Have you heard of Bicycle House?
Bicycle House is a non profit community bike shop located on Jackson Bluff Rd, near the FSU Stadium. They have a special interest in providing bikes to people who need bikes for transport, not just recreation. Often these are people who can not afford cars and can barely afford a bike.
But its more than a bike shop. Bicycle House has become a gathering place for non-traditional cyclists. Its a place to meet new people and learn new skills. it provides a service to a population that might otherwise never be exposed to cycling or have the opportunity to own a bike.
Bike House also operates a hostel for travelling cyclists. The shop is located on Adventure Cycling’s Southern Tier route and in 2013 they hosted more than 300 touring cyclists!
The non profit organization has been growing at a rapid pace and are in the process of expanding to the space next door. Once complete they will have space to run a full time coffee shop and have an additional 5 workstations (complete with tools) dedicated for member use.
Do they give away free bikes?
Not exactly. To get a bike from bike house you must schedule an appointment and meet with a volunteer to assess your needs. Then a bike is chosen from their stock of donated bikes and a volunteers helps you to assemble or repair the bike to suit you. People are asked to pay what they can for the bike, sometimes that amount is zero.
Isn’t that bad for local bike shops?
Historically, no. Most of the people Bike House serves have been to local shops and have not found what they needed. Even the least expensive bikes at a shop are too expensive and some feel overwhelmed by the bike shop experience.
Bike House often refers people to local bike shops when their stock of used parts does not meet their needs. And many people start out with an inexpensive used bike from Bike House but after getting “hooked” on cycling go to a bike shop to purchase new bikes.
How can I get involved?
There are a few things you can do if you’d like to help out or learn more:
- Donate your unneeded bike parts.
- Donate your time. Volunteer to work at the shop for one 4 hour shift a week
- Help spread the word.
Find out more at www.bicyclehouse.org