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Faces of Bike Month: BBP's Gallery
Last year we took a look at the many faces of Bike Month -- from advocacy groups to bike shops, May is an opportunity for bikes to unite. Over the next several days, we'll be highlighting some of the stories -- and faces -- we featured in our American Bicyclist magazine for Bike Month 2013.
Today, we're taking a look at a story by Juta Geurtsen, of the Boise Bicycle Project, about the organization's Bike Builder's Gallery.
When Boise Bicycle Project hit the scene in 2007, there were a lot of cycling events in Boise, but few that celebrated the “average” bicyclist.
While there were many gatherings that featured Lycra-clad athletes on $1,000 bikes, we wanted to engage potential cyclists who couldn’t buy their way into the sport. Our goal was the start breaking down these barriers and take bicycling back to it roots, spreading the message hat “anyone can be a bicyclist.”
So each Bike Month we kick off the festivities with one of our favorite events: The Bike Builder’s Gallery. Throughout the year people come into our cooperative bike shop and earn how to fix or build up their own bicycles. We noticed how much pride people take in their “beater” bicycles and thought, why not showcase these bicycles in the public eye? Why not show people that a great bike doesn’t have to be expensive or pretty, it just has to get you from point A to point B? Just like that, the Bike Builder’s Gallery was born. Each May hundreds of commuters line up their bicycles on one of Boise’s main streets and allow the public to vote on their favorite and least favorite bicycles. There are lots of laughs, a beer garden, music, and all sorts of beautiful — and beautifully ugly — bicycles.
In the end, it’s a great tool to show newcomers and would-be cyclists that cycling can be easy, fun, and doesn’t have to break the bank. It’s also a great way to meet your fellow pedal-powered community members.
The Boise Bicycle Project is a nonprofit Community Bicycle Cooperative. Visit us online at www.boisebicycleproject.org