What’s a Bike Co-op?

So What’s a Bike Co-op

Bike co-ops are places where you can learn how to work on your bike, often for free!

At a commercial bike shop, you trade money for bikes, parts, and repairs. At a bike co-op or bike kitchen (think “soup kitchen”), everyone gets access to those things. We share resources like parts and tools, and help each person learn how to do all their own repairs.

Attendees can volunteer to help other folks or learn more about bike building. They can also become co-op members who manage how the space feels, who it serves, what languages are spoken, and what programs happen.

Our bike co-op, the Mechanical Gardens, is dedicated to expanding fair access to bikes, bike repairs, tools and knowledge. Countless New Yorkers struggle against financial disparities, education gaps, and discrimination in order to keep their bikes moving. The Mechanical Gardens creates community-based workshops that empower every bike rider to take charge of their mobility. We embody New York’s multifaceted movement for urban equity by working to democratize bike access through hands-on, do-it-yourself repair education.

We’re currently raising money for exciting community programs, seeking additional spaces to stage workshops, and welcoming volunteers who want to help us organize.

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Some of our aims

By helping New Yorkers learn to repair their own bikes and ride safely, we’ll help folks gain the skills and confidence to move through the city on their own terms.

By inviting learners to become co-op leaders, we’ll cultivate a space that reflects a diversity of cultures, characters, and contexts.

By universalizing access to quality bike maintenance, we will elevate neighborhood health and resiliency while combating economic, environmental, and social inequalities.

By addressing the conjunction of bike issues and affordable housing, living wage work, food deserts, gentrification, and other aspects of urban development, we will engender the growth of civic engagement.