Sharing the Dream: How One Non-profit is Benefitting Communities Through Bike Shops [Podcast #285]

Experienced bike mechanic Paul Brazeau works with Ryan Jackson on a repair. Photo: Dream Bikes.

Matt Martinez is the executive director of Dream Bikes, a non-profit organization that strategically places used bicycle stores in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods to provide hands-on, paid job training to teens. Dream Bikes has refurbished and returned more than 10,000 bikes to service, and operates two shops in Wisconsin.

We ask Matt:

  • Is there a lot of demand for bike mechanics? How does the pay for professional mechanics compare to other jobs?
  • What kind of impact can access to affordable bikes have on communities?
  • Are you seeing increased demand for bikes during the pandemic?
  • Beyond providing repairs and selling bikes, how does a thriving local bike shop impact neighborhoods?
  • Is there an environmental aspect to your mission?
  • Beyond the training your group provides, what is the value of a more formal bike repair education?
  • Does a lack of infrastructure like bike lanes or even trails limit the reach or utility of the program in the communities where you operate?
  • What are some ways mountain bikers can help your organization?
  • Are there other opportunities to help communities through bikes? What is the greatest need you’re currently unable to meet?

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