Public Workshop Hours – “Closed Door” Season

We’re well into October September2 and have enjoying (with some guilt and dread) the unseasonable warmth. Once temperatures are consistently below ~50°F, we will transition to hosting our weekly public hours on Sundays from 11 AM-3 PM with the large bay door closed at 416 W Huron.

Weekly public hours will continue as usual, and this transition will involve some revised safety protocols as we work to keep CC users and volunteers safe while we everyone turns some wrenches.

Below are the protocols we’re planning to implement once the door comes down for the season –

(1) MASKS REQUIRED: Our masking policy will be updated to “Required, Regardless of Vaccination Status” – i.e. no mask, no entry (but we’ll provide folks with a mask if they don’t have one).

(2) SOCIAL DISTANCING ENCOURAGED: Social distancing will be encouraged.

(3) VOLUNTEERS FULLY VACCINATED: In-person volunteers will be expected to be fully vaccinated according to CDC guidelines.

(4) CAPACITY LIMIT: Our workspace will include both Suite #11 and the Common Bay, but we will maintain an overall capacity limit of 12 persons total (including volunteers and visitors) at any one time. (We may revisit this, depending on demand and level of comfort with this number of people in the space at once.)

(5) ARTIFICIAL CIRCULATION: We’ll deploy additional artificial circulation, running 2-3 MERV-filtered fans during public hours.

We hope this is a reasonable balance of safety and feasibility. Looking forward to continuing to work with everyone as we enter the season of cold-weather riding and winter maintenance.

As always, if you have any questions or thoughts, please send us a note at info@commoncycle.org .

During public hours (Sundays, 11 AM-3 PM), this magnetic sign will be posted on the door.
If you see this sign, please ring the doorbell on the far right and a volunteer will let you inside.

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day, March 8th. THEME: #ChooseToChallenge.

TL;DR [though, we challenge you to read it all.] Common Cycle is calling ourselves in. We unpack it below.

What does it mean to “call in,” exactly? It’s all about calling in the calling out culture; a.k.a. speaking up without tearing down. And it’s the genius of Loretta J. Ross, human rights activist and professor at Smith College.

Dr. Rebecca Eunmi Haslam, Founder of Seed the Way LLC and Assistant Professor in the Education Department at Saint Michael’s College provides this excellent resource for how and when to use Calling In vs Calling Out when challenging inherent biases in an effort to disrupt patterns that continue to oppress BIPOC and other people marginalized by social inequity.

Every year IWD is on March 8th. Every year there is a designated theme. And this year, it’s #ChooseToChallenge. What folks might not know is that the theme is intended not simply to début on March 8th and stop there. It is meant to be “celebrated and continue all year long to unify direction and galvanize activity by providing a meaningful framework to connect and amplify action.”

Here’s what they say,

“A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let’s all choose to challenge.

How will you help forge a gender equal world?

Celebrate women’s achievement.
Raise awareness against bias.
Take action for equality.”

At Common Cycle, we still have a LONG way to go. But, we are actively working on rising to this challenge. To call ourselves in to focus on our opportunities for growth. We made a promise on June 4, 2020 to do better. At our Board and Steering Committee Retreat in February 2021, we committed to further doing this work with the heart of our focus on our core mission:

We are a community-based organization empowering Ann Arbor to ride bicycles by providing access to education, workspace, and resources.

Empowered women empower women!

In 2016, volunteer Jayanthi Reddy created Common Cycle’s Women/Trans/Femme nights—a welcoming space for women of all backgrounds to gather and learn about a specific bicycle maintenance concept. Countless people have benefited from Jayanthi’s patient teaching style, myself included.

It was at such a gathering that inspired and provided a spark for fellow Common Cycle Board member, Emma Wendt.

My first memory of Common Cycle was getting help fixing my brakes. Jayanthi was there with her “the bike is lava” mantra, the idea being that the instructor does not touch the bike but rather guides the person learning to practice the skill on their own.

She made sure I was doing the fixing and the learning, and she was just there so we could help figure it out together rather than doing it for me. I felt so much more comfortable with that experience than in so many other bikey settings—and I consider myself a strong, capable woman.

While it took me many years before getting involved with Common Cycle, I eventually came back and joined the Board. My positive experience with Jayanthi was part of the reason, knowing we had the capacity to be a supportive, effective organization.

Emma Wendt

And, the same was true for me. At a joint event hosted at FitMi with bike fitter extraordinaire, Jessica Bratus, I learned from both of these incredible women how to fix a flat tire. I left that Women/Trans/Femme night feeling pumped, pun intended, and it was the fuel I needed to set my own bicycle journey in motion.

women/trans/femme nights relaunch

Stay tuned for Women/Trans/Femme nights coming soon! Offered virtually to start, shifting to in-person/outdoor when the weather and global pandemic conditions allow for us to gather safely.

celebrate. raise awareness. take action.

Today we celebrate women’s achievements. Let us challenge ourselves and others to continue to celebrate these achievements and actively raise up and empower all women early and often. Let us take action to unite for equality for all women and challenge our inherent biases and understanding of intersectional feminism. Let us be actively inclusive of LGBT*IQA+ people in all spaces. Let’s do it together.


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By: Katie Jeannin, Common Cycle Board Member

inspired for more? check out these Resources

  • Accounts worth following on Instagram:
    @thebrownbikegirl / @ayesuppose / @cyclista_zine / @pedal2thepeople / @wokeandspoked
  • Ann Arbor Velo Club Women Racing Team
    AAVC Women’s Team is looking to recruit new members! Deadline to sign up for their mentorship program is March 15th.
  • Thee Abundance Summit – March 26th & 27th
    A virtual celebration of Black and Brown joy in cycling and the outdoors. This free virtual celebration will be live-streamed on the A Quick Brown Fox Youtube Channel. Register here.


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Winter 2020-21 Updates

We’ve missed everyone during the 2020 season and hope that folks are finding opportunities to get out and ride this this winter.

While in-person repairs continue to be limited, we’d like to list a number of resources available to keep your bike running and you riding all winter long. In addition to various self-serve pumps and toolsets around A2/Ypsi, we’re excited to be able to offer remote support sessions through the coming months.

1:1 Remote Support

If you’d like remote support help with any issues or build questions, feel free to email us at info@commoncycle.org and one of our volunteers will get back to you right away.

Even if you’re not need of advice or guidance, CC volunteers can be available to shout motivational slogans at you via video while you chip petrified grime from your frame or oil a seized chain.
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Emergency Repairs

If you’re in need of emergency repairs, please don’t hesitate to reach out (also via info@commoncycle.org), and we’ll identify a safe way to lend a hand.
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Self-Service Tools / Resources

For those with some know-how or the inclination to learn, there are a number of self-service resources around town:

    • Public bicycle pumps + repair stations
      A map of pumps and Fix-It stations in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti is available here. (Also listed in the sidebar of the CC homepage.)
    • Zingerman’s Band-Aid Station, 422 Detroit St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
      A box of basic tools and supplies at Zingerman’s maintained by Common Cycle; located in the bicycle parking alcove next to the deli. (Feel free to ask the Zingerman’s staff, who’ll direct you to it, if needed).
    • Bløm Meadworks Toolset, 100 S 4th Ave Ste 110, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
      Our friends at Bløm Meadworks maintain a complete toolset and repair stand available for use on their patio (business hours only).
    • Bike Build Livestream-Sundays at 2-ish streamed live on the Facebook
      A friendly plug for the ongoing bike-build series hosted by CC volunteer/board member Nate. Just 1-2 sessions remain, but please let us know on the social media whether we should go with round wheels or square wheels. #rollrectilinear

We hope these resources can help keep folks rolling this winter; looking forward.

We’re now accepting donations!

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!

MRS Update

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.

So much stuff, so little time!

Despite the paucity of posts, we’ve been up to TONS of stuff lately!  The shirts are in, the stickers made, the spoke cards laminated, the custom engraved bottle openers have been machined, and we’ve got new trailers and tools.  Phew!  The mobile repair stand has been rockin’ hard with all of our new gear, sheltered by our second tent, and the new trailers are fantastic.  We can’t say enough great things about all of our Kickstarter donors, Kickstarter itself, and all of our volunteers.  We CAN say that all of your prizes are in the mail and should be arriving soon.  Thank you all so much!

We’re planning on next Sunday, the 24th being the last Mobile Repair Stand for the fall, but will still be available for special events.  Don’t worry, we’ll be busting out the tools and tents next Spring!  Also, we’re working to get some workshops rolling through the winter.  If there is anything in particular you want, please let us know by sending an email to info@commoncycle.org.

Some of the other events we’ve been involved in lately have been the DIY day at Vineyard Church, the homegrown festival, and we even sent some racers out to the Dorais Park Thunderdrome who took silver in the road and mountain races, as well as a bronze in road!  Hopefully we see you next Sunday at the stand.  We can get your bike ready for Night of The Living Tread (8pm on the Diag, October 30th), and ensure you’re set for a happy fall and winter of commuting on your bike.  Now get out there and enjoy this beautiful fall!

Shirts are in

new shirts!

I bet you thought we’d forgotten to send you the prizes you won from our Kickstarter, huh?!  Don’t worry, they’re on their way- we just got a little delayed with minor hiccups like llamas.