As you probably know by now, the bicycle is very near and dear to our New Belgium hearts. What you may not know, however, is that Tour de Fat isn’t the only way we get the word out about our love of the two-wheeled human-powered awesomeness machine. Through our Environmental Stewardship Grant program
-- aka $1 per Barrel program -- we donate $1 for every barrel of beer we sell to non-profits and causes that resonate with us. The causes that we focus upon fall into a few big categories, and one of those categories is bicycle advocacy and sensible transportation. In 2014, we are allocating $105,000 to support local organizations around the country who are working to make the bike a viable form of transportation in their communities. We thought it would be cool to spotlight one of those organizations here on the blog this week for your reading pleasure. May we present: the Bike Depot!
The Bike Depot is a nonprofit community bike center located in Denver, Colorado. They offer a ton of services and have put thousands of folks in bike seats on the streets of Denver. Through co-operative instruction and guidance, they teach individuals how to confidently repair their own bicycles. Their efforts help foster community and inspire folks to safely ride their bicycles more often. BikeDepot is an integral part of Denver’s exploding bicycle scene: whether you ride for recreation or are a full-time commuter they can help you get your butt in the right saddle and teach you how to make it a smooth ride.
They invest a lot of resources in the next generation of cyclists as well. Through their Bike Rodeos and Bike Camps, they help get kids from all socio-economic classes on bikes, equipping them with the tools and skills they need to ride safely and confidently. They also recycle and refurbish donated bikes, parts, and accessories. Bike Depot recycled over 1,900 bikes in 2013, and 1412 of those bikes were refurbished and redistributed back to the community through their social enterprise retail shop and Earn-A-Bike programs. About 1/3 of those refurbished bikes were sold at a low cost, to fund more programs, and the other 2/3 were earned by deserving folks through their own elbow grease rather than cash. The Depot also has a very popular Fix-Your-Bike program, where participants can use the shop’s tools and work stands to service their own bikes with the guidance of a skilled volunteer mechanic. Fix-Your-Bike facilitated nearly 4,000 repairs in 2013. We’ll drink to that!
The Bike Depot has also wrenched on hundreds of bicycles at our very own Denver Tour de Fat. We love that they welcome us into their hometown every year for this joyous celebration, and their philosophy on bike advocacy is one that tugs at our bike spokes, er, heart strings: “We believe in the power of the bicycle to break down social barriers, improve physical and environmental health and increase the fun quotient in our lives.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, Bike Depot. Thanks for being awesome. Big love to you from all of us at NBB!