How we got our start… a note from the founder…
My history in Tallahassee and on the Southside of town in particular runs only one generation deep, but the experience of growing up here has had an indelible impact on my life.
My family came to this community in 1960 to attend FSU.! Both my mother and father decided on careers in public education. Desegregation in the public schools came about in Florida in fits and starts around 1965. My mother began teaching at Oakridge Elementary on the Southside of town when that school opened in 1968. My siblings and I attended the public schools on the Southside. At the time the Killearn area of this town did not exist and for that matter the highway interstate 10 did not even come here. Tallahassee was a very small and isolated place. West Palm Beach, where my family is from, seemed so much more metropolitan!
Because we lived so close to the schools we attended and the town was small, my parents were fine with us kids riding our bikes to school. I began riding in the 3rd grade and I never stopped!
At a young age I became completely enamored with what bicycle can do for a person. I raced bicycles, commuted to work on a bike. I helped my coworkers who were financially down on their luck get bicycles…. It has always been my life.
In 1978 I moved to New England to to try to get an education, race bicycles, work, and get out of the South for awhile. In the years that followed, racing took me all over the continent and around the world…
In 1997 I sustained a brain injury that put me in the hospital for some time. That ended life as I knew it. I endured a few long surgeries and reconstructive procedures. In 2000, I was moved by my parents back to Tallahassee to recover and live with them.
So basically, it was almost like I woke up right back at home – 20 years later! With a whole new outlook on life. I started Bicycle House as a way to recreate a feeling my family instilled in me – the value of “being there” for people. We opened the doors and just started listening and reacting. Now its 11 years later and here we are! I am proud of the impact we are having in our community and optimistic about our future.
Our services…. Consistently Being there for people…
We provide people in need with bicycles on a donation basis in a case-by-case manner…. but more than that, we provide ongoing service for the people we provide bikes for and we keep our shop open full time in order to pull this off. We have provided an average of 300 bikes a year for the past 10 years and an average of over 3,000 repairs a year.
Over the years we have hosted youth workshops for churches. We have hosted team building workshops for companies. We provide education classes. We have provided event support for local clubs, promoted cycling through outreach workshops in the community for a wide variety of entities and groups.
We are very proud of our partnerships with local cycling groups, Capital City Cyclists and also the Tallahassee Mountain Bike Association. Their members provide us with tons of donated bikes, parts, and accessories.
We expect all of our volunteers, no matter their special talents, to first get their hands dirty directly interacting with the people we serve and also with the people who volunteer with us.that period last for two or three weeks or about 12 to 24 hours time. After they put in their time learning how we work and fellowshipping with co-volunteers we work with them one-on-one to get them plugged in and applying their particular skillset – always though with the understanding that the main mission of this org is very simple and straight forward, we help people get where they need to go!
This Bicycle House idea started as a small contribution by one person supported by one family. Now we are all that we dreamed of and more. We opened our doors and they are still open. It is truly amazing to have so many people interacting, listening, helping. Please come and join us if you can.