Working Bikes has grown tremendously since we were founded in 1999, which is reflected in our 2016 Annual Report. Learn more about our most groundbreaking year yet and the faces behind our organizational growth.
For those who love talking about Working Bikes, we have a volunteer opportunity for you! Working Bikes will be at the 2017 Chicago Volunteer Expo on Sunday, February 26, at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum from 10am-4pm. Available shifts are from 10am-1pm and 1pm-4pm. For more information or to sign up for a shift contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Two … read more
Working Bikes had our first international shipment of 2017! All of our great volunteers, staff, and board members showed up on a surprisingly warm Saturday, January 21st, and packed 481 bikes, which went to Africycle in Malawi. Stay tuned for our next international shipment!
Paul Fitzgerald, general manager at Working Bikes, was accepted as a fellow at the Civic Leadership Academy, a leadership development program at the University of Chicago. Paul was 1 of 30 people chosen out of 150 applicants. We’d like to congratulate Paul and wish him luck throughout his 6-month fellowship!
Working Bikes is always excited to see our staff members grow within their roles and take on new challenges. We are pleased to announce the following promotions, effective January 1, 2017. Please join us in wishing them well in their new positions! Service & Retail Manager Cesar Meza-Duron has assumed the role of managing our service department and … read more
In 2012, I was troubled when learning that the estimated number of orphans in the Kingdom of Lesotho had reached 100,000. I was a Peace Corps volunteer there from 1989 to 1992 and returned a couple times since then, seeing the growth of HIV/AIDS to the extent that it now afflicts an estimated 30% of the adult population. … read more
As we approach our year end, everyone at Working Bikes would like to extend a fond thank you to our staff, volunteers, donors, customers, clients, and friends. With a week to go, we’ve already donated more than 9,100 bikes to would-be cyclists from around the globe and in our own backyard. Celebrating 17 years of Working Bikes … read more
Since February 2014, David Nasca has been an integral part of our mechanic team. He has rebuilt countless bikes with an impossibly high standard of both form and function. While we’re sorry to see him go, we’re excited to hear about his new work with Crucial Detail! Thanks, David!
Chelsea Chen, a freelance graphic designer, never thought she’d ride a bike for the purpose of transportation. However, this changed after she moved from Orlando, Florida to Chicago in May. Chen started biking after she bought a black Retrospec bike and named it Paula. She found the experience fulfilling, being able to easily get around and explore … read more
Working Bikes has decked the halls with bikes this holiday season. Our store hours are Wednesdays & Thursdays from 12-7 p.m. and Fridays & Saturdays from 12-5 p.m. If you’re looking for a last minute Christmas gift for that bike lover in your life, or want to ring in 2017 with a new bike, we’ll be open Christmas … read more
Working Bikes picked up 40 abandoned bikes from Evanston Police Department property manager Susan Morgan on November 22. This is the third pickup from Evanston PD over the last 12 months. We are thrilled to get these bikes to carry out our mission of providing bikes to people as tools of empowerment locally and internationally. Some of … read more
We are members of our school’s Model United Nations, an international debate team, where we recently we won first place at the Naples Council on World Affairs for detailing a plan regarding the Syrian refugee crisis: purchasing and shipping bicycles to a refugee camp in Jordan currently housing over thirty thousand people. The plan would enable them … read more
There have been hundreds of bikes making their way to our warehouse these last few weeks. What do we do with them and where do they go? At least 428 of them are being shipped to CESTA, our global partner in El Salvador. The bikes we ship go towards their youth training program. Learn more about CESTA and … read more
Over the last few months, I’d been coordinating and planning my Eagle Scout leadership project. My proposal was to coordinate an awareness program for recycling used bikes of any kind and have a large-scale bike drive on the Northwest side. I wanted to do a project with Working Bikes and started discussing this with them in early 2016. My … read more
During one of Working Bikes’ volunteer sessions, I witnessed the collaborative work the young people of Englewood’s Ujamaa Community Land Trust completed with our ONE Summer Chicago youth. This gave me pause. The bicycles they worked on were discarded, and here they were being transformed with some lubricant, some education, and a lot of elbow grease. Ujamaa, known … read more
Chipego Bike Shop is getting a shipment of 471 bikes. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Working Bikes, our volunteers, and our partner Abercrombie & Ken Philanthropy, we’re able to get these bikes to Zambia.
Last week, many hardworking volunteers helped us pack in 576 bikes in a container headed towards Lesotho; 432 of those will go to deserving kids. It would take most of them one hour on foot just to get an education. Bikes will give them the ability to get to school safely and efficiently. Learn more about the amazing … read more
With the help of our fantastic volunteers and two volunteer groups from Northwestern University and DePaul University, we were able to ship 421 bikes to our global partner Africycle last week. Learn more about the amazing work they do in Malawi.
On Friday September 2nd, Working Bikes partnered with the Faith Community of Saint Sabina, Slow Roll Chicago and Inner City Muslim Action Network to provide bicycles for 108 families in Auburn-Gresham and participate in a ride/walk for peace in the community. This donation was part of Working Bikes’ larger “Cycle of Peace/Cycle of Power” program which provides … read more
A shipping container with 420 bikes inside is on its way to our global partner CESTA in El Salvador right now! This is all thanks to our amazing volunteers for taking time out of their day last week to help us load the container and help further our mission globally.
Range, a farm to table restaurants located in Lincoln Park, has chosen Working Bikes as their August Community Night nonprofit. That means we will receive 20% of the proceeds from sales on Thursday, August 18th from 4-10pm! Range started their community night series as a way to give back to local, like-minded charities and we’re thrilled to partner … read more
For most of the winter and spring, our amazing volunteers have been working tirelessly with one goal in mind: to repair kids bikes. On Saturday, June 25th all of the hard work paid off as we delivered and distributed 500 bikes to youth in the North Lawndale community. Families lined the sidewalks early in the morning at North Lawndale … read more
In order to better service our customers and community, we are excited to announce that beginning April 3rd we will be open on Sundays! Our full hours will be: Wednesday/Thursday: 12pm – 7pm Friday/Saturday/Sunday: 12pm – 5pm
We hope you can join us for our Annual Meeting on Thursday, February 4. At this meeting, we will elect our Board and Officers, and go through the 2015 Annual Report. The meeting will be held at the warehouse (2434 S Western) at 7:30pm and all are welcome.
The Working Bikes store will be closed on the following days this holiday season: Thursday, December 24 Friday, December 25 Friday, January 1 We will be open from 12 – 4 on Thursday, December 31. As always, please call us at 773-847-5440 with any questions! Happy Holidays!
We are excited to announce that beginning December 1st we are introducing two additional volunteer sessions to our programs! On Fridays from 12-5 we will be adding a general volunteer session that will be open to all. On Thursdays from 5-9, we will have a Women and Trans Night open to women and trans-gendered cyclists only, led by Maja Perez. Our … read more
Working Bikes will be closed on Thursday, November 26 in celebration of the holiday. We’ll be open on Friday, November 27 normal hours. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. May your day be merry and your bellies full!
We’d love to have your help on Wednesday, September 16 from 12-5pm as we load a container of bikes for the Village Bicycle Project in Ghana. The “shipping party” will be at our warehouse, 2434 S. Western Ave. Please wear close toed shoes and clothes you won’t mind getting a bit dirty! Thanks!
Going to Riot Fest this year? Bike to Douglas Park and park your ride with Working Bikes! FREE bike parking will run from 10:30am to 10:30pm. While you’re there, keep your bike happy with a small selection of repairs and maintenance services for sale. For more info about Riot Fest, click here.
he next Working Bikes General Meeting will be Thursday, August 6, 2015 from 6:30-9:00 pm at the warehouse, 2434 S. Western Ave. Anyone is welcome to attend the meeting, which you can read more about in our organizational bylaws. It’s a great chance to catch up on Working Bikes happenings and upcoming events. Our schedule for this month’s meeting … read more
We all know April showers bring May flowers, but did you know July flowers bring August… bikes? Local flower company Flowers for Dreams creates beautiful bouquets, delivers them by bike, and donates a quarter of their profits to a different Chicago charity each month. Since Flowers for Dreams launched in 2012 they have donated nearly $63,000 to local nonprofits. We … read more
We’re having a shipping party! To ring in July we’ll be loading a container of bikes, tools, and parts for our friends at CESTA in El Salvador, and we’d love to have your help! To volunteer, join us on Tuesday, June 30 from 5-9pm and/or Wednesday, July 1st from 12-5pm at the warehouse, 2434 S. Western Ave., … read more
On Monday, June 29 Working Bikes was featured on WTTW’s popular news show, Chicago Tonight. Here you can view the segment, New Lives for Old Bikes, and read a web story about one of our local donation bike recipients.
The Working Bikes shop will be closed Saturday, July 4th for the holiday. We will be open during our normal hours (12-5pm) on Friday, July 3rd.
Believe it or not, spring will soon be sprung. This year, get a jump on spring cleaning and motivate your friends, family, and neighbors by planning a Working Bikes bike drive! Hosting a bike drive is a great way to engage your community in recycling while making a very real impact on the lives of low income individuals around the world … read more
The next Working Bikes General Meeting will be Thursday, June 4, 2015 from 6:30-9:00 pm at the warehouse, 2434 S. Western Ave. Anyone is welcome to attend the meeting, which you can read more about in our organizational bylaws. It’s a great chance to catch up on Working Bikes happenings and upcoming events. Our schedule for this month’s … read more
If you missed the April 2015 General Meeting don’t fret! You can re-live the meeting in the comfort of your own home. Guest speakers Trevor Clarke and Marie Akerman (Board and staff members, respectively) gave a presentation on their trip to Central America this past February, where they visited several Working Bikes partners and potential partners. To view … read more
The journey of a Working Bikes bike is a circuitous one. It moves from blissful joyrides with its first owner to years of basement cobwebs, from a bike drive on a sunny day to the back of a pick up truck blustering towards our shop, from a cramped container to years of happy riding with its … read more
As we head into our 16th year, take a look back at the facts, figures and highlights of the year gone by in the Working Bikes 2014 Annual Report, viewable here. Learn about how we work, see a summary of incoming and outgoing donations, read about our community programs, and browse though some of the year’s most photogenic moments.
The Working Bikes store will be closed on Wednesday, December 31 and Thursday, January 1 in celebration of New Years. We will resume our normal store and volunteer hours on Friday, January 2. As always, please call us at 773-847-5440 with any questions!
On Saturday, December 13, 2014 we decked some bikes with Christmas lights, filled our front counter with bowls of mini candy canes, and put on our Santa hats for the Working Bikes Holiday Kids Bike Sale. This annual event aims to make kids bikes accessible holiday gifts for low income families. Over the course of a couple months our … read more
The next Working Bikes General Meeting will be Thursday, December 4 from 6:30-9:00 pm at the warehouse, 2434 S. Western Ave. Anyone is welcome to attend the meeting, which you can read more about in our organizational bylaws. Our schedule for this month’s meeting is as follows: 6:30-7:30 pm – Potluck Social – Please bring a dish, … read more
Working Bikes will be closed on Thursday, November 27 in celebration of the holiday. We’ll be open on Friday, November 28 normal hours. Come by for our day after Thanksgiving sale. Buy a bike, get a Working Bikes pint glass and custom socks! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. May your day be merry and your bellies full!
If you’ve visited the Working Bikes warehouse during the summer then you’ve probably seen the high rows of bikes that fill our shipping dock at the back of the building. When visitors enter the dock for the first time it’s not unusual to hear laughter and a mumbled “woah” at the sight of hundreds of bikes in towering stacks. But as … read more
We’ll be packing bikes for CESTA in El Salvador on Wednesday, September 3 and could use your help! Swing by the Working Bikes warehouse at 2434 S. Western Ave. in Chicago anytime between 12pm and 5pm to help load bikes into a 40 foot shipping container. You’ll be relaying bikes to the truck, removing pedals, and turning handlebars so we … read more
The next Working Bikes General Meeting will be Thursday, August 7 from 6:30-9:00 pm at the warehouse, 2434 S. Western Ave. Anyone is welcome to attend the meeting, which you can read more about in our organizational bylaws. Our schedule for this month’s meeting is as follows: 6:30-7:30 pm – Potluck Social – Please bring a dish, … read more
On Friday, June 27, 2014 Pat’s Pedaling Pack gathered in the St. Barnabas parking lot to begin their 100k trek to raise money for Pat Mac’s Pack and families faced with the challenges of pediatric brain cancer. With a Chicago Police Department escort, the group of 46 riders began their inaugural ride in the fog through the East Side of … read more
The Working Bikes shop will be closed on Friday, July 4 in recognition of the holiday. We will be open during normal business hours the rest of the week: Wednesday 12-7pm, Thursday 12-7pm, and Saturday 12-5pm.
One of Working Bikes’ pedal-powered bike machines is on display at Words We Live By, an art exhibit held at 5 locations across Chicago from June 6 through July 14. For more information about the exhibit or how our bike machine will be used in it, please contact White Box Studio Gallery via the event Facebook page.
This spring Working Bikes volunteers worked steadily to repair 500 kids bicycles in just a few months. Many of the bikes came from a stock pile of children’s bikes–Kiddy Bike Mountain, as it’s called–that usually grows on our dock all year, reaching the ceiling by the time we have our annual Holiday Kids Bike Sale in December. But this … read more
We are pleased to announce that the Working Bikes Board of Directors has named Phil Kaplan as its new President. Phil was selected at the March 13 meeting of the Board, after Working Bikes’ founder and former Board President Lee Ravenscroft stepped down. Phil, formerly the Board’s Vice President, has volunteered at Working Bikes for five years … read more
We had a shipping party last week! Newsletter subscribers, confused because you didn’t get an email? This party was on the road, in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. Working Bikes founder Lee Ravenscroft and board member Trevor Clarke made the two and a half hour trek from Chicago to Champaign to help The Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign load a shipping container on … read more
Working Bikes has joined the ranks of the Active Transportation Alliance, Friends of the Forest Preserve, Alliance for the Great Lakes, and the many other Illinois environmental leaders who are members of the Chicagoland Environmental Network. CEN is a resource for anyone interested in nature or conservation-related activities in northeastern Illinois and surrounding areas. CEN organizations are … read more
With 2014 well under way, take a look back at a year gone by in the Working Bikes 2013 Annual Report, which you can view here. Learn about our community programs, see a summary of incoming and outgoing donations, and browse through photos of some of the year’s highlights!
For the first three months of 2014, Chicago’s Whole Foods stores will feature Working Bikes in their One Dime at a Time charitable program. One Dime at a Time is designed to encourage customers to shop with reusable bags while strengthening communities. To participate, bring your own bag when you shop at Whole Foods in January, … read more
We’re excited to announce that on Sunday, December 15 and Monday, December 16, Working Bikes will receive 10% of all sales at Upton’s Breakroom as part of the cafe’s 12 Charity Days of December event. Upton’s Breakroom is a cafe in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood operated by Upton’s Naturals, a Chicago-based producer of cruelty-free vegan food, … read more
Tis the season of sledding, not cycling? We think not! On Saturday, December 14 from 12:00-5:00, parents can purchase bicycles for their kids for just $5-10 each. This sale aims to make kids bikes an accessible holiday gift for low income families. If you know of an organization whose members would benefit from this sale, please feel … read more
It’s the holiday season! Working Bikes will follow special hours around New Years and Christmas 2013-14: Tuesday, December 24 – No evening volunteer hours. Wednesday, December 25 – Store closed. Tuesday, December 31 – No evening volunteer hours. Wednesday, January 1 – Store closed.
On December 4 Working Bikes employee Marie Akerman was quoted in a news story released by Illinois PIRG, detailing the recent decline of driving and rise of alternative transportation use in Illinois. Dev Gowda writes, “A first-of-its-kind report by Illinois PIRG Education Fund shows reduced rates of car commuting in Illinois’ urbanized areas — including Chicago — and … read more
Happy Thanksgiving!! Working Bikes will be closed on Thursday, November 28 in celebration of the holiday. But, we will be open normal hours from 12-5pm on Friday, November 29. Come on in for an unusual Black Friday deal, one that promotes recycling, sustainable transportation, supports giving (bikes) to those in need all year round, and still lands … read more
Update: Visit Oak Park Education Foundation’s website for a rundown of Gadget Day and photos of participants at Working Bikes. Working Bikes will be hosting students enrolled in the Oak Park Education Foundation’s Gadget Day on Monday, January 20. The one-day camp is designed for students in grades K-8th who are out of school in observation of Martin Luther King … read more
On Saturday, August 31 we opened a new volunteer workspace on the first floor of the warehouse. Construction of the space was made possible by a generous donation from the Brandon Bernier memorial fund and the Peter J. McGlaughlin and Jane Kitchel McGlaughlin Family Fund. Brandon’s friends, family, and Working Bikes comrades were on hand to remember the … read more
Stop by Working Bikes on Saturday afternoons from August 24th through September 21st and you won’t just hear the usual clicking of derailleurs and swish of spinning wheels. DJs Itzi Nallah, Sound Culture, Dookieblaster, DJ Family Car, and DJ Limbs will add music to the usual cacophony, performing in our new series, Beats and Bikes. Visit the warehouse … read more
Hammers are knocking, wheels are whizzing, and sweat is dripping as students and teachers build a bike repair workshop at Iron Street Urban Farm this week. Workshop construction is just the beginning of a 6-week youth bike repair and ridership course, part of a collaboration between Working Bikes and another local humanitarian organization: Growing Power. Founded … read more
The Working Bikes shop will be closed on Thursday, July 4 in recognition of the holiday. We will be open during normal business hours the rest of the week: Wednesday 12-7pm, Friday 12-5pm, and Saturday 12-5pm.
The first floor and basement of the Working Bikes warehouse are swimming with bikes this week after the arrival of two full truckloads of bicycle donations on Tuesday, June 11 and Monday, June 17. The first truckload, containing 420 bikes, filled the Working Bikes loading dock and parts of the first floor. The second shipment, containing 255 bicycles … read more
Working Bikes manager Paul Fitzgerald and mechanic Aaron Brown had some unusual working conditions today. The pair performed basic repairs and tune ups on air for WBEZ’s show Worldview with Jerome McDonnell. McDonnell, a longtime bicycling advocate and Working Bikes fan, hosted guests from some of the top scoring workplaces in the Active Transportation Alliance’s annual Bike … read more
Working Bikes joined hundreds of “green” organizations this past weekend at Chicago’s annual Green Festival. The festival, held at Navy Pier on May 18th and 19th, featured speakers, performers, DIY workshops, a vegetarian food court, and a Green Marketplace with businesses selling natural and sustainable products. We spent the festival sharing ideas with local organizations, businesses, and … read more
On Saturday April 20, Manager Paul Fitzgerald appeared during the half time show of the Windy City Rollers Derby to receive a check for $500. The Fury, one of the home teams in the league, had selected Working Bikes to be their charity beneficiary for the 2013 season. As Fitzgerald graciously received the check and spoke about … read more
After having hosted many groups of volunteers from Groupon, they invited us to attend their Employee Engagement Expo on April 4. BK and Kumar spent the afternoon talking about the organization to their staff, and demonstrating good riding techniques in close quarters on a circus fixie. In the end, they managed to recruit at least one furry … read more
From: Michael Linke Dear friends of BEN Namibia, From our humble beginnings in 2005, BEN Namibia has grown to become one of Africa’s leading ‘bicycles for development’ organisations, touching tens of thousands of people’s lives with better access to education, healthcare and employment. Your support has been key to our success, and I’m writing to thank you … read more
An article “Vickroy: Bike co-op recycles hope, opportunity” by Donna Vickroy, with an accompanying photo gallery, in the Daily Southtown Star … Kenneth “Gunny” Gunn adjusts the brakes on an upside-down, elevated road bike. “I’ll put the chain guard back on and be done with this one,” Gunny said. As much as the 70-year-old former machinist understands … read more
Carly Evans discusses Working Bikes Working Bikes from mike brunette on Vimeo.
Working Bikes Cooperative rescues and restores bikes to give others a better life By Margaret Sheridan, Special to Tribune Newspapers March 24, 2013 In a ceiling-high, greasy tangle of wheels, fenders, handlebars and derailleurs, Amy Little sees hope. She’s the co-founder with her husband, Lee Ravenscroft, of Working Bikes Cooperative (2434 S. Western Ave., workingbikes.org), a … read more
Trevor, Amelia, Sujith and James recruit new volunteers at the Nature Museum