I plan to check out Bici Centro in Santa Barbara in a couple of weeks during a visit to learn more about the innovative transportation solutions being implemented by the City. Ralph Fertig of the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition is leading a group of us on a tour by bike so we can see first hand the latest and greatest techniques for accommodating cyclists on the streets. Besides facility and amenity improvements, the human aspect is also important and Bici Centro is just another example of how an initiative centered on meeting the needs of cyclist's spins off to become a wider community asset. In my experience, these bike collectives serve as vital meeting grounds where people with a common interest in sustainable transportation can share ideas on a wider array of interrelated sustainability issues, such as food, energy, land-use, resource acquisition, water quality, air quality and more.
Fortunately here in Los Angeles we have at least four DIY bike repair shops that have been thriving and not only serving the needs of cyclists, but also serving the greater community for up to five years now. For those that are not familiar with the LA offerings, check out Bicycle Kitchen/LA Bicicocina in Koreatown, Bikerowave in Mar Vista, Bike Oven in Highland Park, and Valley Bikery in Chatsworth.
Enjoy this video, which sums up quite nicely what all of these shops have in common and how they are an important asset for the entire community whether you ride a bike or not.