When CenPho cyclists couldn't find bike co-op Rusty Spoke in the usual Bragg's Pie Factory space on Grand Avenue, rumors began to swirl that the community repair shop has shuttered. Thankfully, reports of the Spoke's demise were greatly exaggerated.
The co-op did move last fall, and has settled a few blocks southeast at 1023 Grand Avenue, (accessed in the alley). And the shop is once again filled with parts and work stands and still open to anyone who needs a little DIY wrench work.
"I think our move may have confused a few people," said Nate Leach, Rusty Spoke's director. "We are still very much open, but we're in a shared space and still operating very check to check."
"Our goal is to have our totally own shop."
Rusty Spoke was able to secure their new space and continue to operate thanks to a small grant from their partner and sponsor, Tempe-based bike co-op Bike Saviours. Monthly fundraisers, often in the form of benefit vegan dinners, music shows and bike washes, help keep the month to month costs covered.
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The shop, open Sundays from noon to 6 p.m., still predominantly draws local residents who need to fix up their bikes or work on building up a new one as those two wheels are often their primary mode of transportation. But the group hopes to tap into the Downtown ASU students to continue to develop a customer base.
In terms of current shop needs (aside from funding), Leach easily identifies three desires: "We need a space that is monetarily secure, volunteers to fill it, and people who need help with their bikes to come and use what we have to offer."
The Spoke will be one of the primary benefactors from the upcoming San Tan Wheelie Jam, a new bike festival on April 23 at Indian Steele Park. The event is organized by the Tempe Bicycle Action Group and sponsored by San Tan Brewing Company.