Ohio City Bicycle Co-op

Bike co-op finances: Thanks for your help!

Written by Joshua Goran
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 16:54

Q: How’s the co-op doing? A: Much better, thank you!

OCBC is winding up 2014 with some great news – from several fronts -- about our prospects for a secure, sustainable financial future filled with wide-reaching programs to “help people use bikes.”

End-of-Season campaign raised $5,002!

First, it is my pleasure to thanks the 35 of you who donated to our End-of-Season campaign. We surpassed our goal of $5,000 (by $2!) at the Ghost Ride!, just before OCBC Board President Krissie Wells drew tickets for the incentive prizes: Cheryl Teare won the Scapegoat Cycleworks frameset, and Jim Kelley the OCBC membership. Thanks again to all who contributed!

Foundation funding pledged for Strategic Planning process in early 2015

OCBC has, since its inception, had many 'irons in the fire': our mission to “help people use bikes” is broad, and has really only been limited by our policy of not “lobbying” general advocacy positions for bike facilities or government policies. While we have urged you to speak up about infrastructure investments in our immediate neighborhood – like the Innerbelt or Columbus Rd. Bridges – we are happy that our advocacy partners at Bike Cleveland are doing that important work (and happy to help them with the education pieces – see the Social Ride and Central on Bikes items, below).

But, we still need to think carefully about where we focus our work most effectively, so we’re pleased to have significant support from the George Gund Foundation for a formal Strategic Planning process, to conduct interviews and hire a consultant to facilitate our work to guide the co-op’s future growth.

If you are interested in providing your input – as a member, volunteer, bike customer, or educational programming client (or just an interested observer) – please feel free to email us at info@ohiocitycycles.org and we’ll put you on the list to contact for an “external scan” interview in the first few months of 2015.

Prospective Grant for Social Ride includes expert “tour guides” and Bike Cleveland advocacy education

Our application been recommended for a grant from the Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Commission to expand the scope of our Social Ride in 2015 to include participation by the Museum of Contemporary Art and Bike Cleveland. Stay tuned to learn how the County Council feels about bike cultural tourism!

Central on Bikes collaboration with Bike Cleveland reaches hundreds in need of basic transportation

As part of the HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) initiative of Sisters of Charity and St. Vincent Hospital, OCBC and the Cleveland Metroparks Youth Outdoors program partnered with Bike Cleveland to present an Earn a Bike summer camp, two Fixathons, a school program and other outreach activities. The goal is to seed and support community bike projects in neighborhoods that are "bike-repair deserts."  We look forward hopefully to expansion of this program in 2015, and creation of a locally-led bike program in Central!

$30,000 grant from Coca Cola to expand Earn A Bike program

Still the core of OCBC’s work, our Earn a Bike program, designed to provide children a sense of investment in a safe, reliable bike along with safe cycling education – and a new helmet and lock – has been funded by grants in some years, but not consistently. When it’s not, we’ve covered program expenses from our general operating budget (read: bike sales, and your donations!).

So, we are extremely pleased to announce that the Coca-Cola Foundation had generously committed to fund a major expansion of this program in 2015! Please join us to express our gratitude when their representatives join us for the formal announcement of this grant in a presentation (of, yes, one of those giant checks!) at the OCBC Winter Expo, below.

Winter Expo Friday, Dec. 5th: food, drink, fashion, camaraderie, Holiday gifts and bike education

Here’s a chance to support the co-op’s “off-season” operations – while you enter raffles on great prizes, get great deals on winter bikes and gear, learn some winter cycling tips and tricks – and enjoy a fine party to boot!

Besides a lavish buffet and beverages from local breweries, including our new neighbors Brick and Barrel (and plenty of Coca Cola products!), our 2nd annual Winter Expo will feature local shops showing off and selling the latest new winter clothes, tires, lights, etc.; a Basket Raffle of great prizes from those shops and other local merchants, plus unique items from the co-op’s Art Dept. and “fancy parts" collection; DIY demos on tire-studding and other tech stuff; and an on-bike, winter-cycling fashion show!

There is no door-charge for this event, but it is our winter fundraiser, so we hope you’ll choose to spend some of your holiday gift budget (or your OCBC shop credits, for OCBC items) to support our work. It’s an open-house format, so stop in anytime -- doors open at 6pm, at 7pm we’ll start the fashion show and a brief program of co-op news (including that giant-check presentation from the generous folks at Coca Cola), the basket raffle will be held at 9pm (but you need not be present to win), and we’ll hang out ‘til everyone goes home (so we can be back at 10am Saturday for the Social Ride to the A Christmas Story house!). We hope to see you there—think snow; for some bike-ski and fat-bike demos!

(Note: if you’d like some to get some on-the-road Winter Traffic Skills, our ride this Sat. still has a few spots open – and is free for OCBC members, or if you RSVP for the Cranksgiving Ride on Sat. 11/22)

All are welcome at OCBC members’ Annual Meeting Tuesday, Dec. 16th, 6pm

You must be a current member as of 11/25 to vote for Board of Directors candidates – though there is no membership requirement to be elected to the Board! Board of Directors Nominations are due by Dec. 15th.

Board members are elected by the membership at our Annual Members' meeting in December, and serve for a 1 year term beginning Jan. 19 (our first scheduled Board meeting of 2015.

9 to 15 Board of Director nominees will be voted into office

Annual report DRAFT will be presented

Policy proposals will be outlined and entertained

Election of Board candidates

Buffet dinner will be served

Members only sale will be held.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 11 November 2014 18:04 )

2014 End-of-Season Campaign

Written by Joshua Goran
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 00:00

Thanks to all who helped us meet our goal!

Our End-of-Season Campaign met its goal of $5000 -- with $2 to spare! Thanks to everyone who contributed, including our generous Ghost Ride! attendees who made a flurry of last-minute donations to push us over the goal!

Special thanks to our 1st-term Board President Krissie Wells, who kept us all on track in this campaign, and got the final wheel rolling at the Ghost Ride! with a $50 bill (in addition to her previous donation) on the dinner table to inspire our fellow diners to help get us over the top!

Krissie was then properly blindfolded, and drew these winning tickets for our incentive premiums:

Winners of the Campaign drawings:

Scapegoat Cycleworks custom frameset: Cheryl Teare

OCBC Membership: Jim Kelley

Thanks again to Carmen Gambino of Scapegoat Cycleworks, The Sylvia Bingham Fund -- which generously matched $1500 of donations to advance bike safety education, to all of our new and repeat donors, and to everyone who came on the Ghost Ride!.

We hope to see everyone for our December 5 Winter Expo!

Even if you missed the drawing, it is never too late to donate!

Donate here!


You may have seen the giant “thermometer” by the classroom stairs gauging our donations from individuals for the year. This $7500 represents less than 5% of our annual budget -- for most non-profits it would be expected to be much more.

We strive for a very diverse array of funding sources, including mission-related earned income from bike sales and service, to fees for educational programs and even valet bike parking service. But they must also include traditional non-profit sources like grants, memberships, and donations.

So we are beginning this end-of-the-"season" appeal for donations, to help put us on a sound financial footing for 2015.

I hope you will consider making a donation to OCBC in these last weeks of the season --  please help us keep building on the great foundation we have established this year!

2014 End-of-Season Campaign Update

First, we would like to thank everyone who has generously responded to this appeal -- your prompt response sent a very heartening message that we must be doing something right. Thank you for both your financial and moral support!

Second, because of the two exciting donations described below, we are extending the closing date for this campaign until Nov. 1st (which is really the end of our "season" anyway), to coincide with the 12th annual Ghost Ride!, our costumed night ride and Halloween party.

Finally, we are pleased to announce two wonderful offers as part of this campaign:

  • Steve and Francoise Bingham have generously offered to match up to $1500 donated to this campaign, through the fund they created to support bike safety education in memory of their daughter Sylvia, after she was killed by an illegally-turning truck while riding to her job as a Vista volunteer here 5 years ago. Their resolve that Sylvia's death not be in vain is an inspiration. We resolve to use their donation resourcefully toward eliminating avoidable bike traffic fatalities here and everywhere, by refining and sharing our Traffic Skills training materials for cyclists and motorists.
  • OCBC trustee Carmen Gambino of Scapegoat Cycleworks has offered a custom-built frame & fork as incentive for folks to donate at least $100.  For every $100 donated, a ticket (or tickets!) with the donor's name will be entered in a drawing for this custom-fitted frameset, hand-built by Carmen.
  • Additionally, every donation of any amount, will be entered to win an OCBC Membership! Both incentives will be awarded at a drawing held at 8pm during our end-of-season Ghost Ride! on Saturday, November 1st, 2014.

Thanks to all for the valuable support -- and for passing the word about these great offers!


Jim Sheehan,

OCBC director


Last Updated ( Monday, 10 November 2014 18:15 )

Winter Expo

Written by Jim Sheehan
Monday, 28 October 2013 16:21

Save the date! Friday, December 5th 2014, 6-10pm

Last Winter we combined our 3rd annual Bike-art Show with our 9th annual Winter Cycling Symposium: the result of this mash-up was Cleveland’s first on-bike runway fashion show.  Yes, that meant models on bikes riding around inside the shop. Lots of folks showed up and had a great time, so we are doing it again.

 The back story:

Our Bike-art show was a chance for folks to make art and crafts from the tons of scrap we generate each year; or conventional artwork in any medium, as long as it has a bicycle theme, or elements, or some loose artistic association.  The idea is to sell the stuff to raise some money for the co-op, and some for the artists.

Our Winter Cycling Symposium has always been an informal information exchange of winter riding tips and tricks – but since those discussions always seemed to get stuck on the topic of clothing, accessories, and other gear, we thought we should give folks a chance to peruse, use, and purchase some of that stuff.  Also, there are a bunch of OCBC members and friends already making custom bike gear, and we figured it would look better modeled on bikes rather than just hanging on the wall.

So we expanded our definition of “art” to include, “anything you can use on a bike,” and the definition of “Symposium” to include, “fashion show.” Keeping with tradition though, “winter” still means, “cold weather” and “bike” still means, “thing with pedals.”

Here’s how it works:

Beginning at 6pm with a light buffet dinner (beer and wine available for a modest donation), everyone will have a chance to look over the basket raffle items and visit tables with some DIY demos and our friends from local bike shops with cool (or warm!) winter-cycling products they'll be offering for sale. Our advocacy partners from Bike Cleveland will be on hand as well, with information on bike infrastructure projects, and their very fashionable new T-shirts for sale.

At 7pm the runway show will begin, with models modeling auction items and some select products from local bike shops.

The basket raffle will close at 9pm. Winners need not be present

If there is snow, we'll have Bike Skis and studded snow tires to try out, and if not we'll play a game of foot-down or something.  There will be another chance to demo winter gear on the next morning's Social Ride to the Christmas Story House -- and do some caroling!

This event is free to attend, but it is a fundraiser for the co-op, so please bring some cash (or checks or card) to bid on what promises to be an eclectic collection of distinctive, innovative winter cycling gear and great gift prizes. Donations for dinner, and beer and wine, are also appreciated.  All proceeds will benefit the bike co-op’s educational mission to “help people use bikes.” 

For more details email Info@OhioCityCycles.org 

Think Snow!

Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 November 2014 12:30 )
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