Yet another reason (as if I needed another) to love Shearwater (and apologies in advance for the new-to-me tone of this post):
It was via a visit to that band's website the other day that I learned of the existence of something called community bike shops. On the 21st Shearwater will be playing a benefit for the Austin Yellow Bike Project, which is presently building itself a new facility. The YBP describes itself thus:
The Austin Yellow Bike Project (YBP) is a community supported ALL-VOLUNTEER 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing human-powered transportation for the people of Austin, running a community bike shop, and educating kids and adults. People-power is a way to limit the traffic congestion of a rapidly growing city. It also provides an inexpensive, healthy, and sustainable alternative to the reliance on motor vehicles. Our project promotes cleaner air, land, and water, while encouraging people to meet their transportation needs through an active lifestyle and community participation.That same page has links to other, similarly-minded community bike shops in this country; of the states bordering Kansas, only Colorado has them.
A look at YBP's Projects page reminded me of something I've been musing about (and have mentioned in passing in various posts) since I started riding last summer. Here on the western edge of downtown, I see lots of working-class and street folks on bicycles obtained by various means, some more legal than others. It was seeing these folks on bikes of every description and condition that first really drove home to me the practicality of bicycles as economical daily transportation and not just a new, cool thing for yuppies to do. But it has also caused me to wonder if there weren't room in Wichita for a bike-rehab-and-donation program for people in need.
Something to muse on a bit.