Who can get involved?
Everyone is welcome! From experienced bicycle shop techs to folks with no mechanical experience at all, we welcome all people to our co-op orientation. Starting in April of 2019, they will be held every Saturday @ 11am. (other times by appointment.) Once you have taken the orientation, you will be a Shop user.
A Shop user can be a customer using the shop to work on their own bike, a student in one of our classes, a prospective volunteer, or someone doing work trade for bicycle parts or assistance.
If you want to become a volunteer, and participate in our educational training as well as the work we do in the community, we ask that you submit to a background check. There is a suggested donation of $20 to cover the cost, but it is not required, and OCBC will background check anyone who wants to become more involved in our organization.
A fundamental part of OCBC’s work is to effectively utilize labor from volunteers while advancing their education about bikes, mechanics, and basic job skills; especially how to work collaboratively in very diverse groups as usually found in our shop. We best reflect the co-op’s tenets of respect, resourcefulness and reciprocity when we:
- value everyone’s work regardless of their background or abilities
- ensure we give appropriate tasks and good guidance to make the most of everyone’s effort
- and fairly and consistently provide useful education, honest encouragement, and valued shop credits
Once you’ve attended a Co-op orientation and received a background check, you don’t need to schedule a time to volunteer during our open hours. We only require that:
- You spend at least an hour each time you visit to volunteer
- Observe our code of conduct, safe spaces, and non-discrimination policies
- 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’re interested in working on bikes, we require you to take our tune up series of 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.
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):
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).
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.)