Help Out: Bike Shack Gears Up for Massive Bike Repair Weekend

Bike mechanics and anyone needing to fill community service hours are asked to help, in return for a free meal. Repair weekend will be followed by a major bike sale to help keep the program open.

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.***

Ahhhh Huaaa October 03, 2012 at 12:01 AM
No, being a Communist is not against the the law but knowing this does allow people to see them a truer light. I feel bad about the bikes and other things I did when I was a member but I'm trying to put that behind me and right some of my wrongs. The money from the sales of the bikes mostly did not go to the shack but rather to the purchase of bullhorns, police scanners, etc.
Johnny Ray October 03, 2012 at 12:16 AM
@Ahhhh Huaaaa, Ok, so I have looked at the WBB web site and I don't find anything there that would lead me to believe they are anything other than an organization created to help the community?? And BTW, what are you doing to help other than posting your silly comments? And what is your real name you silly person? REALLY? Ahhhh Huaaaa? How bout we go to one of the WBB meetings since you say you use to be a member so that you can prove to me that they are the bad people you make them out to be. Seriously, call me. I am always looking to learn something I don't know. 831-840-4186 (this is my REAL phone number BTW) :)
Ahhhh Huaaa October 03, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Oh, you want my name and address so you can harass my family and I, sorry my Momma did not rase me that stupid. Here is a little something that shows that you have a disregard for law and order http://brownberets.info/copmigra-watch. As far as going to a meeting, no, sorry, I no long hang around with criminals, I'm living a better life now.
Ahhhh Huaaa October 03, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Wrote a letter to the Police.
Ahhhh Huaaa October 03, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Good night Watsonville off to class so I can help make this a better world. Love to all of you.
Watzon McWats October 03, 2012 at 01:03 AM
One thing I will say is that the Brown Berets openly admit to accepting bikes which were confiscated from homeless people by the police. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Take a bike from the poorest of men and give it to someone just a hair less poor. We all have our opinions, but homeless people are in fact still people. I think the Bike Shack is freaking cool. Such a neat program, it's just too bad that it's anchored to a race based organization. I wish Watsonville had a bike co-op that wasn't named after someone's skin color. Santa Cruz has a bunch. I'm stoked to hear that PVHS has a bike repair class. That's super cool. I'm really enjoying the rise in cycling that Watsonville has been experiencing over the past year or so. All forms of it, lowriders, beach cruisers, fixies, roadies, etc. Great stuff. I love seeing people out and about enjoying the town. I also believe that it’s one silent, peaceful, and healthy way that we can fight crime. We can take back the streets simply by enjoying them. Crooks don't want to hang out around a bunch of standup citizens with cell phones. The more we get out and about, enjoying our town, roads, parks, and natural resources, the fewer places they'll have to hang out and loiter. Many people for instance avoid downtown at night, or the levee trail at any time of day because of the types of folks that hang out there, but they never stop to think that the reason those people hang out there is because the rest of us don’t.
Johnny Ray October 03, 2012 at 01:25 AM
@Ahhhh Huaaaa, seriously? Harass you and your family? Well, my momma also raised me better than that. I was just hoping to have an honest conversation with you regarding your take on the BB's and why you are always on them about anything they try and do to heip. But, it seems you have neither the character nor the balls to call me at my number (and no, I don't think your momma raised you stupid enough to harass me) to have an intelligent and honest conversation so I will leave you now in your narrow minded part of this big beautiful planet.........
Johnny Ray October 03, 2012 at 01:34 AM
@WatZon McWats, Now here's an idea. As an avid bike rider myself, how bout we try and organize a night bike ride through Watsonville as a way for all of us to get to know one another? A peaceful bike ride just for fun and a little exercise. Ahhhh Huaaaa, you are invited also :)
Lucas October 03, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Below is a quote from the Brown Beret website. It's at the end of the article written by "Ramiro". "Until then, fuck all racist immigration laws! We will not cease to pursue a better life for our seeds! We are the people, and we will never be stopped! This is our land, and it is our right to exist! C/S Ramiro Watsonville Autonomous Brown Beret Chapter MEXICAH TIAHUI!" http://brownberets.info/89
randy October 03, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Maria, I think you need to do some research before speaking. Do you know that they are getting the space rent free from Geo. Ow? Would you be so kind as to check if they have a business license. And while doing that, check their status as to Non -profit or ?? Also, if they are "selling" the bikes, then they would need a license to sell. Do they have that? Do they pay taxes on the items they sell? Please research this then come back with a more ACCURATE report. Just curious, are yuo a natiive to watsonville? Randy, just thinking it might be nice for an accurate report.
randy October 03, 2012 at 04:16 AM
"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." An ORDAINED minister cannot counsel anyone without proper qualifications. This should tell you about the BB. Theiir program is NOT above board. Bought the bikes from the police. Hummmm... let's ask the police. Another thing... there are several LEGIT places that teach and help kids get bikes. If the BB wants to do something for the community, why don't they bring in counselors that will help the illegals become LEGAL in the USA Randy... getting off the soap box tonight
Maria Grusauskas October 03, 2012 at 01:35 PM
@Randy, Although I wouldn't call this report inaccurate, I have no problem looking into the non profit status of the Bike Shack. However, i'm also working on many other stories and this is all information that is easy to find and you might be able to find it for yourself before I get to it. If so, please share.
David H. Perez October 03, 2012 at 03:12 PM
@Randy - I would also be interested to know what kind of "counseling" the Brown Berets offer these youth. Counseling, or indoctrination?
randy October 03, 2012 at 03:23 PM
AHHHH... there are many sites about the BB that have been REMOVED. Wonder why? http://watsonville.patch.com/articles/help-needed-brown-berets-gear-up-for-massive-bike-repair-weekend This site has a lot of the original information. Even one of the few sites that mention Luis Alejo as the original organizer. I still would like to see the reporter find tax status, licenses (for resale and other), etc. The BB also sells hoodies, etc. So what is their tax status.
Dvera Saxton October 03, 2012 at 04:34 PM
It's called mentoring: no one needs a license or degree to be a good mentor, friend, or ally.
Jennifer October 03, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I have been a part of the bike shack since it began. We never ever went into Santa Cruz and took bikes off the street and NEVER sold parts on EBay.... Ever!!!!!! Also the bike shack is a separate program from The brown berets..... The title of this article is misleading. It is the Bike Shack doing this project , fix it day And sale..... Some berets do help but it is not the same program. They began separately and remain separate. The warehouse originally and still belongs to primarily the Bike Shack program . The Brown Berets use the space for meeting and some events.... But again , the two are separate. Thank you for reading .
Sep Susunaga October 03, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Haters gonna hate. Is this seriously all you do all day? How pathetic is your life that you feel the need to hate on every single positive thing going on in Watsonville. If you're so concerned with the bike sale and berets volunteering, why don't YOU come out and help too? Unless you're too afraid we might "indoctrinate you".
Rebecca Tait October 03, 2012 at 05:55 PM
I agree with Sep. So much hatred is hard to even read.
randy October 03, 2012 at 06:12 PM
SEP.. I prefer to support things that promote our society as it is not as some bunch of people that are trying o make the world fit their desires instead of being part of what is. I would volunteer to help gang members before I help the brown berets.. OOPS.. the brown berets are considered a gang? I don't have hate, I have love for my country, for my flag, for the military. Can a brown beret say that and MEAN it? Surprised to see a "WATSONVILLE BROWN BERET": post since it is part of the code off conduct to NOT discuss the brown beret and their practices out side of the meeting. Randy.. stating my opinion.
randy October 03, 2012 at 06:16 PM
SEP and Rebecca... if you don't like it then just skip and pass on by. Easy solution. Randy,
Cathy P. October 03, 2012 at 06:50 PM
"Do you know if it were not for the American communist party we would not have a weekend." ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It was American Labor Unions who gave us weekends, as well as an 8-hour work day, sick leave, paid vacation, child labor laws, social security, minimum wage, etc. And Marx wasn't a communist, he was a socialist. Just saying...
DHL October 03, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Good for you Randy. These kids do get themselves worked up, don't they?
DHL October 03, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Wats BB.....what have you been a smoken?
Eric Hernandez October 03, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Randy, Ahhhh Huaaa, and David, I am sad to see that such hatred exists inside your hearts. The angle at which you approach the WBB organization reflects colonial and neoliberalist views that have for centuries subjugated and marginalized indigenous peoples and undocumented people of color in the United States. As a 10 year US Navy veteran, a UCSC student of anthropology, and someone who has witnessed first hand the great community work of the Watsonville Brown Berets, I am appalled at your elitist perspective of community empowering work. I do not live in Watsonville, but I was raised in Echo Park (Los Angeles) and understand the marginalization that exists for the farming communities, clothing manufacturers (often sweatshop workers), and other under represented peoples all over California. This marginalization continues today and as a result we find high levels of poverty and systematic exploitation of these people. This leads to higher crime rates, higher rates of drug and gang activity, lower education success and in turn higher rates of incarceration. What you seem to fail to understand is that organizations that focus on community organizing, youth empowerment, and rehabilitation and reincorporation help in creating a better community, by using a Marxist philosophy that aims to help the community as a whole rather than helping a select few.
Eric Hernandez October 03, 2012 at 07:26 PM
It seems to me that your disdain for the Watsonville Brown Beret's does not allow you to see the concern they have for the future generations and the positive work they do for many people in the community.
DHL October 03, 2012 at 07:28 PM
"using a Marxist philosophy ".
DHL October 03, 2012 at 07:34 PM
It would seem that in real world encounters with the Marxist Brown Berets that their "concern" is to spread a Anti-white/Anti-Black form of Communism among the impressionable young people of Watsonville. Like many of the good people that live in the Pajaro Valley I find this to be most disturbing as their goal is not to unite all peoples as they claim but rather to create a Latino-master regime. Love to all that love they neighbor.
DHL October 03, 2012 at 07:38 PM
As Marxists they believe that "religion is the opiuit of the people", so, being atheist's, they do not believe in the concept of God or the Devil.
randy October 03, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Ahhh Hernandez.. are you related to Felipe? Anyway, I am entitled to MY opinion and it is one that I strongly will stick to. I have visited the OLD sites that was associated with L. Alejo. As far as I am concerned, this is a gang that is very dangerous. You say you are a veteran. Did you FIGHT for the flag? If so, how can you support a militant group that does not support the flag? How can you support a group that is against the military? Double talk to me. Also, would you answer this simple question. What is it that BB national are not in accord with the local BB? Randy just curious OH, call it hate, anger or what. I defend this country and believe the BB does not. They support a CAUSE.
Eric Hernandez October 03, 2012 at 07:44 PM
DHL, I find it interesting that one key word discredits the good work people do. You who keep saying you're so proud to be American are the most individualistic and self centered of anyone I've met. And you say the BB's are a virus. Side note: Take Back Watsonville, much like Take Back Santa Cruz is an organization that is tailored to benefit people in the community who have $$. Prove me wrong by stating how you will help at risk youth and the poorest of the community. Tell me what you plan on doing to uplift the under represented people of Watsonville and how you will reduce the amount of drugs on the streets and gang activity, I'm really curious.


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