07 April 2017

The Doughman Raises Dough for the Co-op in 2017

The Durham Bike Co-op is lucky to have friends and supporters organizing this year's DOUGHMAN event! On May 27, the DOUGHMAN will host its ninth self-propelled culinary tour of Durham and the Bike Co-op will benefit.  All funds raised from the race will be donated to the Co-op. So, don't hesitate -- sign up today to support your friendly neighborhood community bike workshop!

We're really thrilled with this great news as we have learned that the Tour de Fat (our largest fundraiser for the past five years) will be relocating from Durham to Charlotte this summer. We feel lucky to be the beneficiary of a fun, new, local event in 2017. The DOUGHMAN is just as wacky, too, so get your costumes together.

Perhaps the world's stand-alone "quadrathlon," the DOUGHMAN combines run/walk, bike and "swim" events with some competitive eating thrown in for good measure.  You'll have the most unique Memorial Day weekend experience of anyone you know! But you can invite your friends because it's actually a relay race.

Here's how it works:

1) Find 3 friends
2) Name your team
3) Register your 4-person team online (requires $150 sign-up fee)
4) Share the awesome news on social media to help your team raise dough for the Co-op
5) Check in as a group on Saturday morning, May 27 -- event begins at 8:00am
6) Combine your powers to pull off 4 unique legs of the relay and enjoy some seriously awesome local food from the four sponsoring restaurants (vegetarians, fear not -- there is a veg and vegan friendly leg just for you)
7) Hang out afterwards for some awesome activities co-hosted by the Co-op alongside a post-event food truck rodeo

Space is limited so form your team and sign up today!

Want more info?  Check out www.doughman.org for the full scoop and "like" the DOUGHMAN on Facebook for event updates.

Look forward to seeing you in there!!

24 March 2017

Bike Co-op Celebrates Its 10-Year Anniversary

March 25th marks the official 10-year anniversary of the Durham Bike Co-op!

We are so thrilled with how far we've come over the last decade. At the same time, it's awesome to see how the same values and characteristics that brought the Co-op to life are still the driving force behind today's successes: dedicated volunteers, a passionate membership, our wonderful home in the Durham community, supportive local partners and some seriously contagious bike geekiness.

Thanks to each and every one of you who has contributed to the Co-op since we opened our doors on March 25, 2007 -- we couldn't do it without you!

For a retrospective on the Co-op, check out this timeline:


18 December 2016

Durham Bike Co-op End-of-Year Giving Campaign

This has been a fantastic year for the Durham Bike Co-op!  After working for more than a year to raise the funds and renovate, this summer we moved to our new home in Duke Park.  

Our new space not only has more shop and storage area, but we were also able to add a heating and cooling system so that our members and volunteers are comfortable working on bikes year-round!  

Though we made a great deal of progress in 2016, there is still site work to complete and our regular programming is always in need of ongoing support.  We have set an end-of-year goal to raise $5,000 to support our work in 2017.  

Can you help us by making a tax-deducible donation today?  Even small donations make a huge difference!  You can read more and donate here.  

Another way to give to the Co-op is by connecting your Kroger Rewards and Amazon accounts to the "Durham Bicycle Cooperative" so that a portion of all your purchases are donated to the Co-op annually.  Kroger gives 5% of all registered purchases and AmazonSmile gives 0.5%.  While these don't seem like big numbers, every penny counts!  You can learn how to connect your accounts here.

Thank you all so much for your support of the Durham Bike Co-op - as volunteers, as members, as donors, as cycling evangelists - we could not do this without you!  

To you and yours, happy holidays and cheers to a fabulous new year :)

16 October 2016

October 24 Board Elections

Hi Co-op Members! The Board Election is upon us and it's exciting to have a great slate of candidates running this year - 8 candidates in total, each bringing unique skills and assets to the table.

On October 24, the Durham Bike Co-op will hold in-person board elections at our regular Monday night work session.  The potluck style meeting will begin at 7pm and all current DBC members are invited to cast a ballotWe ask that you arrive no later than 7:30pm to vote.  You may also vote in person during Open Shop 2-5 PM on Oct. 30, or by proxy using this formProxy ballots must be received by 5 PM, October 30, 2016.

Please take a moment to review candidate bios below and come to the October 24 meeting to cast your vote! 

All current board terms are up, so this election will allow current Co-op board members to run for a 1-year renewal term.  New board candidates will have the opportunity to contribute to the Co-op as new board members for a 2-year term.  All candidates are recommended by the nominating committee.


Eli Belz - renewing board member, Waiters on Wheels Coordinator


1) Short Bio:
I have lived in North Carolina for 5 years. I moved here when I was 13, knowing nothing about bicycles. I volunteered at the Co-op every Thursday and Sunday for more than a year and gained enough knowledge to open a bicycle repair shop with my father in Hillsborough. We have been open for 3 years and several months now, maintaining a faithful and satisfied customer base. I recently graduated high school, and have expanded my bicycle shop into a new location. I am a passionate bicycle mechanic and core volunteer at the Co-op.

2) Why are you interested in being a Durham Bike Co-op board member?
I would like to see more youth in the Co-op. Youth are the future of the Co-op, and they must be nurtured! I have enjoyed serving on the board this past year, discussing issues and coming up with solutions, and I would like to continue as we grow and expand.

3) What skills and experience would you bring to this position?
I am a problem solver and a youth in the Co-op community. I have been running a business for 3 years now, and I like to go about solving problems the way I go about repairing a bicycle - methodically and looking for every possible issue and solution. I would like to apply this to the Co-op and help solve problems, especially related to the younger crowd.

4) Are you an active member in good standing with the co-op?
I am indeed

5) What role(s) are you interested in coordinating?
Waiters on Wheels coordinator (temporarily on pause, until we have our grand opening)

Alison Carpenter - renewing board member, Grants Coordinator
1) Short Bio:
I'm a native North Carolinian and have been active in the Triangle cycling community since moving to Durham in 2004. As a founding member of the Co-op, I was involved in the original Mangum Street project (started in 2007) and nonprofit formation, and I have volunteered intermittently for the organization since its initiation. Greg Garneau reminds me that I wrote the first DBC grant in 2008 for $10,000 in upstart funds.

I currently live in the Duke Park neighborhood - around the corner from the new 1612 Acadia St shop - with my husband, Corey; dog, Sam; and parrot, Dino. My day job is Transportation Demand Manager for Duke University, and my professional background is in multi-modal transportation planning. I also have many years of nonprofit service experience, including the co-founding of BikeWalkNC and five years on its board.

2) Why are you interested in being a Durham Bike Co-op board member?
I've been passionate about bikes and biking for many years and the Co-op has a special place in my heart. I have served as Grants Coordinator on the Board since July 2015. I'm applying for a 1-year follow-on term to help new members successfully transition on to the Board, and to support the Co-op's development and maturation at the new 1612 Acadia St location.

3) What skills and experience would you bring to this position?
My experience in grant-writing has helped to support the Co-op's fundraising initiatives in recent months, specifically the 2015 and 2016 capital campaigns to renovate and move to the new Duke Park space. I have also worked for and served on several nonprofit boards, offering perspective on nonprofit governance and organizational development.

4) Are you an active member in good standing with the co-op?
Yes - I am an active member in good standing and have contributed financially to the Co-op this year.

5) What role(s) are you interested in coordinating?

I am happy to continue as Grants Coordinator for the duration of my term, perhaps mentoring a new Board member or volunteer to take on this role in the future.

Debbie West - renewing board member, Treasurer & Membership Development Coordinator

1) Short Bio:
I am a bicycling advocate and non-profit professional committed to helping small non-profits achieve their missions. I work for the East Coast Greenway Alliance, which oversees development of a 3,000-mile bicycle-pedestrian trail network. I joined the Co-op in 2012, and love its DIY and community-building spirit and mission. I love encouraging people to bike and walk for daily activities, and though I am mostly a commuter bicyclist these days, I enjoy taking long greenway rides and going on social rides for fun.

2) Why are you interested in being a Durham Bike Co-op board member?

I have enjoyed being a Board member and wish to continue for another year.

3) What skills and experience would you bring to this position?

I have served as the Co-op Board Treasurer for the past two years and founded the Fundraising Committee. I have over 15 years of experience in office administration and marketing, and I have served as bookkeeper, office management, and membership lead for the non-profit East Coast Greenway Alliance since 2011. I served as Treasurer of the Interim Board of Bike Durham for 1.5 years, helping to develop the framework for that newly-forming non-profit. This fall I will earn a certificate in Non-profit Management from Duke University.

4) Are you an active member in good standing with the co-op?

5) What role(s) are you interested in coordinating?

Treasurer & membership / development


Ben Fleischman - new board candidate, Volunteer Development Coordinator

1) Short Bio:
Born and raised in the Charlotte suburbs, a bike was my ticket to freedom as soon as I knew how to ride. Typically this meant building sweet jumps in the yard, exploring all corners of the neighborhood and venturing into the city as a teenager. Once I could drive mountain biking became a passion through college, but I enjoy road biking and have done one major tour: A self-organized ride with friends from Las Vegas to the Coachella music festival in 2012.

My other passion has been cars and being a handy person who can fix or improve anything.

Professionally, I have a degree in biomedical engineering and currently serve as a director for a non-profit that educates and trains students how to repair medical equipment in the developing world. I moved to Durham in 2011. I love living here and appreciate the unique blend of people that call it home. I live at the southern end of Glendale ave, near Corporation, so the new workshop is very close by.

2) Why are you interested in being a Durham Bike Co-op board member?

I would like to become more involved in the community, meet new people and re-ignite my love of bikes and riding. It would be rewarding to find a local outlet to apply my skills as a teacher and organizer. I gain a lot of satisfaction from helping to enact and grow a mission.

3) What skills and experience would you bring to this position?
I have over 5 years of leadership and teaching experience in technical and hands-on subjects. At my small organization I manage operations and organize growth and development of our programs. This includes teaching and repairing medical equipment in the field, overhauling and editing websites, developing marketing plans and materials, budgets/accounting and promoting our programs at conferences, workshops and seminars.

I have substantial workshop experience in a variety of different environments: automotive/motorsports, research/prototyping and specialized spaces for repairing medical equipment. I have never worked in a bike shop though and I am mostly self-taught for keeping my 3 bikes in (somewhat) working order.

I have basic carpentry and welding skills and can fix most technical problems I come across (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, etc.).

I have some experience writing grants, working with government offices and understanding/adhering to regulations.

4) Are you an active member in good standing with the co-op?
Yes and I have volunteered a handful of times.

5) What role(s) are you interested in coordinating?
Not sure, I like helping with growth, exploring new areas and developing new programs. I’d be happy to help in most areas though, especially teaching and hands on projects like shop improvements and organization. If volunteer retention seems to be a concern, I would be happy to focus on this and other volunteer development topics.

Nayeli Garci-Crespo - new board candidate, Communications Coordinator
1) Short Bio:

I am a Mexico City native who has lived a little over half her life in the U.S. I am interested in ecological and social justice causes, art, photography, literature, and film. I currently work doing copywriting, copyediting, marketing, video, and graphic design at a small company, and was previously a freelancer in the Mexican feature film and TV industries, mostly doing video editing and film post-production. I am a dabbler by nature, and love crafts and making things with my hands and telling stories. Biking is a new favorite hobby and cause for me.

2) Why are you interested in being a Durham Bike Co-Op board member?
I am interested in supporting alternative transportation in all forms, and find the work the Durham Bike Co-op does in making biking accessible to all Durham residents incredibly valuable for the community. I also appreciate how the DBC is run - the fact that it is a completely volunteer-run organization and that any and all members who choose to can participate in the governance of the nonprofit and the trajectory it takes. I would like to become a board member to further formalize my contribution to the important work done by the DBC. I do not know much about bike mechanics (thought would like to keep learning), but as a board member I feel I can contribute with other skills.

3) What skills and experience would you bring to this position?
I can bring graphic design and some web and social media knowledge to the table, as well as assisting with other communications efforts or helping others get organized with the DBC web and media presence. I also can shoot and edit videos and take photographs.

4) Are you an active member in good standing with the co-op?

5) What roles are you Interested in coordinating?

Ralph Griesenbeck - new board candidate, Strategic Partnerships Coordinator

1) Bio

I grew up in Arizona, went to school and worked in Manhattan developing applications and systems infrastructure for financial services firms. I spent a few years in London before returning to NYC. I moved to upstate NY and did systems consulting, taught high school, and ran a small mail order company. I spent a few years in Massachusetts then came to Durham a few years ago to work and liked it enough to stay. I currently work for a small law firm doing application development and systems support.

About 2 years ago I bought a bike and started commuting to work. I decided to do 100% bicycle a few months later and have been doing most of my travel on the bike. I work with Durham BPAC and volunteer at the Bike Coop.

2) Why I Am Interested
I enjoy volunteering at the Coop. There is a great deal of satisfaction from getting an old bike back on the road and helping someone learn how to care for their bike. I enjoy learning new things each week as problems come up that I haven't seen before. I also like what the Coop is doing for the community. For some who do not have the means for or cannot have a motor vehicle it is providing a means to get to work or school. For others it is providing a way to keep their recreational bikes running. The Coop is also a center of a social network that is an essential part of my life. I want to help keep the Coop going and growing.

3) What I Can Offer
I have worked for many years with many types and sizes of organizations helping to make things better: simpler, faster and more efficient. However my work is more complicated than just figuring out a "better" way it is also looking at the social, organizational, and cultural context of the change. The Coop is challenging because it is a volunteer organization composed of people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Having an idea is just the first step on the long path to making it real.

I have practical skills with technology that could be applied to improving the systems needed to support day-to-day operations. There are a number of initiatives in the idea stage that would need systems changes to make them efficient to administer.

I have been volunteering as a mechanic several times a month since I became a member in May, 2015. I am still learning but am mainly self-sufficient on most projects.

4) Membership
I am a member in good standing.

5) What I'd Like to Do
I would like to work on raising the profile of the Coop with local charities and social services agencies. I am also willing to help with technical support.


Ben La - new board candidate, Outreach Coordinator

1) Short Bio:
Ben has been a volunteer mechanic at the DBC for about 2 ½ years. He got his start working on bikes as a kid at his Dad’s bike shop. Easily frightened in the presence of cars, Ben likes to help people get bikes and keep them running so they can drive a little less. He thinks bicycling an enabling way to stay balanced, and people should not be required to have access to money to have access to a bike. He works at Duke as a graduate student researcher developing optoelectronic sensors. 

2) Why are you interested in being a Durham Bike Co-op board member?
I enjoy my time at the co-op and with the people I meet there. The DBC has been an important source of community for me, and I see making a commitment to be a more involved as a way to give back to the DBC. 

3) What skills and experience would you bring to this position?
Intermediate / satisfactory bike mechanic. - Regularly communicate my ideas and receive critical feedback as part of my work, and, I think I am relatively receptive to criticism, which is useful for collective decision making / consensus. - Will try to communicate with anyone. - Able to interpret and prepare technical information. - Able to interpret and engage in non-technical information sharing. 

4) Are you an active member in good standing with the co-op?
In good standing and am trying to be more active (currently volunteering a couple of weekends per month). 

5) What role(s) are you interested in coordinating?
Outreach: I am motivated to seek out and communicate with groups in the greater Durham and Triangle communities. Also, I’m interested in adding to existing outreach materials. Specifically, I would try to prepare “ready to go” presentation slides to facilitate outreach both to potential donors (e.g. corporate / “professional” groups) and to educational opportunities (e.g. school events), taking input from other coop members to decide on the presentation content. - Other: I am happy to consider any other coordinator positions that are needed.

David J. Zielinski - new board candidate, Secretary & Sunday Shop Coordinator

1) Short Bio:
I grew up in Illinois and moved to Durham 12 years ago for a job working with computers at Duke University. Before moving to Durham I was in a medium sized college town (Urbana-Champaign), where I got interested in commuting via bicycle. Around 9 (coming up on 10) years ago, I helped start (along with a great crew) the Durham Bike Co-op, and we then opened at our 1st location on Mangum street. Initially I didn’t know too much about bicycle repair, but since then I have come to know a decent amount. I’ve been an active core-volunteer these last 9+ years, and also have been participating with other cycling events around the city (Bullseye Bikes monthly bike rides, Ponysaurus monthly bike rides, ect..).

2) Why are you interested in being a Durham Bike Co-op board member?

I think for me right now there are 3 reasons I continue my time involvement with the Durham Bike Co-op. I enjoy helping get more people on bicycles and into biking (making the world, and their lives better!), I enjoy the “gear-head” aspect of being around mechanical devices and wrenches (and not just behind a keyboard, like I am the rest of the week!), and finally the social experiences and friends I’ve met along the way. I think to the specific question of why I’m interested in being a board member, we decided at a previous retreat that the DBC really should have a full roster of board members (in our current bylaws - 10 people) instead of our usual 3 or 4. This could help in attracting grants, and also hopefully help us better in covering all the back-end non-in-shop tasks. I’m always willing to help out the bike co-op, and if we need to have all the board slots filled, I’m happy to answer the call.

As for what I would like to advocate, when being a board member, I think the bike co-op has been successful beyond what we had originally anticipated, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not more to work on! I think our new location (thanks to the City of Durham and efforts from the Duke Park neighborhood association), is really great. However, I think if we look (as some reports have argued), that people will drag/walk a broken bicycle at most 2 miles, that leaves us with a rather small radius. One project I would like to see is outreach and mobile clinics to other areas of Durham. I’m also interested in bike-art and art-bikes (one bike I helped design and build has been donated and on tour with Tour-de-Fat across the country - I’d like to make more!). Finally I’m very interested in training and retaining our volunteers, and am still thinking about benefits and perks for the core-volunteers that keep our open shop (and other programming) running.

3) What skills and experience would you bring to this position?

I am currently helping run the Sunday open shop sessions. During volunteer shop 1 (11am-1pm) I teach new volunteers bicycle (and even just starting with basic wrench) skills. I am also currently teaching a class at Duke, and many people have commented that I seem to be a “natural teacher”, even though I have no formal teacher training. During volunteer shop 1 we also do a bit of shop organization, so I would say I have a fairly comprehensive knowledge of the shop layout, what tools we have available, our current policies, how to operate the front computers / technology. I also consider myself a mid-grade mechanic (Although I do not yet know any of the modern stuff - hydraulic brakes, electronic shifters, ect..). I also bring a lot of technology and computer skills (I recently helped get our hour-tracking software into the cloud). While working the front desk, I think I’ve gotten good at interacting with patrons, diffusing any tense situations that arise, and in general, trying to make sure that we are still having fun doing this project!

Previously I’ve been involved with running the website, fixing computers when they go down, ect, for the shop, and at one point I was treasurer for 2 years. For the last couple years I’ve been secretary for the organization. This has involved preparing agendas and providing written meeting minutes for distribution to the general membership. So in that respect, I think I bring a long institutional memory of all the different policies and discussions we’ve had over the years, and I’ve also (hopefully) been communicating to the general membership in a clear and concise way.

4) Are you an active member in good standing with the co-op?
I would say yes. I have attended nearly every meeting in the last 9+ years, and helped staff most of the Sunday sessions. I’m currently a full-keyholder in the sense that I have the trust (and responsibility) of the group to open and close the physical shop properly.

5) What role(s) are you interested in coordinating?
I’m currently listed as Sunday Shop Coordinator and Secretary. I’m fine with continuing those roles (especially the Sunday Shop Coordinator), but I’m fine if different backend roles need help/coverage. Even though I have the background for it, I’d rather not coordinate the technology aspects of the shop (I get enough of that during the week!). If I had even more time, I’d like (as previously mentioned) to head up bike-art and art-bike fabrications.