Ohio City Bicycle Co-op

Marmots' Meander 2016

Written by Jim Sheehan
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 22:07

The 14th Annual Marmots' Meander will replace our Social ride this month and go on a bit later than noon so everyone has time to try out the fat bikes, Bike-Skis, studded snow tires, and various sliding devices we'll be taking out to our neighborhood sledding hill.

 On January 30th, we'll meet at OCBC after 11am; the ride leaves around 12pm.  Lunch* will be back at OCBC from 1pm to 3pm.  This event is free (donations appreciated!), but please register here so we can plan for food and ride route leaders.

For a change this year we'll ride through Ohio City to the Edgewater Park sledding hill; stay for sledding and ski-biking. On the way back we'll be stopping at HEDGE Gallery at 78th Street Studios as part of FANDOM 216The route is about 7 mi. total**.

Helmets are required (loaners available), and mountain bikes (or those new fat bikes!) are recommended (a limited number are available for rent, or for loan to members who clean and tune them up afterwards). Bring any sleds, skis or snowboards you can carry (some loaners will be provided, and transported). Try out the newest Ski-Bike -- a ski that straps onto any bike's front tire. Studded snow tires from OCBC's library are also available to try out.  Bike-washing equipment and shop stands for drying and re-lubing will be available after the ride.

If there is snow (or just wet, salty roads) and you don’t want to crud up your nice bike, you can also reserve a rental bike – ready to accept a bike-ski, if you are feeling adventurous -- just email info@ohiocitycycles.org.

If there is no snow we'll just ride on, following the Lakefront Bikeway west.

 Snow or no snow: you can still join the fun at the co-op after 1pm for chili, camaraderie, and maybe even a bike-ski test ride, snow permitting.

*Hot Cider and Cocoa will be provided at the sledding hill; lunch is vegan Chili with meat and dairy on the side. Potluck side dishes and your own beverages are welcome!

** Some members will be carrying tools along, but this is an unsupported ride. Bring a lock if your bike will be unattended.

This event is free and open to all, but of course donations are always appreciated to pay for food and heat, and to help fund our year-round bicycle education work.  Please register on our events registration page.

See pictures from last year's ride here!

Last Updated ( Friday, 04 November 2016 06:03 )

Strategic Plan Executive Summary

Written by Jim Sheehan
Thursday, 05 November 2015 16:31

Ohio City Bicycle Co-op 2015 Strategic Plan

Executive Summary



The original strategy that inspired OCBC’s formation grew from a “service project” of Cleveland’s first bike advocacy organization in the 1990’s.  In a cycling culture dominated by a handful of suburban clubs, whose members seemed solely focused on recreational cycling and leery of joining political battles in an entrenched car culture, this fledgling group settled on a strategy that was then gaining national attention; an Earn A Bike program for disadvantaged kids.  The goal was to involve seasoned cyclists directly in teaching bicycle “literacy” skills to those who could benefit most – while building a broader constituency for the long haul.

That effort was realized in 1996 with three volunteers leading a summer-long program for an East Cleveland youth group, where 30 teens learned bike mechanics by helping to repair used bikes which they earned (with new locks and helmets) by practicing safe-cycling in a series of neighborhood rides.

In 2000, these three joined with a dozen or so others to form a more sustainable organization, listing a host of educational models from elsewhere that would satisfy their working goal to “help people use bikes” – without straying into the traditional roles of an “advocacy” group. With the Earn A Bike program at its core, over the next several years the co-op incorporated, earned its 501c3 status, and grew “organically” (that is, with dedicated volunteers and donors, but a tiny budget and no professional management) into a wide array of empty market niches with earned-income potential, but with little outside funding.

In 2010 OCBC moved from a (literal) tin shack into a large, efficient building with loading docks, ample storage, and a stable lease. This was a huge stretch, but a much-needed investment to capitalize on the many hundreds of bikes and thousands of volunteer hours now being donated each year.  To make the most of this new asset – and our work with a burgeoning number of community groups, including our new advocacy partners at Bike Cleveland – we recognized that Cleveland’s rapidly changing cycling culture signaled the time had finally come to focus our work closely on what we do best; and how to do it bigger, better, and truly sustainably, for maximum impact in the near term as well as over the long haul.

Thanks to the George Gund Foundation’s funding of a very perceptive consultant, and a great deal of work by our small staff and highly engaged Board of Directors, this Strategic Plan represents several months of critical attention to every aspect of OCBC’s work; where our greatest value for the community lies; and the new – and welcome – demographic and cultural changes affecting the growing markets in which we operate.

We have already begun implementing many of the recommendations found here, in a cascade of changes that promise real efficiencies: expanding shop-use fully to the general public facilitated selling some bikes “as-is,” which added impetus to make repair classes more hands-on, requiring updated volunteer and shop-use training documentation, and necessitating closer attention to internal shop work-flow.  

All of these changes were facilitated by the major, transformative decision to no longer identify the co-op as a “membership organization.” We are an open, community resource; welcoming to anyone who observes our principles of Respect, Resourcefulness, and Reciprocity; and serving the public with a full range of educational programs and services to “help people use bikes.”

 Strategies, 2015 - 2017:

1.       Evaluate, focus, strengthen, develop, and grow our education programs.

2.       Prioritize, refine, and concentrate our focus on refurbishing bicycles.

3.       Recruit, educate, retain and develop volunteers in all our programs.

4.       Increase awareness and support for OCBC, its mission, and its programs.

5.       Build an organizational structure with excellent management and governance.


Action Plans will be developed annually by Committees and staff, and approved with the annual budget, to guide and measure our work.


Project Selection Criteria

The range of projects that OCBC has carried out in the past is significant. However, our limited resources will require prioritization of activities, guided by these criteria:


·         Mission Relevance - All projects will accomplish the goals of our mission statement and strategic plan.

·         Expertise - OCBC can do this better than anyone else in the area.

·         Community Need - There is a clear community need that we can address.

·         Financial Viability - The community is willing to financially support the project.



The membership program has caused confusion and created the false perception of exclusivity. With careful consideration, it was decided to eliminate this program.  The board will develop a donor and volunteer “thank you” program to retain some of the benefits of membership. Current membership benefits will be phased out over 2015.


Committee Structure

Executive Committee (Four officers chaired by the President.)

·         Acts on behalf of the board as authorized between meetings

·         Serves as Personnel and Finance Committee

·         Manages process to complete an annual budget, work plan, dashboard

·         Conducts the annual audit/provides regular budget monitoring/reports to Board


Governance Committee (Chaired by the Vice President.)

·         Manages the nominating process

·         Conducts new board member recruitment and orientation

·         Ensures that all governing documents are kept current

·         Ensures Board demonstrates leadership with 100% contributing/soliciting


Education Committee

·         Ensures appropriate curriculum and class schedule


Refurbishing Committee

·         Oversees shop use and work-flow management of donated bikes and other materials


Volunteer/Community Engagement Committee

·         Builds and manages the Volunteer Corps and the Key Volunteer group

·         Organizes social and community events


Resource Development Committee

·         Maintains and implements the Marketing Plan

·         Oversees the Annual Report, Newsletter and Website

·         Maintains and implements the Development Plan

·         Coordinates and supports database development

Mission Statement


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.”  (as filed in 2003 Articles of Incorporation)



Working Mission Statement:  Help people use bicycles.


This means:


We offer and impart the knowledge, provide the space, tools, and parts, and create a safe atmosphere;


for anyone, from any background, in our facility and elsewhere with community partners;


to ride, maintain, repair, and equip for transportation, recreation, fitness, work, and other purposes;


any human-powered vehicle that can be made to operate safely for its intended purpose.


Guiding Principles



·         welcoming, inclusive, non-judgmental, tolerant of all diversity

·         non-violent, calm, easy-going, respectable,

·         transparent, simple, understandable

·         honest, fair, principled, responsible



·         efficient, hard-working, effective,

·         safe, nurturing, rewarding

·         organized, deliberate, adaptable

·         mindful of time constraints

·         minimizing waste of materials and other resources

·         using tools correctly, therefore safely and efficiently



·         results-oriented, evidence-based, scientific

·         confident, appreciative, generous, supportive, flexible

·         helpful, sharing, active, responsive

·         pricing and compensating fairly


Proposed Budget










Income from Services






Shop Income














Total Income






Total COGS






































OCBC Board of Directors

(as of plan adoption, 20 July, 02015)

*Krissie Wells – President

*Michael Hudecek – Vice President

*Marty Vanderkaar – Treasurer

Ashley Shaw - Secretary

Keely Andrews

*Jill Davis

*Matt Libbey

*John Mikolich

John McGovern

David Rivera

*Peggy Sands

*Kath Sonnhalter

Phil Teare 


*Jim Sheehan – Executive Director

*Joshua Goran – Administrator

Al Baron - Mechanic

Erin Costello – Volunteer Coordinator

(* members of the Strategic Planning Task Force)

Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 May 2016 12:05 )

2015 Winter Expo

Written by Eric Gearhart
Monday, 28 September 2015 09:42

The annual OCBC Winter Expo is right around the corner! December 11th from 6:00-10:00 PM, enjoy appetizers along with locally brewed beer while shopping for all your winter bike needs.  There will be a fashion show to display winter cycling clothing that will help you not only survive the winter on the road but enjoy it. We'll have beer supplied by Brick and Barrel, our neighbors on Columbus Rd. Food is being provided by Le Petit Triangle, Toast, Cha, Luxe, and Flying Fig. Music, raffles, and DIY demonstrations are all also on the agenda.  More information will be available in the coming weeks so be sure to keep an eye on our weekly newsletters (Click here to subscribe) and the news section of the website. If you have any questions feel free to contact us by email (info@ohiocitycycles.org) or phone (216-830-2667). We have provided our flyer below if you would like to share it with friends or family that  might be interested.

Raffle prizes have been coming in from local businesses and we are so thankful to them for their generoisty. There's a great opportunity to win some really phenomenal stuff at the Expo!

Some of our awesome donors are: Puma Yoga, Tea House Noodles, Pure & Supreme Cuisine, Bike Ohio, Platform Beer Co., lucy's sweet surrender bakery, Cleveland Tea Revival, Solon Bicycle, Harness CycleFridrich Bicycle Inc., Gabe's Deli, Cleveland Dragon Boat Association, Joy Machines Bike Shop, Cyclophilic Limited, Blazing Saddle Cycle, The Cleveland Dragon Boat Association, Simpler Times Bicycle Gallery, The Tremont Tap House, Vision Yoga, Fairview Cycle, The Bicycle Hub, Century Cycles, Nick's Gyros, Primozz Pizzeria and Restaurant, Doyle's American Karate Academy, Mentor Hardware, Longo's Pizza, Cleveland Candle Company, Pure and Supreme Cuisine, and Cleveland Tea Revival!

Can you believe this support? Our Cleveland community is amazing for coming through like this.  Better see you all at the Expo!

Last Updated ( Monday, 07 December 2015 15:19 )
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