|Scrap haul (Image by Jim Thompson)
The mission of the Cedar Valley Bicycle Collective is not to turn a profit, and that right there makes everything very different. We also are not a service and repair shop, which doubly makes things different. No RAGBRAI tune-ups. No last minute, desperation repairs for racers, forgetful vacationers, or trail bombers.
We do help people. There is a very vibrant and active cycling community that rides because that is their primary form of transportation. There are folks who cannot afford new bikes that can get good, solid, serviceable options at the Collective.
We have service programs that help the community, like Bike Valet, Earn-a-Bike, and bike rodeos. We will be doing a few clinics as well coming up. And this all thanks to the Otto Shoitz Foundation Grant which funds operational costs for the Collective, (amongst other grants), and is allowing for us to open up for these clinics and established programs on nights we aren't already in operation.
We also help the environment by diverting bicycles from landfills and into proper recycling pipelines. Just Wednesday of this last week we probably took nearly 3,000lbs of scrap bicycles and parts to get recycled. This makes me feel good about what I do, and is a big help to the community at large.
So, back to that question: How do I like working at the Cedar Valley Bicycle Collective? Well, I like it a lot. It is a very rewarding job experience and about as far as East is from the West from where I was before. It will be good to push forward and do even more things with this organization in the future.