Sans-Dan’s Night Workshop & Ride

Since 2009, a handful of dedicated volunteers have carved out a time to come together, lead and teach, and spread the ethos of self-reliance and repair-rather-than-replace, at weekly Dan’s Night workshops. Dan’s Night was started by two board members who saw a need among our Fourth St. community for after-hours workshop availability and a no-cost option for bike repair assistance. Dan and Greg were joined by a small, but robust, group of friends and regulars who helped run the workshops, share their expertise, and who formed strong bonds over the years. It’s been a privilege to host this group of volunteers, serving countless individuals, weekly for over nine years. So what now? Click below to keep reading!

Sadly (for us) the eponymous Dan recently moved to Ashland, OR to take over leadership of ScienceWorks (if you’re up there, check out their hands-on museum; it is TIGHT). With the departure of our workshop namesake, the Dan’s Night team took a break between June and August to think and talk about what direction to take the program in (and to take a couple of well-deserved vacations). But they’ll be back in business August 1st, to our delight! The fundamental goals behind this workshop aren’t changing much. Our volunteers still want to curate an enjoyable, social block of time where bike riding and repair is the focus. Whereas Dan’s Night’s original format worked well on Fourth, we want the new direction to serve our Grove St. neighborhood best.

So starting Wednesday August 1, our group will continue to meet at the shop as we close for regular business, at 5p. That hour will be used as open shop time for repairs and tune-ups. Where things are changing a little is that around 5:50 the group will leave the shop and head over to Virginia Lake to start a social ride at 6p, finishing by sundown. The new Wednesday night format is starting a little freeform and spontaneous, and we hope to add structure, as we go, based on experience and feedback. So basically, if you’re interested in helping shape this workshop/ride, start attending now! Here’s a little about what our existing leaders are planning for Wednesdays:

*Repair/tune-up time at RBP shop 5-5:50p, before heading over to Virginia Lake (for now), to start riding at 6p.

*Ride portion of workshops no longer than 1.5 hours, finished by sundown. Rides may not finish where they started—riders should be prepared to get back to their car if they park-and-ride.

*A relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Rides will be supported and supportive, and all abilities are encouraged.

*That said, these will be rides, not cruises. Light-to-moderate pace (set by riders) and hills. We will be riding on the road, in traffic.

*Although ride length, terrain, and pace may not be appropriate for very young riders, rides (and destinations) will be family-friendly.

Beyond these guidelines, everything is flexible! Will we be a road/urban riding group? Heading out to singletrack more often? It’s going to depend on who shows up regularly! Eventually, we hope to create a rotating schedule so attendees know exactly what to expect each week. We’re also still thinking about potential names. Got any great ideas? Shoot them over to Jake, along with other comments and questions.

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