MoBo is a new project ï¿½ their garage doors opened just last week ï¿½ of the Village Green community garden in Northside. Both projects are focused on sustainable living, a DIY ethic and on empowering their members. With a $20 annual membership you can learn how to maintain your bike and buy recycled parts for very little (most parts sell for between 50 cents and $1). You could build up a really nice bicycle at the MoBo workshop for around $50. If youï¿½re struggling, they offer beaters for $5.
ï¿½We just want to be able to sustain ourselves,ï¿½ board member Julie Griff says.
ï¿½Our basic mission is to give everybody in this area access to bicycles.ï¿½
Griff says the co-op works to be inclusive of women and to break down the stigma that says women canï¿½t work on bikes. Theyï¿½re simple machines and anyone can learn, she says.
ï¿½Weï¿½re taking bikes that would have been in the dump and revitalizing them,ï¿½ board member Lucia Palmerini says. Parts that canï¿½t be put back into service are made into art.
ï¿½Itï¿½s like a buffalo,ï¿½ board member Rafe says. ï¿½Thereï¿½s so much you can do. You go down to Mexico and people use bike parts for everything.ï¿½
Members of the co-op say the day they opened five neighborhood children came by with flat tires. Since they were just kids, they didnï¿½t have the money for membership, but the group floated them in. It wasnï¿½t exactly a scholarship, Palmerini says, but ï¿½itï¿½s more of an investment in the future.ï¿½
ï¿½Hopefully, those people wonï¿½t be driving cars in 10 years,ï¿½ Rafe adds. ï¿½We all believe that biking is a positive thing, whether politically or for the environment or for health,ï¿½ co-op member Owen Stewart-Robertson says.
MoBo Bicycle Co-op is open Mondays and Wednesdays at 5-9 p.m. and Saturdays noon-5 p.m. at 1415 Knowlton Ave., Northside. Info: 513-541-4025 or mobobicyclecoop.com.
STEPHEN CARTER-NOVOTNI is contributing editor of this Body/Mind/Spirit page. Contact him with story ideas or with offers to write: firstname.lastname@example.org