SBK) is a bicycle repair cooperative where members of the community can repair their own bikes, learn about about bike repair and attend bike events. The SBK located in a 190 sq. ft. space just outside of Davis Sq. The space is managed by four volunteer staff members and is open to the public and members for drop-in hours one night a week.

Hours

Presently, the space is open to the public and members from 6pm to 9pm every Tuesday evening. We are just getting started and are working toward having having more drop-in hours. Bike stands and tools are available on a first come first serve basis.

 

more info on their website.


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Belles Who Bike, Free Snacks! (May 8th 6-8pm)

Written by Boston Biker on May 01

Free snacks from The Bicycle Belle!

BellesMay2015


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Is It Just Me…

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 17

or is New England creating new and horrible types of precipitation to hurl at my face? What exactly was that flying out of the sky around 5:30 pm today. Ice snow? Rain Hail? Tiny spike ice? It was like small bundles of ice knives flying into my eyes…totally awesome. In the biblical sense (the parts about destruction).


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Levi’s Sells Fancy Bike Riding Pants

Written by Boston Biker on Mar 11

Capitalists make products for us! I am not a big fan of big business, but I see this sort of thing more as a sign that cycling is getting really big. Cycling is growing at a fantastic clip, and big companies smell money. You don’t have to spend lots of money on fancy bike jeans, but its nice that we make up a large enough demographic that someone is trying to sell us fancy bike jeans.

First its jeans, then what, dedicated well maintained infrastructure? Huzzah!


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The Word On The Street

  • RSS Here is what people are saying

    • Two Days Left To Register To Vote In Cambridge! October 16, 2017
      TweetFrom the email:   Are you registered to vote? The last day for Cambridge municipal election registration is this Wednesday, October 18 at 8pm. Hi all, All seats on Cambridge City Council are up for election this November 7, and the make-up … Continue reading →
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    • Two Days Left To Register To Vote In Cambridge! October 16, 2017
      TweetFrom the email:   Are you registered to vote? The last day for Cambridge municipal election registration is this Wednesday, October 18 at 8pm. Hi all, All seats on Cambridge City Council are up for election this November 7, and the make-up … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Speak Up For A Safer Beacon Street On Monday! September 29, 2017
      TweetFrom the email: Now is the time to speak up for a safer Beacon Street! On Monday, October 2nd, the City of Boston is holding a “drop-in” meeting to share an update on the Beacon Street redesign project, a Vision Zero corridor project. … Continue reading →
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    • Action: Ask Council Candidates To Sign Onto The Bike Safety Platform September 29, 2017
      TweetFrom the email: Contact City Council candidates and ask them to sign onto the Cambridge Bicycle Safety platform (text below) urging a more aggressive implementation of the 20 miles of protected lanes called for in the City’s Bike Plan, along … Continue reading →
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    • 15th Annual Historic Bicycle Tour Of Middlesex Canal – This Sunday October 1st September 29, 2017
      TweetHistoric Bicycle Tour of Middlesex Canal On Sunday, October 1, 2017, the Middlesex Canal Association, the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission and the Middlesex Canal Commission will sponsor the 15th annual historic bicycle tour of the Middlesex Canal.  Because the MBTA is not running trains on the Lowell Line … Continue reading →
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    • Free Hubway Ride Today! September 29, 2017
      Tweet Today is Free Ride Day! courtesy of High Brew Coffee It’s National Coffee Day! Jump start your morning with a bike ride and an energizing can of cold brew coffee. Come see us at Hubway’s Aquarium Station or Congress Street … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Neighborhood Slow Streets: Construction, New Zones Updates September 14, 2017
      Tweetfrom the email: CITY OF BOSTON Vision Zero Update NEIGHBORHOOD SLOW STREETS Our first two Neighborhood Slow Streets projects are heading into construction, and we’re getting ready to begin community walks with each of the five communities that were selected … Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Hubway Is Expanding In Boston Voice Your Input On New Station Locations September 13, 2017
      TweetHubway is getting bigger and even better! The Boston Transportation Department is adding more than 70 new stations over the next two years. The Boston Transportation Department (BTD) needs your help finding new locations in Boston for bike share stations! Starting this … Continue reading →
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    • Squirrel Head Badge Installed August 30, 2017
      One of my customers sent this awesome picture of my squirrel head badge installed on a bicycle. I think it looks awesome! Continue reading →
      Boston Biker
    • Your Hard Work Paid Off! August 23, 2017
      Tweetfrom the email: ————–   We emailed, we called, we showed up – and we won! Due to the tremendous support for protected bicycle lanes over the past 3 weeks–in emails, calls, and in-person testimonies–on Monday, August 7, the City Council … Continue reading →
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