The first day that the Patchwork Bike Shop was open after its long hiatus, the change was evident. There were plenty of Bike Shop customers waiting for their bikes to be worked on or waiting to ride off on a refurbished bike that was new to them. Some folks waited outside the bike shop itself while others stopped by the Shade Tree Hospitality in Patchwork’s front courtyard for a cup of coffee or lemonade and a snack.
Patchwork’s Bike Shop opened after Labor Day. It had been closed since March, and in the time it was closed we knew its absence was felt across our community. We’ve received many calls and other inquiries about when it would be open again. And, it has been very busy ever since it reopened.
For many people in Evansville, a bike is their primary form of transportation: people starting a job that’s not on a bus route or with hours that don’t match the bus schedule, people just getting out of prison and trying to re-start their lives, people needing to get across town for an appointment, people whose transportation options are more limited than usual because of COVID-19.
Having access to a bike shop can help keep everyone on the go and getting where they need to be: a new bike when one gets stolen or when someone is starting their life over, a place to get brakes adjusted, handle bars tightened, pedals fixed. All of this makes a difference, and if you don’t know how to do the work yourself, there are few places around town where someone will do it for you.
All of our Bike Shop services are provided on a first-come, first-served basis and free of charge. Our Bike Shop volunteers do as many repairs as they are able on most Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 am-noon. If someone either needs a bike for transportation or has a bike that needs one or two repairs, we suggest that they stop by during Bike Shop hours to discuss their specific needs with our volunteers.
If someone would like to help out, we are looking for additional Bike Shop volunteers. Potential volunteers need to be available during our Bike Shop hours, need some knowledge of bike repair, and should be comfortable interacting with a wide variety of people. We also accept donations of adult bikes that are in good shape. If you have an adult bike to donate, please bring it during Bike Shop hours. We cannot accept children’s bikes or “parts” bikes that require significant repairs.