News

Bike Exchange finds new home

Nonprofit moves from Mountain View to Google office in Palo Alto

Volunteer Tom Feledy adjusts a bike seat for customer Alex Melville at the Bike Exchange on Sept. 15, 2018. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

The Silicon Valley Bike Exchange is no longer on the brink of closure. The nonprofit, which repairs bikes and donates them, is set to relocate to a Palo Alto industrial office space being provided temporarily by Google.

Located at 3961 E. Bayshore Road, the new 6,000-square-foot space is a significant upgrade for the Bike Exchange. The scrappy group of bicycle lovers has been operating in a small, 500-square-foot space tucked behind an auto garage at 2566 Leghorn St. in Mountain View. But for years, Bike Exchange members found a way to make the space work, using it to host bicycle repair tutorials, sales and other events.

That changed earlier this year when the family that owns the property said they were planning to sell the site, triggering a small crisis for the Bike Exchange. The nonprofit operates on a budget of about $12,000 a year, which is mostly spent on repair supplies. Bike Exchange members had little ability to pay market-rate rents, and they publicly urged the community to help find a new low-cost location.

The solution came from members' own professional network. Bike Exchange board president Dave Fork, a Google employee, was able to tap his employer's philanthropic arm, Google.org, for help. The Bike Exchange was eventually presented with an opportunity to lease the Bayshore Road space, which Google reportedly owns but is not currently using. Terms of the lease were not disclosed.

"The Bicycle Exchange has supported our community for many years and Google is happy to return the favor by providing space for them to continue their vital work," said Javier Gonzalez, Google public affairs manager, in a statement to the Voice.

Bike Exchange members are thrilled to have the new home, Fork said. It will take weeks to transport all their inventory, including an assortment of spare parts and about 300 bikes in various states of repair. Up until the move, he expects his members may need to politely decline donations of bikes. They expect to be finished relocating to the new space by November.

"It's an embarrassment of riches compared to what we have now. This will allow us to expand our programs in various ways," Fork said. "For the first time we can think of other possibilities."

With the extra space, Fork's ideas for the Bike Exchange included offering more bike repair classes or hosting special team-building events for local businesses and organizations. Some laser cutters and manufacturing gear could be brought in, and the Bike Exchange could serve as a kind of makerspace, he said.

More information on the Bike Exchange can be found on its website.

---

Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Mark Noack writes for the Mountain View Voice, the sister publication of PaloAltoOnline.com.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.

Comments

9 people like this
Posted by Carl Jones
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 21, 2018 at 10:53 am

Carl Jones is a registered user.

Wonderful!

I have contributed bike(s) to them in the past - they do a great job and deserve the help.


Like this comment
Posted by For the future...Where can we donate?
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 21, 2018 at 11:20 am

For the future...Where can we donate? is a registered user.

What's the contact info for this organization? Where can we donate bikes and money?

Thanks!


4 people like this
Posted by VS
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 21, 2018 at 12:23 pm

VS is a registered user.

Dear For the Future,

Great idea to donate bikes and money. Organization is here:
Web Link

This article does now say they may have to wait until after they move to accept more used bikes...


8 people like this
Posted by Heather Frok
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 21, 2018 at 6:50 pm

I'm am thrilled by this news! Dave Fork is my brother and when we were growing up in NJ, he built me a beautiful chrome bicycle from junkyard parts. He and his group of volunteers do an amazing job sharing the joy of bicycling with many who might otherwise never have this chance. Thank you to Google for providing a new home for the Bike Exchange and thank you to my brother and all the volunteers who work so hard help others become bicycle owners and happy riders.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Rose International Market reopening soon in Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 11 comments | 5,339 views

Eyes and the End of Life: Why Spend Time With the Dying?
By Aldis Petriceks | 2 comments | 1,884 views

The HSR Decision
By Steve Levy | 8 comments | 1,185 views

We need a new garage downtown Palo Alto -- forget about being politically correct
By Diana Diamond | 6 comments | 1,049 views

Know Before You Buy: Understanding Senior Living Facility Agreements
By Max Greenberg | 0 comments | 500 views

 

Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

Contest Details