Keep the wheels turning
What: Hub Fest
Where: Hub Community Bike Shop, 903 ½ N. State St.
WHEN: 10am-9pm Sat., July 21
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Kyle Morris learned to ride a bicycle when he was 7 and his ex-stepfather took him to the top of a grassy hill—where he released him and let gravity take him to the bottom.
“It was possibly a pretty traumatizing moment in my formative years, but I guess I respond well to tough love,” Morris says, pointing out that he didn’t take to bicycling as a lifestyle choice until moving to Bellingham in 1995.
“I quickly realized this town was very well-suited to that sort of transportation option, and I also realized it would be a great way to save money and keep my body in good working order,” he adds. “Plus, I really got to know the place and people where I lived so much better from bicycle commuting.”
Since 2002, Morris has been at the helm of the Hub Community Bike Shop at 903 ½ N. State Street. Conveniently located near the stretch of the Interurban Trail leading to Boulevard Park and beyond, the space has been invaluable to those wanting to buy a used bike, obtain new or used parts for their ride, get a tune-up, or invest in their future by figuring out how to make their own fixes with the aid of one of the on-site bike mechanics.
Morris estimates that more than 5,000 bicycles have come through the Hub since they opened, and that they have sold approximately 1,000 bikes, donated at least 250, and recycled as much as three tons of steel and alloy each year from what’s left behind.
For many residents, the shop is a valuable community resource worth holding on to. And since the Hub needs to relocate due to a new apartment complex being built on the part of the block where it is currently located, support from those who want to help keep the wheels turning is crucial. A new space has been found at a business complex at 110 Ohio Street—right next to Wander Brewing, and across the street from Bellingham High School—but before making the move, funds need to be raised, bikes need to be sold, and a party needs to be had.
At a “Hub Fest” happening from 10am-9pm Sat., July 21, do your part by perusing a plethora of bikes and gear throughout the day. A hot dog feed will begin around 5pm, and live music will start around 6:30pm, with sets by Trouble in the Henhouse, Dryland, and Cousin Marvin. Throughout, purchasing $10 raffle tickets for the products of a “Bodacious Bike Build Battle” will up your chances of bringing home a one-of-a-kind ride.
If you can’t make it, or if you are able to help financially, donations are currently being accepted as part of a GoFundMe campaign aiming to raise $30,00 to help cover the cost of rent and utilities while the new Hub gets established (http://www.gofundme.com/help-the-hub-fund-their-move). If the goal is exceeded, further monies will be used as a possible down payment to purchase the space and give the Hub long-term stability.
Once they’ve made the move, those visiting the new locale will find that although the place they’re pedaling has changed, the ethos hasn’t.
“The thing I love the most about the Hub is being able to show people how things work and how to fix them if they don’t,” Morris says. “I also really love to witness anybody’s transition to bike commuting as a lifestyle choice and how it changes their habits and perspectives.”
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