Hello Ohio City Bicycle Co-op Volunteers, Customers, and Donors,

Thank you for being a part of the cycling community in Northeast Ohio, especially in Cleveland. I’m proud to act as the current board president, supporting the organization and community. I am a team mate on Stelleri Women’s Performance Training cycling team, a member of BADASS (Bicycling and Diversity Alliance, Safe Space), native of Akron, and software project manager. As spring time is upon us and we look forward to a fun-filled summer, I would like to present several updates with the OCBC community.

Building a culture of engagement and appreciation:

Ohio City Bicycle Co-op, a cooperative among individuals to share resources. We support each other, including staff, volunteers and board members. Although we may bring to the table different skill sets, talent and commitment levels, our shared involvement makes OCBC a cooperative and community. I encourage all of you to become a part of our community. Engage with volunteering, help local students with a fix-a-thon, or provide your unique non-bike related skills to support OCBC, or engage with the advisory board. Furthermore, I would like to encourage a culture of appreciation. OCBC currently operates with only 3 staff members, Key Volunteers often put in lots of time, and volunteers donate their time and energy to help people use bikes. ‘Thanks for stopping in today’, should be a common phrase.

New Policies and Programs

As OCBC grows as an organization, there are several structural steps to undertake. While some may see this period as growing pains, these steps will help the organization better serve the community in the future. The Safe Space Policy we have implemented creates a safe environment for the community and most notably, it requires all participants attending Fix-a-thons or other off-site events at schools or out in the community to receive a background checks prior to participating.

As Cleveland focuses on building a vibrant cycling community, OCBC fills the need for community mechanics. Skill improvement and standardization will allow for consistent products and qualifications. The passport program we are implementing this spring documents earned skills obtained through volunteering and training. While volunteers might be required to reassess their skill set on various mechanical tasks, the passport program encourages consistent high standards of work as OCBC moves toward providing apprenticeship programs. Additional class offerings, new workbenches, and the passport program are steps toward a vibrant mechanic community.

Also new this summer are adjusted hours 12-7pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It is our hope that consistent hours will support the community, especially before any weekend bicycle adventures.

Plea for help

As we move toward the busy season, OCBC only has 3 staff members. The Passport program and volunteer sign-ups hope to address the ability to utilize volunteers as an extension of the staff. If you would like to continue to support OCBC and the community, consider signing up for shifts in retail, prep and salvage, or other shifts available. This can be done in shop, once you have received a background check. A dear friend, Takuya, gives 10% of his time to the community, I strive to do the same. I hope many OCBC community members will see the benefit in providing 16 hours/ month to scheduled tasks.

Request for feedback

The programs at OCBC are iterative, and adjustments may continue to occur, in order to best meet the needs of the community. We ask that you continue to engage to make OCBC a community resource as well as show appreciation for the current step. As OCBC leadership works toward a 5 year strategic plan in 2019, engagement and feedback from all participants of OCBC’s programs and the community are welcome. Also picking up pace is the ability to engage as a member of the Advisory Board. Volunteers are encouraged to participate in board committees, such as marketing, finance, education and volunteer. As we work toward a vision of a vibrant cycling community, I would like to make myself available for feedback. My email address is taugustin@ohiocitycycles.org for direct feedback. I’d appreciate any assistance to create a physical ‘suggestions box’ at OCBC.

In Closing

It is my mission to provide appreciation and encourage engagement with the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op organization. With several new changes to OCBC policies and processes, we lay the groundwork for a sustainable future of the organization. As we look toward a busy summer season, please engage with the organization, providing your unique skill set to help people use bikes. Let’s continue to work together to build a strong organization and community.