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Columbus Bicycle Cooperative

From Bike Collectives Wiki
Columbus Bicycle Cooperative
Founded 2008
Location Columbus, Indiana, United States
Services Offered
Mission Statement The Columbus Bike Co-op is a not for profit, charitable organization of bicycle users whose mission is to educate and empower the community by providing a welcoming space to learn about bicycles and bicycle repairs, engage in maintenance practices, and promote safe operation through outreach and education.

Columbus Bicycle Cooperative is ... Located in the basement of the Doug Otto United Way Center at 1531 13th Street, the Columbus Bicycle Co-op exists to provide space & resources for community members to learn about & maintain bicycles. Classes, tools, parts, bikes, & work space are available for free or very little cost. Ask about our Earn-a-Bike program!

Our Shop manager and bike aficionado volunteers have knowledge of bike mechanics, bike safety, various types of riding, and local routes or trails. They are there to help you during open shop hours.

Contact Info

We're on Facebook

Our website:

I suppose you could send snail mail to

Columbus Bicycle Cooperative

c/o Doug Otto United Way Center

1531 13th Street #B100

Columbus Indiana, 47201


Way back*, Loran and J-Boy started in Craig's garage. Then the co-op moved to a rented half garage off the alley next to the Bicycle Station.

No heat, no a/c, and so little space we had to move the inventory out in the yard each day before working.

Then in early 2010 we moved into the basement of the United Way Center, significantly increasing our space, added heat, air conditioning, free furniture courtesy of UW, and even restrooms upstairs. A bunch of Loran's friends and others volunteered to move stuff, clean the new place, scrape paint, build work benches, and generally build a new shop. Some awesome murals were painted on the walls, and we were in business.

Through 2010 and 2011, the cooperative existed under the umbrella of Healthy Communities, a Columbus Regional Hospital Foundation program. In October 2011, the cooperative formed a board and elected officers, taking the first steps toward existing as a separate non-profit entity. In June 2012, the organization incorporated in the state of Indiana with a full board of officers. In late 2012, papers were submitted for non-profit status. The Columbus Bike Co-operative is now a 501(c)3 non-profit.

* Even further back, around 1990, Charles in Indianapolis had an idea of doing something for kids with    donated bikes, and mentioned his idea to a writer friend. The friend writes an article in the Indianapolis News, and next thing you know he has people calling to donate bikes.  The Bicycle Action Project was born, with the help of Ken and some other CIBA folks.  Ken had kids and moved on, but Charles kept BAP going for a while under CIBA. Charles gave a talk in Bloomington about the concept, which led to the creation of the Bloomington Community Bike Project. Loran, who grew up in Columbus, moved to Bloomington where he started volunteering there.  Loran moved back to Columbus, where the story picks up with J-Boy. Ken's son Ben, now a teenager, brought home a flyer about the new Columbus bike co-op. Ken started volunteering, and arranged the move to the United Way building.  Meanwhile, the BAP had gone under, but Nancy saw a kid wearing sweatpants with the BAP logo, was inspired by the story, which led to her creation of   Freewheeling Community Bikes.  That's four co-operatives, three still surviving, from one unplanned newspaper article.

Services Offered

Earn-A-Bike program for people of all ages.

Stand-time to fix your own bike, plus use of tools and expert volunteer advice, for a small donation

Shop bikes available for a cash donation, prepared by our volunteers from donated bikes

Classes on bike maintenance and other bike related subjects

Parts to pick from, for donations

Valet bike parking service for local businesses, for a donation

Hours vary seasonally and with volunteer availability.

See our website for an up to date schedule.