Provo collective helps bicycle enthusiasts

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Decorative lights are strung on bicycle wheels dangling from the ceiling as volunteers practice bicycle maintenance by day and enjoy band concerts by night, making the Provo Bicycle Collective an emerging social hub for bicycle enthusiasts in Provo.

The Collective is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the community with all their bicycle needs. Volunteers at the Collective are well trained in bicycle maintenance and will show anyone how to fix their bicycles for $5 an hour. The Collective carries nearly every bike part or tool necessary to fix a bike from cable cutters to professional work stands.

[media-credit name=”Photos courtesy of Kate Chandler and Scott Manning” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]
Scott Manning sorts through parts at the Collective.
Located at 1100 W. 49 North in Provo, the Collective is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday with volunteers from BYU, UVU and the community. Any person interested in repairing their bicycle or buying a used bike for under $30, can visit the Collective or find them on their Facebook page.

Zac Whitmore, the chair of the Provo Bicycle Committee, said he and the other volunteers saw the need for a place to repair bikes at reasonable prices. Whitmore has worked professionally on bikes for 13 years and has given 800 free bicycle tune-ups on BYU campus in the past. He said the Collective is always willing to help anyone with their bicycle needs and even offers free bicycle registration.

“Some shops are snooty about the type of bike you bring in,” Whitmore said. “If it’s a Walmart bike, chances are they are not going to fix it, but we won’t turn you away. We work with other local bike shops rather than competing with them by sending people their way and they send people to us.”

Jamison Jones, a junior from Phoenix, majoring in international relations, said he has bought brake calibers, pedals and other parts at the Collective for reasonable prices. Jones said without the Collective he would not have a bike because it is too expensive to maintain. Recently, Jones found a bike frame and decided to fix it up with help from volunteers at the Collective.

“I needed to rebuild the bicycle completely and I got the help I needed from them for almost nothing,” Jones said. “It now rides like a dream and was incredibly cheap … If you want to get a bike or repair it, go to the Collective or else it will be way too expensive.”

Kate Chandler, a sophomore from Boise, Idaho majoring in fine arts at UVU, said the Collective offers specific service time for women called Babes on Bikes on the last Saturday of each month. Chandler said only ladies are permitted in the shop at that hour and gives women in the community a chance to learn more about do-it-yourself bike maintenance without becoming intimidated.

“We are focused on community outreach and want to allow an environment for women to bring their bikes in,” Chandler said. “We want to provide an atmosphere for women to learn how to maintain their bicycles from removing a back wheel to building your own polo mallet. We do it all.”

Spencer Hawkes, an illustration major at BYU, volunteers at the Collective with his wife, Sam Layco. Hawkes said he encourages anyone with a bike to visit the Collective and take advantage of its services.

“Students riding bikes should learn how to maintain them and this is a great place to do that,” Hawkes said. “I don’t think every person’s parents are paying gas and this is a really smart, easy way for people to save.”

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