Archive for the ‘Volunteers’ Category

The Cutest Saturday

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

This morning Common Cycle was thrilled to join Jonny Lennon and B3 Bike Repair for a morning of fixing bikes with kids!

Families showed up with bikes that needed work and  bikes to donate, and we taught bike repair basics to visitors of all ages. It was an amazing way to spend Saturday morning – Jon said we helped fix and distribute over 100 kids bikes!

We weren’t the only group helping out either – Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society, Sic Transit Cycles, Bike Ypsi, Safe Kids Huron Valley, and Word of God Community all provided support! The tremendous showing from the  Ann Arbor community made this event incredibly fun!

We took some pictures for everyone to enjoy!

Common Cycle Loves You!

Monday, February 13th, 2012

We Looooooooove You!

Here at Common Cycle we’re all about fostering bike love. If you received a spoke card valentine today, it’s our way of saying that we love that you’re riding your bike all year round and we’d love  to get to know you.

We provide free access to tools, education and other resources to make biking in Ann Arbor great. So, read about what we do, like us on Facebook or sign up for our Google group.

If you ever need help with your bike, we’ll be there – either at Outdoor Adventures this winter or at the Artisan market in the summer.

If you love working on bikes or you’ve always wanted to learn, come volunteer and we’ll share our knowledge and learn from you!

We hope to meet you soon!

We’re now accepting donations!

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Common Cycle is now accepting bicycle donations to restore over the winter at our OA workshops. These bikes will be given a new life as commuters around Ann Arbor, either sold as a CC fundraiser or used in a pilot bike sharing program! They’ll also be great  project for novice mechanics who wish to hone their skills in the off-season. Donations will be handled through the Jackson Rd location of Two Wheel Tango; please call them  at 734.769.8401 if you are interested in donating a bike. Thanks to Jimmy and Dennis at TWT for their support!

Jimmy’s on DRW!

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Rob Pulcipher, author of Dirt Roads Washtenaw has been running a series of rider and bike profiles on his blog. This week CC Board Member Jimmy Raggett and his Croll were featured! Read it here.

MRS Update

Monday, September 5th, 2011

It’s been a long while since we’ve updated, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been hard at work!  Every Sunday we’ve been at the Artisan Market teaching Ann Arbor how to repair bikes. We’ve helped overhaul bottom brackets, true wheels, and replace tons of cables and housing.

Piet helps install a front brake.

This week, Piet helped one  industrious fellow replace his front brake (above) . By the time he  left, he trued the wheels and had  two working brakes!

Every once and a while, a really unique bike stops by the MRS. This Schwinn Suburban came by needing a new spoke in its rear wheel.

Schwinn Suburban (c. 1975)

It came from an era when Shimano was pushing their front freewheel system for city bikes; having the freewheel in the front allows you to shift gears while coasting. This wacky set-up never caught on. You can read all about it on Wikipedia.

A front freewheel!

We also helped replace a chain, but the drive train was so worn out the the new chain skipped so much that it was hardly rideable. Let that be a lesson – Replace you chain before it wrecks your chainrings!

At the end of the day, Bill and Ben loaded up the trailers and hauled the MRS home. See you next week!

All Aboard!
Bill and two loaded trailers.

Featured Volunteer: Michael Everett

Friday, June 24th, 2011

The Mobile Repair Stand may have been in hibernation all winter, but many of our wonderful Common Cycle volunteers helped out with bike workshops all winter long. Today’s featured volunteer was there through snow and ice and freezing temperatures, and now that the sun is out again, he’s back at the Repair Stand, repacking hubs in 90 degree heat like a champ.

Michael Everett, Champion Volunteer

Michael Everett

High Schooler

How did you get into fixing bicycles?
Last year, I went for a road ride with my friends from swimming who also knew nothing about biking, and we had a couple flat tires and one broken seat post during the ride, so I figured I should learn some basics so I didn’t get stranded far away again. I read about Common Cycle online and thought it sounded awesome! I started going to the mobile repair stands clueless about maintenance, but I have learned a ton from the experts.

What is your most favorite bike maintenance task?
I like learning new repair tasks whether they’re simple or super complicated. Brakes and other things that take a while to perfectly align can be annoying sometimes, but it’s all important. Adjusting derailleurs and gear shifting is a really common task but it’s not too difficult and is something people really notice.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done on bicycle?
If I do something crazy on my bike this summer, I’ll let you know. I can’t think of anything too wild right now…

Spring planning meeting, 2011!

Sunday, March 13th, 2011


Change of location: We are meeting at the Jolly Pumpkin tonight, upstairs. 311 South Main Street. Same time, new place.


I think this post deserves an exclamation point — Common Cycle had an amazing kick-off year in 2010 and we’re hoping to ride some of that momentum into 2011 as we plan our upcoming events and activities. We’re going to meet this week Tuesday, and that’s “we” as in you and me (I’m Piet) and volunteers and the Common Cycle board, and talk about what’s going on with Common Cycle, how we can improve, and what we’ll focus our work on in the next year.

The meeting plan is to do the following things:

  1. do a recap of last year’s awesome start for Common Cycle;
  2. grab suggestions of how to improve on what we did last year;
  3. give a rundown of and discuss proposed activities for 2011;
  4. plan for the mobile repair stand and other activities; and
  5. brainstorm other activities.

If you’re at all interested or have input to share, make some room in your schedule for 8:00pm Tuesday March 15th and come down to Sweetwaters at 123 West Washington St. in Ann Arbor. Feel free to email me if you have questions or ideas beforehand: piet AT

Kickstarter Success bring work for commoners

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Today Eric, Steve, and Bill got to work fabricating the recycled bicycle part art for the people that asked for them as a part of their Kickstarter donation.

Grinding, drilling, and tapping were all a part of the fun of the evening and we managed to make one third of the items needed.  Have a look:

Featured Volunteer: Sam McDermott

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Keeping the mobile repair stand running week after week is a big job, and it all falls to our amazing volunteer mechanics. We thought it might be nice for all the lovely people on the internet to meet these awesome individuals, so this will be the first in a series of Featured Volunteer posts, introducing you to the incredible men and women who will help you fix your bike in rain or shine or wind that blows our tent away.

Sam McDermott

Physics Ph. D. student

What kind of bike(s) do you ride?
Surly Crosscheck; Alien (fixed gear); currently building up a Schwinn Sports Tourer to be a heavy, reliable, bad weather commuter.

How did you get into fixing bicycles?
I got involved through a volunteer organization in Philadelphia much like Common Cycle, called Bike Church. I mostly got into bike repair because I wanted to true my own wheels, then I picked up so much knowledge from folks there that I felt like I could help out by teaching other people myself.

What is your most favorite bike maintenance task?
Wheels – truing, building, repacking hubs, everything.

What is your least favorite bike maintenance task?
Derailleurs – I’m scared any time someone wants me to explain them, because I make it up every time I do.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done on bicycle?
I rode a tandem 20 miles one time with a girl I really liked.

Molly is a Roll Model

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Common Cycle’s marketeer is being featured as a Roll Model on the Lets Go Ride A Bike cycling website.  Check out the blog post to learn more about Molly, her riding, and her involvement in Common Cycle.