The Bike Kitchen, a nonprofit bike repair space that allows anyone to come in and use tools, get mechanics’ advice, and dig through used parts for low fees, sent an email to its members over the holidays announcing big plans for 2017 and a goal of raising $10,000 in donations.
It started with some break-ins at the kitchen’s space on Florida Street between 18th and 19th streets and a neighboring custom bike frame manufacturer, LOW Bicycles. Though the bike kitchen doesn’t store high-end components and frames, burglars lifted an iPad, cash, frames and tools from the space. Another burglary attempt ended in a smashed window, the email reports, which was expensive to repair.
The kitchen is also short on volunteer staff and hasn’t been able to maintain its regular class calendar despite an increase in memberships.
Some of the funds raised will go toward mitigating the costs of the break-in, a bike kitchen worker said, but the plan is to put most of them toward upgrades.
The nonprofit looking ahead to a brighter 2017. After nearly 10 years in the space, the proprietors wrote, the benches will be restocked, storage space will be improved, and the nonprofit will see about arranging for more group rides, hosting movie nights, and possibly expanding its hours.
Writes Scott from the Bike Kitchen:
“Ultimately, we’re here to stay! Despite the changes we’ve witnessed in the Mission and the issues we’ve had this year, we still have a huge user base and I only see our role in the evolution of this city as one of growing importance. Public transportation is overloaded and the streets are overflowing with cars; the latest numbers show a huge increase in the number of people commuting by bike and we’re here to help people, to teach them that the beauty of the bicycle is in its simplicity and that, with a little instruction, anyone can maintain their bicycles in safe, working condition.”