Shop Hours Change

Hey gang,

Shop manager Adam here, got some news about temporary shop hours changes. My wife just gave birth to our second child so I’m gonna take a little time off which means the shop’s hours will be a little crazy. Here’s how they stand this week:

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 2 to 5pm. 
Saturday 12 to 6pm
Sunday 12 to 4pm. (this Sunday hours change is permanent.)

We will still have Youth Earn-a-Bike on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5pm to 7pm and Kids bike Club on Saturdays from 11am to 12pm. No more Youth Earn-a-Bike on Sundays though, keep an eye out for an announcement on the introduction of a couple of other Sunday things though.

Later Taters.

Bicycles be moving

Some big news…my wife and I bought a house!

Yay for us. I’m excited to be a home owner but you know what I wasn’t excited about? The move. I’ve moved once a year since 2015 and folks it never gets any better. 

And this time was no exception…it totally sucked! There was one highlight though and that was moving my recliner. Instead of throwing it in the back of a truck I strapped it to my cargo bike. I wasn’t entire sure I’d survive the trip so I wrangled a spotter, Adam the bike shop manager. 

While Adam might look like he’s doing a permanent impression of Grumpy Cat (RIP) he’s actually a pretty nice guy. He mapped out our route and helped me proper secure the load. 

The ride itself wasn’t as terrible as I expected but that’s not to say it was easy. Sixteenth street in particular was rather brutal but I still chewed it up despite riding an preposterously heavy bike. My cargo bike rides surprisingly well when loaded down, and honestly my biggest fear was the chair falling off and being smashed a la George Costanza’s Frogger cabinet. It never happened though and the chair is now safely entombed in my basement. 

Postscript: Recently I acquired a window AC unit. Deciding I needed a challenge I moved that on the bike as well. Adam was convinced I might die but I proved him wrong. With that being said it was much more miserable moving that than the chair. 

It’s time for Omaha Gives!

Mohamed teaching some wheel truing skills

Omaha Gives! Day is next week, and I want to tell you why the Community Bike Project should be one of the local nonprofits to receive your hard-earned dollars.

If you want to support immigrants and refugees, you should donate to the Community Bike Project. Immigrants are twice as likely to travel by bike as US-born Americans. The Community Bike Project offers a free space for bike maintenance and help, with low-cost new and recycled parts to keep bikes working–and we serve an incredibly diverse population, daily. We have Spanish-speaking staff and volunteers, and are working to translate documents into other common languages in the Omaha immigrant community.

If you care about kids learning healthy habits, you should donate to the Community Bike Project. I could probably throw some statistics in here about how kids are spending more time indoors and in front of screens, but we all know how it is. We inspire kids to get out and ride, and equip them with the stuff and the skills to do it safely. We also provide a safe place to hang out after school, and could pass on stories from kids we’ve worked with who say we’ve made a real difference in their lives (in fact, you might find one of those now-adult kids still hanging around, volunteering).

If you care about socioeconomic equality, you should donate to the Community Bike Project. We treat everyone with the same level of respect, and understand that there are many different reasons why people choose to get around by bike. We support all of them.

If you want to make a big impact and reach as many folks as possible with your dollars, you should give to the Community Bike Project on Omaha Gives! Day (May 22nd). We truly are a community space, open to all, in service to everyone.  

Donate here!

Meet our two newest hires!

We’ve got some big time news over here at the Bike Project. We’ve added some staff! Two new staff members to be exact.

Say hi to Jessica!

Jessica is our new Program Coordinator. Jessica will be running our Earn-a-Bike programming. She hopes to expand it and translate it into several different languages to expand our outreach. Jessica has a degree in Spanish and Women’s and Gender Studies, and a background in youth and non-profit work. She was a recipient of QBP’s Women’s Bicycle Mechanic Scholarship in 2018, and is certified through the United Bicycle Institute in Professional Bicycle Repair and Shop Operation. She is also part of the team at Ponderosa Cyclery + Tour, in midtown Omaha. Jessica’s excited about expanding outreach in languages other than English, and making sure that people throughout the Omaha metro know about the resources available to them at the Community Bike Project.

Our second employee is less traditional. Meet Millie!

Millie is our new Meowchanic. She’s in charge finding weird places to sleep and being all around awesome. Millie is 15 years young and is looking forward to spending quality time at the shop meeting new people and showing them how to fix bikes.

So stop in sometime and meet Jessica and Millie (if you can find her).

Welcome Jessica

We would like to introduce you to the Bike Project’s newest employee Jessica Shadduck! Jessica is our new Program Coordinator and we are super excited about it.

Jessica has a degree in Spanish and Women’s and Gender Studies, and a background in youth and non-profit work. She was a recipient of QBP’s Women’s Bicycle Mechanic Scholarship in 2018, and is certified through the United Bicycle Institute in Professional Bicycle Repair and Shop Operation. She is also part of the team at Ponderosa Cyclery + Tour, in midtown Omaha. Jessica’s excited about expanding outreach in languages other than English, and making sure that people throughout the Omaha metro know about the resources available to them at the Community Bike Project.

Winter Riding tips from Zane

Hey all this is a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while. It isn’t so much I haven’t had the time it’s more that the moment didn’t seem right. Well my friends the time has come. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this previously but I commute by bike nearly everyday. Well I imagine most of you noticed that lately it has been, to quote Outkast, cooler than a polar bear’s toenail. Not cold enough to stop me though! While I wish I could tell you it’s because I’m tougher than a $2 steak but that’s not the case. Simple fact of the matter is I dress for it. Clothes are key my friends and I’m here to share some tips. The trick to riding in frigid climes is staying warm (obviously) but more importantly dry. Before we get into the details here’s a fact I cannot stress enough…you don’t need to take out a second mortgage and outfit yourself with overpriced Bontrager stuff. You probably have most of what you need lying around the house. 

Two things I can not recommend enough for arctic rides are a balaclava and ski goggles. A wool hat is nice as well but you might have trouble fitting one under your helmet. Also a balaclava covers your face and can be worn a number of ways making it a very versatile garment. The one I have is made out of windproof material and let me tell you my ears and face are happy for it. Ski goggles don’t do much to keep you warm but if you’re like me you’ll want to keep the wind out of your eyes. I’ve got wimpy sensitive peepers that tear up something fierce when it’s blustery leaving me nearly blind. Goggles are also pretty cheap. I think I picked my pair up for around $7. Now as far as the lower body is concerned long pants are a must. Sometimes I throw on a base layer such as long underwear or running tights. Personally, I’m not overly concerned with my legs because they are going to stay warm from pedaling. However, if it’s wet or especially cold I’ll double up and throw a pair of weather proof pants as well. Keeping your torso nice and toasty is pretty easy. Lately I’ve been wearing a sweatshirt or sweater under a light down jacket. I like the down jacket because its lightweight and pliable. However if its chilly but not brutal (around 30 degrees let’s say) you might be able to get away wearing a sweatshirt or sweater under a windbreaker. You might be surprised how warm you’ll be when you’re pedaling and the wind isn’t cutting through your top.

Last but not least the feet and hands. I’m a dweeb who likes to clip in and I have some fancy booties that cover the toes of my shoes. However on rare occasion I wear tennis shoes and a pair (or two) of wool socks. I know some people who wear boots which seems rather cumbersome but to each their own. Now I know earlier I said you can wear stuff you have lying around the house, and while that’s true I do have some fancy schmancy Pearl Izumi lobster mittens. They are super warm. My hands are usually melting if I wear them if the temperature is above freezing. Leather mittens work in a pinch (get it? Lobster. Pinch.) though. I recommend mittens over gloves because mittens pool the warmth of your fingers.

Follow my advice and you to can be a cold warrior. While I ride to work because I genuinely enjoy spending time on my bike (and because I’m too cheap to pay for parking everyday) the added perk of people in my office building thinking I possess grit and resolve is an added bonus.

Another Jacob Bike

This one’s a good one. They’re all good ones I guess, but this one only cost me 50 bucks. I was surfing an obscure “for sale” type app early one morning and saw a big huge old mountain bike for sale. I messaged the guy and set up a meeting to pick it up using the Bike Project’s Surly Trailer.

It’s an 87 Mongoose Hilltopper in the ever-so-sought-after-by-Jacob 58cm size. It came with Suntour A3000 (any Outkast fans?) components and some fun colors. I brought it back to the bike project and started ripping it down and scheming about the parts I would eventually throw on it later that day. A better seat, a Hite-Rite dropper post-y doo, a set of thumbies (fire drilled [upside down and swapped sides]) a triple crankset, a set of trusty STX wheels and a 10s cassette, and a 105 rear derailleur, as well as my old jones bars and b-uuuuutiful suntour brake levers. Oh yeah, and my surly front rack. It rides really nice with studded tires and fenders and 30 speeds. Ice, no ice, snow, rain, whatevs. I’m sure I’ll have this bike for a while. Look out for it covered in rust, stickers, and quality bicycle components in 10 years.

My Bike! 3rd Edition

Heyo, I guess I’m obligated to jump on this train huh? As it lies, I have more bikes than I could manageably post on this blog so not all of them are likely to show up here, but I am absolutely giving you guys a look-see of my favorites. First up is a cherished possession of mine that I just plain enjoy to ride and admire. It’s a 1982 Trek 720 Frameset with a load of goods on it.

The story goes, Adam (the uhhhh shop manager guy) gave me this frame and fork for watching his dogs while he went out of town, and I built it up in to this gosh darn dreamboat of a bicycle. The frame is made of Reynolds 531 tubing with nice, simple, but attractive lugs, and dark root-beer-ish paneling on the headtube and seattube. It’s a 56cm, which is admittedly a size or two too small for me, but that’s what long seatposts and tall stems are for, right? Other frame features include a Cinelli bottom bracket and Campagnolo dropouts If anyone out there has an identical 58 or 60cm frameset I’ll trade ya.

When I was scheming for this build, I had 2 real talking points, and the rest was up in the air. I had been slowly amassing a collection of DuraAce 7700 parts, and I had a set of 650b rims and Rivendell tires. I’ll talk about the wheels now, I suppose.

I opine that 650b is the holy wheel size. 25mm bigger around than a 26 inch wheel, and 38mm smaller than a 700c one. Commonly found on old french randoneurring bikes, and now essentially everywhere you look. I did a funky-fresh trick on this bike (meant for 700c) and got some long reach brake calipers (made by tektro) so that I could use these wheels. Since they’re smaller in diameter, I’m able to use a larger tire than I would have been able to with a 700c wheelset, and I also drop the bottom bracket down a few millimeters while also lowering the trail dimension of the front end’s geometry. For tires, I was riding Rivendell Fatty Rumpkin 650b x 41.5(or so) tires for a while, but recently switched to Surly’s knard in a 650b x 41 (for getting knarly) theres ample clearance for a 43 or so, but who’s got time for that? I built the rims (a cheap set of Zac19’s that I’ve had forever) to a set of 32h DuraAce hubs. I’ve contemplated setting them up tubeless, but the rims are kinda crummy so I’m waiting to buy some Velocity’s.

Another highlight of the overall build is a (nearly) full DuraAce 7700 drivetrain. I accumulated it over a few moths or so and decided to throw it all together on a bike when I finally got a hold of a 32h hubset (which spins buttery smooth). Shifting is set up with bar ends in friction 9spd and an XTR M950 11-28t cassette plus the stock 53/39t chainrings up front. This makes for a pretty difficult bike to ride but I feel it adds a classic masochism to an otherwise #chillaxed touring bike. I should note that I’ve got a 7400 front derailleur and headset on it, but who’s counting?

Other notable parts and pieces include VeloOrange Rando bars in 50cm, a 70mm Nitto Technomic Stem, and a VeloOrange Constructeur Front Rack. It rides like a dream!

Our Bikes (part two)

Adam, the dude who rules the Community Bike Project with an iron fist, asked us volunteers to write about our bikes. I’ve given it a lot of thought and have come the conclusion he’s on to something there.
Unlike most of the volunteers at the shop I don’t have many bikes. I only have two (well two and a half if you count a unicycle). However, one of mine is pretty unique and might be the only one of its kind in Omaha if not all of Nebraska. My ride is a Bullitt Cargo and it you’re wondering what a cargo bike is it’s a bike designed to haul freight. Mine is front loaded which means it has an elongated front wheelbase and a platform where the aforementioned freight goes.

I had never heard of a cargo bike until a few years ago when a friend of mind was talking about people racing them. My curiosity got the best of me so I looked them up and my first thought about seeing one was that’s pretty dumb. However, over time my thinking began to shift and eventually my disdain gave way to a desire to own one. I bought mine right before I moved to Omaha and since space in the moving truck was at a premium and a fully built bike was expensive as hell I just bought a frame (the good folks at the bike project helped me part it out and I was soon on the road after moving here).

Anyways, the thing is pretty rad and very practical. Its like the bike equivalent of a station wagon! I was commuting on it for a while and that was pretty fun. My boss lets me park in the office and the first time I did I was pretty worried I was taking advantage of his generosity since the thing has an 8’ wheel base. Lately I’ve been using it primarily as a grocery getter. I throw a cooler and the front and I’m good to go.

Is that all I’ve hauled? You know it isn’t! I took a book shelf home on it one day, and I’ve also given my wife and our precious kitty cat rides.
I’m not going to do a deep breakdown on parts because honestly that’s not my forte but there are a few things I’d like to highlight. It’s geared to be an eight speed which is plenty of range. Even unloaded this thing weighs a ton (54 pounds!) and going up hills separates the men from the boys. I’ve also got a sweet removable box on the front I fill with stuff. Lastly, there’s the air horn because why ring a bell when you can deafen someone?
If you haven’t figured it out by now it’s a pretty sweet bike. Practical, fun to ride, and starts a lot of conversations. More often than not it’s parked in front of the shop Saturday afternoons so stop by and take a peek.