Co-op nurtures Tampa bike community
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05/07/08
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

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The second meeting of the Tampa Bike Co-op was held Monday at Transitions Art gallery on Columbus Avenue E. Green gearheads with a passion for cycling came together to share skills, tools and parts.

Dave Shapango is a bike courier in downtown Tampa. He dreamt of a cooperative that brought together experienced cyclists with those who wanted more experience.

Lilly Richardson is a co-founder of the co-op. She first started hanging out at Transitions Gallery with her band four years ago. She talked with Matt Welch who runs Transitions about using the gallery space on Mondays when there were no shows.

Liz Miller, a Tampa high school student, heard about the bike co-op from friends at the Skate Park of Tampa, which is next door to Transitions. She came out to learn how to maintain her new ride and see if a bike community is building locally.

The first seminar on tightening spokes was led by Joe Donoughue. Joe is Dave’s roommate and a co-founder of the co-op. Thirty or so mostly 20-somethings watched closely as simple tricks were handed out for free.

Dave was up next, highlighting safety tips that seem obvious, but when taken seriously, can mean the difference between a ride to work or a ride to the hospital.

Parts and know-how are supplied to members on a donation basis. The idea is a self-sustaining growing co-op that builds bikes and community – with vegetarian potluck as a bonus.

For more information visit the Tampa Bike Co-op website at TampaBikeCo-op.Wordpress.com.

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