This weekend, October 6th and 7th, the Bike Shack, run by the Watsonville Brown Berets, will be tuning-up and polishing over 150 bikes, and they're asking the community to come pitch in.
"We’re just trying to engage the community to do some community service. That way our program can keep going," said Lorenzo Holguin, a bike mechanic who works as a warehouse manager at the Bike Shack.
In particular, the Brown Berets are looking for Pajaro Valley High School Students who have completed or are currently enrolled in the bike repair class.
"But even if they don't know how to work on bikes there's always some other thing to do. They can pass out flyers or let people know about the program, or if there are enough bike mechanics there maybe they'll be able to learn a thing or two," said Holguin.
And he's right: there is a lot of work to do. Last week, the Bike Shack received a donation of over 150 bikes. Some are in great shape, some need a little work, and some need, well a lot of work/
"We need to make sure they are all in working order before next weekend," said Holguin.
Next weekend, on October 13, is the day of the Bike Shack's massive bike sale—and their first major sale that will help raise fund to keep the program going.
The bikes will be sold on a sliding scale, ranging from $20-$100. Prices are kept modest so that people who really need bikes can afford them.
"That's really our focus, the youth that may not be able to drive and may need a bicycle, and adults," said Holguin. Campesinos, or farm workers, are especially in need of bikes to help them get to work if they don't have a vehicle.
The Bike Shack has a booth at the Friday farmers market in Watsonville. They are also open every Tuesday and Thursday from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m., and during those hours they help youth work on their bikes.
"We really emphasize giving back to the community. Kids come by and get more than just working on bikes, they get a certain amount of counseling too, we’ll talk with them about what is going on in their lives, and let them know what our program’s about," said Holguin.
The hours for the Bike Repair Weekend are Saturday and Sunday October 6th and 7th from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone who works four hours will get free food. The Bike Shack is located at 555 Main Street in Watsonville, behind Ramos Furniture. Check out their Facebook Page.
The Big Bike Sale will be Saturday, October 16 from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.!
***Due to the onslaught of comments following this article, the option to comment has been turned off. Some of them removed because of inappropriate language, I would like to highlight the fact that the Bike Shack and the Brown Berets are two separate entities that share the same building, and yes, they do help each other out, but they are not one in the same.
This matter was brought to my attention by members of the Bike Shack staff who were deeply offended by the comments suggesting their organization is malicious or criminal.
"Many believe in the mission of the Bike Shack. We give away many free bikes and parts to many people from all walks of life, some are youth, adults, homeless and field workers," said one staff member.
Thank you for reading.***