Who can volunteer?

Everyone is welcome! From experienced bicycle shop techs to folks with no mechanical experience at all, we appreciate all our volunteers.  We ask only that you come to the volunteer orientation, held first and third Wednesdays of each month, from 7-8 p.m, and observe the core values of Respect, Resourcefulness, and Reciprocity.

We want people to learn as well as to contribute, and try to make each task educational for each individual’s skill level (we try to balance the mundane shop tasks like cleaning, organizing, and filling in forms, with as much bike fun and learning as possible.)

To make arrangements for a volunteer group please email general info including group size, desired time of visit, and any special objectives, with the best time for a phone call to discuss details.

Adults

Once you’ve attended a Volunteer Orientation Session (see right column for info), you don’t need to schedule a time to volunteer. We only require that:

  • You spend at least an hour each time you visit to volunteer
  • Observe our non-discrimination policy
  • Wear closed-toe/closed-heel shoes in the shop

VOLUNTEER AT THE SHOP: You can volunteer during any of our retail service times. If you haven’t taken or tested out of our Repair Classes, you’ll be limited to two hours of volunteering per visit, up to five hours per week. If you’re interested in working on bikes, we require you to take our Repair Classes. All volunteers will usually work on something bike-related, but there’s usually some ‘housekeeping’ work to be done as well, cleaning, organizing or moving bikes.

And if you have specialized skills (bookkeeping, web design, construction, plumbing, etc.), we can probably use your talents! If you’re an experienced bike mechanic, we’ll have you fix up a bike to test out of the Repair Classes, and you can jump right in to helping others use bikes.

VOLUNTEER AT AN EVENT: We’re always looking for volunteers to help out at off-site events – and we do a lot of them: Bike Rodeos for kids, valet bike parking at festivals, community outreach events, and Bicycle Scavenger Hunts all need many hands to run smoothly.

KIDS

Children, from the age of about 8 through 15 years old can earn a bike any time the shop is open by volunteering with a parent/legal guardian or other adult their parent has designated (such as a relative, caseworker, Big Brother or Big Sister, etc.). One adult may bring up to three children, and must work with them during the entire time they are here.  Kids 16 and 17 years old can volunteer without a parent, once their parent provides a schedule of their visits and a signed release form.

If designating another adult, or for kids over 15, parents are urged to attend the orientation or at least visit the shop to complete our permission/release form, but the form is also available here (please use one copy of this form for each child):

Release Form (PDF file — if needed, you can download the reader here)

Adults working with Earn A Bike students will also earn volunteering credits they may use in the same ways as any Volunteer, or may apply them towards an upgraded bike for their child (but the child must still meet the other Earn A Bike requirements).

GROUPS

OCBC provides meaningful, educational and fun volunteer work for groups of colleagues, co-workers, or friends.  We can accommodate up to 20 people, with prior arrangements made at least 3 weeks in advance (more notice is helpful during busier times of the year). Group visits last from 2-4 hours, and can be combined with a group bike rental for completing a Traffic Skills Intro ride or a guided tour, if desired.

For groups of up to 15 we try to choose something from our Ten Tasks that will help process some of the many bikes we have donated, and also impart some useful bike knowledge. Tasks that can be done by larger groups range from collaborative sit-down work like sorting small parts, to large painting, building or cleaning projects.

Children need to be accompanied by a legal guardian, or have this form (PDF) completed listing the adults who will be accompanying them.  For most small group work a ratio of 1 adult to 3 children is needed.

All groups have a tour of our facility and a brief overview of OCBC’s work, but we don’t take the group’s time for a full volunteer orientation, so in most cases group members do not clock in for shop credits, but are encouraged to return on their own to volunteer if they wish.

To make arrangements for a volunteer group please email general info including group size, desired time of visit, and any special objectives, with the best time for a phone call to discuss details.

KEY VOLUNTEERS

Key Volunteers are vital to the co-op. This is a structured program of volunteers who choose what ways they want to help, and commit to scheduled times to help in the shop, with responsibility for many of the same tasks our staff normally handle. They provide extra assistance to all visitors to OCBC and staff.

Key Volunteers all take shop classes and are trained to help shop users, retail customers, volunteers, and students. You’ll recognize them by the OCBC nametags they wear! Once trained and scheduled to cover a reasonable number of open hours, Key Volunteers receive a discount on new items (of 10% above cost) and can use the shop for their own repairs during closed hours.

If you are interested in becoming a Key Volunteer, email the volunteer coordinator at volunteering@ohiocitycycles.org.

Ready to volunteer?

Drop-in orientation is held first and third Wednesdays of each month, from 7-8 p.m. No reservation needed! (If you can’t make it on a Wednesday, contact us to arrange an alternative time).


Volunteer Benefits

  • Earn shop credits (5/hour); these can be used toward shop time, bike purchases, or wrenching and riding classes.
  • Learn more than you could want to know about bikes
  • Have a great time with fellow bike lovers
  • And – there’s usually food (bring something to share, or make a small donation to help cover expenses)

Find out about volunteer opportunities!

Sign up for our mailing list! We’ll let you know when we need help, and with volunteer-related news. You can also contact our Volunteer Coordinator.