Berea Bikes has the look and feel of a bicycle co-op. For example, repairs are free to those who take advantage of the opportunity to learn bike maintenance and help with the work on their own bikes. Bicycles can be rented for ridiculously low amounts, and the fees are returned to those who volunteer hours in the shop. They also have a build-a-bike program that allows an individual to assemble her or his own ride from used frames and parts at the shop in exchange for volunteering ten hours of service.
I am very attracted to the self-sustaining structure of Berea Bikes. Its emphasis on education and recycling provides long-term benefits to those who make use of the program, the campus, and the larger community. One thing that is not clear to me is how and where Berea Bikes acquires its supply of bikes and parts. I’m also interested to know more about the how the program is funded. I’ve invited two members of the staff, Duane Graves and Jessica Korn, to comment on the program in general and to speak to these issues specifically.