St. George Bicycle Collective thriving a year after move – St George News

NS. GEORGE – The St. George Bicycle Collective, one of four bike shops in Utah, moved to its new location at 39 S. Bluff Street a year ago.

Michael Hernandez, director of the St. George Bicycle Collective, repairs a bicycle, St. George, Utah, August 12, 2021 | Photo by David Dudley, St. George News

Since then, the nonprofit has flourished, said director Michael Hernandez.

“It slowed down for a while when COVID-19 shut everything down,” Hernandez told St. George News. “But then, when people got tired of being stuck at home, more and more people came in.”

And they weren’t just customers, Hernandez said, they were volunteers and bike enthusiasts looking for community.

“We’re about community building,” said Hernandez. “And helping people find parts that are harder to find. Not only parts for older bikes, but also newer parts that can be reordered from other shops. “

Kevin Payne was loading his bike into the back of his truck when St. George News visited the store. He had just repaired his bike, replaced its rotors, pads and a handlebar stem.

St. George Bicycle Collective Lead Mechanic Cory Bailey repairs a bicycle, St. George, Utah, August 12, 2021 | Photo by David Dudley, St. George News

Payne said the lower cost was only part of the appeal of the collective.

“They also teach you how to do the repairs yourself,” Payne said.

You can rent an elevator and tools for $ 5 an hour, Hernandez said. When you need help repairing your bike and the chief mechanic Cory Bailey is around, you’re in good hands. Bailey was an auto mechanic for five years before joining the collective, which also offer a full repair service.

If you are short of money, you can take part in the work-for-trade program, which gives volunteers a wheeled bike in exchange for six hours of work.

“If you need a bike to ride to work,” said Hernandez, “you qualify.”

The collective receives many of their bikes as donations. Those that can be fixed and put back on the road are sold at discounted prices. Those that are beyond repair are disassembled and kept for people who need strange parts.

St. George Bicycle Collective, located at 39 S. Bluff St., St. George, Utah, August 12, 2021 | Photo by David Dudley, St. George News

“Somebody donated a baby blue front wheel from an Electra bike,” said Hernandez. “An hour later a woman came in and asked if we could help her find this exact part. When I showed it to her, she thought it was some kind of prank. “

Of course it wasn’t. It was good luck. While their neighbor Red Rock Bicycles is a business, the St. George Bicycle Collective is a nonprofit service.

The St. George Chapter was conceived as a school project by St. George Councilor Dannielle Larkin when she was a student at Southern Utah University.

“We eventually joined the (Salt Lake City Bicycle) Collective and became one of their satellite rooms,” Larkin said.

Elder Thayne, a volunteer, repairs a bicycle, St. George, Utah, August 12, 2021 | Photo by David Dudley, St. George News

Larkin said the collective affects the community in many ways. It provides access to affordable, clean transportation for those who find owning a car an obstacle. The collective strives to educate the community about the need for alternative modes of transport that benefit human health. It tries to address traffic and infrastructure problems.

“It also means recycling bikes and getting them back into the community,” Larkin said.

The collective, which also has locations in Salt Lake City, Provo, and Ogden, hosts several events and workshops in the community. In St. George, they hold workshops at Switchpoint and Southwest Behavioral Health Center, among others, teaching people how to fix the bikes they give to parishioners.

“Right now we’re in the process of giving away 300 bikes,” said Hernandez. “As part of a nationwide initiative, we are giving away ready-to-drive bicycles to disadvantaged children and people who need them to get to work.”

“Really,” continued Hernandez, “we just want to put wheelable bicycles in the hands of those who need them.”

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

David is a journalist, educator and playwright. He has written for Zenger News, the Christian Science Monitor, the Barton Chronicle, North Star Monthly, and The Northland Journal, among others. He has covered a variety of beats including breaking news, court and crime, sports, and arts and entertainment. His theater-related texts appear regularly in American Theater Magazine, Contemporary Theater Review (UK), ConJunto (Cuba) and David’s play 800 Days of Solitude about the effects of solitary confinement on young people and their families was awarded the Christian Moe Dramaturgy Prize in 2018. He earned a BFA with summa cum laude honors from DePaul University and an MFA in Dramaturgy from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Comments are closed.