So, what does the bicycle co-op do?
The co-op is about helping people help themselves. The co-op provides a central place for people to come to rescue bicycles and learn how to fix and maintain them. The volunteer mechanics do not fix bikes for people; they help guide members who are working on their own bicycle projects. The co-op also works for bicycle advocacy, and organizes rides, social events, and contests. Most importantly, we concentrate on empowering people, getting them on bicycles, and having fun.
The MoBo Bicycle Cooperative is a non-profit volunteer-run cooperative dedicated to making cycling accessible and practical to everyone in the greater Cincinnati area. We build community by providing a welcoming and communal workspace, knowledgeable staff, and the tools and parts for cyclists of all ages and skill levels to repair, maintain and acquire bicycles. Members learn from and teach one another by sharing knowledge and experience. Mobo facilitates healthy and sustainable transportation through bicycle programs, events, and advocacy in our immediate community and beyond.
The Mobo Bicycle Cooperative envisions a world made healthier through the increase of people using bicycles for environmental, social, creative and practical purposes. We believe that cycling and its benefits should be made equally accessible to people from all walks of life. We see that the promotion of the social and educational aspects of cycling creates empowered individuals and communities. We see the intrinsic value cycling has for developing community, and we acknowledge that as our culture and infrastructure become more inclusive of bicycles, quality of life is enhanced for all.
OK, so how does it work?
The first step is to become a member by paying $20 annual membership fee. This gives members access to the shop, tools, cleaners, grease, mechanics’ knowledge and much more to help them work on their bikes. Members who do not own a bicycle can adopt one of the many donated bicycles, parts, and accessories at very modest prices. Kids receive free help maintaining their bikes during our summer Kids’ Day program, which runs weekly throughout the summer.
And what doesn’t the co-op do?
First and foremost, the co-op is not a replacement for a retail bicycle shop. If you are looking for a new bicycle and someone else to service it, we recommend one of the many specialized bike shops in the area that offer professional services.
The co-op is not a place to drop off a bike to have serviced. Volunteer mechanics are there to help you, but they will not do the work. We will offer assessment and advice for drop-ins, and we will not turn people away due to lack of funds. Finally, the co-op does not sell reconditioned bicycles (accept at our yearly Bike Sale).
That said, we hope to take some of the mystery out of bicycles and help people get the most out of bicycling.
When is Open Shop?
Open Shop happens twice a week: Wednesdays 6-9pm and Sundays 2-5pm.
Additionally, MoBo is open for Co-op Night on Tuesdays from 6-9pm, though this shop time is reserved for all activities besides personal projects. It’s a time for pitching in to do the work necessary to keep this place going. We also schedule community meetings and events, volunteer work parties, workshops, etc. during Co-op Night.
In the summer we are open for Kids’ Day on Mondays from 5-8pm. For all other Open Shop times, youth under sixteen must be supervised by an adult. For specific dates and VERY INFREQUENT shop closings, please see our homepage or our Facebook page.
What does “MoBo” stand for?
It looks like an acronymn, but it’s not. “MoBo” was the nickname of Justin Morioka, in whose memory MoBo was founded. When asked the origin of the nickname, a source concludes, “it was just kind of funky and goofy and that fit Justin”.
Who’s in charge here anyway?
MoBo is a cooperatively-run project. All members are encouraged to participate not only as shop users, but also as organizers and leaders. “MoBo General Meetings” are held on site every two weeks (see the calendar for dates), and serve as the primary forum for group decision-making and organizational planning. All members are encouraged to attend and contribute their ideas and vision.
We strive for a consensus-based decision-making model that encourages participation by all members and stakeholders. There are, however, instances in which a more formal voting process is required, and for this reason a small number of especially-committed volunteers are elected each year to serve as Board Members for the project. These individuals are tasked with taking ultimate responsibility for the project and its programs. Current MoBo Board Members are: Kelby Bowers, Ryan Clo, Greg Guy, Michael Providenti, and Debbie Reichler.
Are my cash or bicycle donations to Mobo tax-deductable?
Absolutely! Bring your donation by during Open Shop and a Shop Coordinator can provide you with a receipt.
MoBo Bicycle Co-op was formed by a dedicated group of volunteers in the Spring of 2007 in memory of Justin Morioka, a friend to bicycles, Northside, and self-sufficiency. Startup funding donated in Justin’s name was used to buy tools to get the shop started. The Village Green Foundation, a community garden facility located in Northside, invited MoBo to join their non-profit and offered an empty garage on-site to operate a community bicycle shop. The Village Green’s mission is to bring together diverse members of the community around a common commitment to community building, urban agriculture and access to healthy food for all residents of the community. MoBo Bicycle Co-op and the Village Green formed a natural union by a common belief in sharing community resources, increasing self sufficiency and advocating for a healthier, greener world.