An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Volunteering my services...

Last night, I tried something a little different -- wrenching on bikes.

No, really, hear me out! I know what you're thinking: How is THAT any different than any other day?

Well, this was wrenching for 2nd Cycle in Tacoma, and they've got an interesting business going. Seems what they do is take a combination of bike donations, dumspter-dives, and garage sale finds, fix them to road-worthy condition, and sell them to the local "need a bike for transport" population at very reasonable prices. They're well-equipped for tools, better than most bike shops I've been in, and they're not a service shop.

Condition of the incoming bike doesn't really matter -- there's always something that can be salvaged from it. Broken frames are stripped of usable parts, then sold for scrap metal. The parts are then gathered to use on other bikes in need of parts. There is a smattering of new pieces both for sale and use on the bikes, mostly consumable-types like tubes and chains.

Selling prices reflect the area and clientele, as well as the bikes themselves. After I finished working on one of the "nicer" of the bikes, I heard the shop owner and another of the volunteers talking over the selling price -- $90-100.

2nd Cycle has been in business for about 4 years, and in their current location on Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood for a little over a year. Apparently they're doing well enough to stay around a while.

Unfortunately, my cell phone battery gave up just as I pulled it out to take a couple pictures. I'll have to make another post with some pictures when I get back there.

I'll admit that I really don't know the deep ins-and-outs of their business, and I was only there for about two hours of their first-for-this-year volunteer night. They're planning on having a volunteer orientation on one of the volunteer nights coming up soon, and to make the volunteer nights a regular happening.

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