As we are coming to the end of March, I wanted to share some of the exciting things happening this year with the Cola Town Bike Collective. We have been busy this year and are excited about things to come this spring!
As we rolled into 2022, we have cultivated our relationship with the Lutheran Serivces Carolinas and have helped a tremendous number of refugee families gain the ability to navigate the area to and from their homes, jobs, and essential services. We continue to also work with Transitions Homeless Center, Catholic Charities of the Midlands, MIRCI, and others. We have also recently started helping Columbia Housing and the VA Hospital with veterans transportation. So far this year, we have donated bikes to 41 people through these programs and have provided free or low cost maintenance 143 times, which we provide to all of our clients. In addition to the adult bikes, we have given 67 kids bikes to the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety for their Working For Wheels program.
As we have been giving a record number of bikes away, we have been diligently working on sourcing more parts and bicycles to build up for our clients. Early this year, an opportunity to take delivery of a large number of bikes became available to CTBC and Second Chance Bikes, a non-profit community bike shop in Charleston, SC. This opportunity has helped replenish our inventory: 285 bikes are coming to our shop to be built up and distributed. Keep an eye out for the black and yellow CTBC Bikes! In order to make room for this shipment, we hosted a spring bike sale and were able to get 26 bikes back out into the community!
In collaboration with Comfort Monk, we were able to host a second private show with Tommy Stinson (Replacements / Guns ‘N’ Roses). Following that show, we hosted Beautiful Neighborhood’s “Grunge Prom”. This was without a doubt the biggest event ever held at CTBC- over 300 attendees, 25 vendors, and 5 bands! Dear Blanca & The Sloppy Boys present The Great Atlantic Blowout Kickoff at the Cola Town Bike Collective on May 6th! We are looking forward to a full year of music and events at 711 Elmwood.
As always, the Cola Town Bike Collective is humbled and in awe of the outpouring of community support. We have been working hard to continue providing access to reliable transportation to our neighbors in need, be a safe space for all artists and musicians, and continue operating as your community bike shop.
-Scott Nuelken, Executive Director