OCBC is a non-profit, volunteer-driven cooperative bicycle education center offering riding and repair classes; refurbished used bikes for sale or rent; hands-on learning and shop credit for volunteering; and public shop use, advice, and assistance.
Mission and purpose
The Ohio City Bicycle Co-op was founded with bicycle education as its primary activity, with the purpose of increasing bicycle use, as reflected in its incorporation filing:
“The mission of the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op (OCBC) is to promote the use of bicycles in greater Cleveland and engage area youth and adults in cycling activities that foster independence, resourcefulness, and good health. The OCBC works to accomplish this by offering safe cycling and bike repair education, Earn A Bike programs, and a consumer’s cooperative bike shop; by providing dependable used bikes and accessories; and by producing cycling events and tours that impart skills while encouraging riding for fun, fitness and practical transportation.”
In 2006 the OCBC trustees approved this “working mission statement” to describe what we do:
Help people use bicycles.
Beginning in 2001 with two organizers and a handful of committed volunteers, OCBC has grown from a small program conducting Earn A Bike classes into a robust resource for bike education in the Cleveland community. Read more about our history.
Non-discrimination and safer spaces policies
Here is our official non-discrimination policy:
We are pleased that the OCBC is a resource valued by many different kinds of people, and a place where all can feel comfortable.
The Ohio City Bicycle Co-op does not discriminate against anyone for any reason. This includes, but is not limited to, age, gender, ethnicity, disability of any kind, religion, sexual orientation or preference, social or economic status, organizational affiliations or political inclination, transportation preferences, or choice of drivetrain.
Code of Conduct/Safer Spaces Policy
OCBC is a bustling, community space, with people from all paths of life volunteering, shopping, and working on their own bikes. So everyone has a positive, worthwhile experience, we ask everyone to follow our most basic rules, “The three Rs”:
● Respect (treating others with decency)
● Resourcefulness (not wasting anything, including time)
● Reciprocity (getting out what you put in).
Everyone entering the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op is asked to be aware of their language and behavior, and how it might affect others. We do not permit any physical or verbal violence; touching or propositioning people without their consent; expressions of intolerance of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs; or oppressive or degrading language or behavior.
Please help us make the most of all the resources we have by reducing waste, recycling, and making volunteering at OCBC productive for the co-op — and rewarding for volunteers with educational tasks and shop credits for their time. Please put tools and materials where they belong, learn and follow our procedures, and ask first if you are unsure of anything you do.
Please work safely and carefully when volunteering or using the shop to work on your own bike, use the proper tool for each job, wear appropriate clothes and safety gear, and ask first if you are unsure of anything you do.
Please donate money if you are able for technical staff assistance and other valuable resources like break-room food and staff labor when using the shop for personal use. Shop credits are reciprocity for volunteers’ help — they do not pay our bills!
Please keep these specific guidelines in mind when volunteering, using the shop, or visiting the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op:
● Respect everyone’s physical and emotional boundaries. Listen and change your behavior if someone tells you that you are making them uncomfortable.
● Refrain from using inappropriate language, or discussing topics that might be triggering (e.g. sexual abuse, sexual experiences, physical violence, or encounters with the police). Be responsible for your own actions, and aware that their effect on others may not match your intentions.
● Respect everyone’s stated name and preferred pronouns. Do not assume anyone’s gender identity, sexual preference, survivor status, economic status, background, health, politics, religion, etc.
● Respect people’s opinions, beliefs, experiences and differing points of view.
● OCBC is not a secure space. Safeguard your valuables as in any public place. Do not bring any illicit or banned materials into it.
● We have many visitors, some of whom may be disabled, elderly, small children, or pets. Work safely, and keep work areas free of hazards.
● Be proactive for your own safe workspace: ALWAYS use appropriate eye, ear, breathing, and body protections, and ensure those working around you respect your physical safety (“Would you use that power saw outside, please?”).
● Do not wear open-toe shoes, sandals or flip flops; or loose fitting clothing or hairstyles that could tangle in moving parts.
● Log in to work on your own bike; do not work on your bike anywhere except in the shop. Make an appointment if you need assistance.
● Respect our sobriety policy. During normal open hours, anyone under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other intoxicants will be asked to leave.
By entering the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op, and/or participating in its activities, you agree to abide by these guidelines.
We realize that, within the broad range of these guidelines, there will be grey areas based on personal perceptions and different understandings of basic courtesy. We hope that, in uncertain or difficult situations, everyone will make a sincere effort to be respectful by “treating anyone as you would wish to be treated if you were in their place.” This is a higher standard than “… as you would want to be treated,” as it asks you to consider things you may have little knowledge of, and different reactions to what may seem to you like reasonable conversation.
If you are in a difficult situation with someone else at OCBC, as long as there is no danger of physical harm, please consider taking the time to de-escalate the situation, and then defer to staff for mediation or other action if needed. If that is not possible, disengage immediately and do not delay speaking with a staff member.
If you experience or witness any behavior that you feel crosses these boundaries or makes you feel uncomfortable, PLEASE SPEAK UP. Find a staff member or a key volunteer and let them know. We are here to ensure that EVERYONE can use this space without fear of oppression or physical and/or emotional danger.
Here is how we will respond to anyone identified by staff to be flouting this safer space policy, misusing the co-op’s resources, or failing to contribute positively while volunteering:
● As soon as we are aware of the situation we will tell them what was wrong, and the right thing to do. We will then make a confidential, written record of that conversation, and give them a copy of it.
● If they fail to follow these principles a second time we will do the same things again, but talk about it privately with them with another staff member or Key Volunteer present, try to agree on a solution, and, together, document this second warning and proposed solution.
● On the third time we will ask them to leave immediately and not return.
● Anyone who is violent, verbally abusive, purposefully offensive, or caught stealing will simply be asked to leave immediately and not return.
This policy has been adopted so everyone may benefit from the co-op’s resources, without hindering anyone else from doing so.