Boulder's Neighborhood Leader

Community Cycles is Spinning the Narrative on Local Transportation

Article by Karysma Hicks

Photography by Poppy & Co by Kelsey Huffer

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

On a mission to take a new approach to the representation of sustainable retail, Community Cycles offers the Boulder community an equitable resource for its residents—providing education, access to refurbished bikes and tools, and encouragement of an objective and commitment that will maintain qualities of Boulder that local cyclists have fallen in love with.

While conclusively promoting active transport to encourage more carbon positivity in the Boulder area, Community Cycles is also using its platform to introduce a more circular economy. Not just a movement, an organization, or a local bike shop; Community Cycles is a collective space for people to learn, connect, and share—not with just each other, but with its inventory of refurbished bikes.

To the likes of thrifting clothes, shoes, furniture, and electronics; bikes are just as shoppable and are just as capable to be given a new life. While purchasing products that are brand new can be engrossing—it can be harmful to our environment and to our communities on a smaller scale. When consumers choose to buy green, they are ensuring a higher potential for the quality of life. Community Cycle’s Directors: Craig David, Alexey Davies and Dax Burgos and Executive Director Sue Prant, sat down with Boulder Lifestyle to speak on how exactly they’re tapping into how they’re promoting and maintaining a better quality of life by motivating Boulder residents to adopt a lifestyle and aesthetic that grapples with the idea that ‘reused isn’t attractive.’

“We believe that our carbon footprint truly affects not only our environment—but how we’re living in it,” say the directors of Community Cycles. “Our carbon footprint is affecting how much space we have, how much better or worse we are all able to breathe, how much better we could all feel.” 

Believing that our society is built around the obsession of using automobiles for quicker access to the places we need to go, Community Cycles’ team wants to show people that there are other ways to participate in small changes that result in a bigger impact. One of those ways is by reducing. Consider reducing the time or frequency you spend in a car as well as calculating the best value of an Uber, ride-share or public transportation. You might even realize you can eliminate a car used merely for transportation. 

The idea behind repurposing is something Prant, David, Davies, and Burgos favor highly. Receiving more than 3,000 donations each year, Community Cycles has an array selection of bikes that can be repurposed and reused and contribute to their initiative of active transport in Boulder. At their bike shop, cyclists can stop in to “pretty” up their bikes and get them in good shape. Having this resource available allows them to not only be a contributing factor to the halt of mass production but also creates a space for like-minded cyclists to pronounce themselves as a changing force in the community.

One other way the directors of Community Cycles hope to attract community members is by creating an experience. From offering educational workshops to allowing people to come in-shop to repair their bikes, down to hosting awareness holidays like Bike Month, and communal events like their annual Bicycle Film Festival—Community Cycles holds precedence on not just influencing their community but connecting with them as well. Having been able to donate close to 500 refurbished bikes a year to low-income families and adding local philanthropy to their business model, the directors and their team find themselves blessed that people bestow on them the same charitable value. “We’ve been around for 15 years now and have earned such a blessing in this community that people really believe in us and believe in bicycles.” Realizing that Community Cycles thrives not because of their initiative but because they are a resource that supports a massive need of the global population, Prant, David, Davies and Burgos have deemed themselves responsible for ensuring that the eco-system they’ve built is ever-lasting and life-promoting.

If you are interested in connecting more with Community Cycles and their team, you can hunt them down at this year's Bicycle Film Festival—happening on October 22 at Kiln on Pearl Street. At this annual festival, attendees will be able to be a part of a major catalyst for the urban bike movement. With the purpose of promoting sustainability while addressing global issues, the Bicycle Film Festival is a chance for like-minded individuals to share a space that allows them to be educated through self-sufficiency and advocacy. In alignment with Community Cycle’s communal representation, this event is the perfect opportunity to unite and make Boulder a better place for not only it’s beloved cyclists—but for everyone who lives, works, and breathes the Boulder lifestyle.

SIDEBAR: Bicycle Film Festival (BFF) has been celebrating bicycles through art, film and music the last 20 years. The physical BFF spanned the world in over 90 cities worldwide to an audience of over one million people. This year it will be taking place in Boulder (in-person for the first time ) with an all-new international selection of the most important short films from the BFF collection. During BFF, attendees will get to immerse themselves in an experience comprised of a diverse curation of film making styles: narratives, documentaries, international award-winning filmmakers, and emerging directors all share equal billing. The event benefits Community Cycles' efforts in our community and invites hundreds of people to take a stand in bettering our environment. 

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