Right-size your ride at Shift Community Cycles6 min read
Why keep paying to move two tons of metal and plastic around town? Eugene businesses are right-sizing personal transportation, from FUVs to the cargo bikes and pedal bikes at Shift Community Cycles.
[00:00:13] Thomas Holden: Shift Community Cycles is doing a great job operating on community support and volunteer labor, turning a lot of the bicycles into usable transport and prioritizing the underserved communities, underrepresented communities.
[00:00:28] They’re in the heart of the Whit right there, nestled at the base of Skinner’s Butte at 370 W. 1st Ave. It’s just a stone’s throw away from the old CAT (Center for Appropriate Transport) building and there was a clear need for a community bike shop.
[00:00:42] And something exciting is happening now: EWEB has given Shift Community Cycles a grant to develop an electric cargo bike loan program.
[00:00:51] Shift has two amazing electric cargo bikes. The technology is there now to support a really efficient, giant cargo bike. You can carry everything in there, your people and all your stuff. An electric cargo bike is a real viable alternative to a small pickup truck or a car, or even a small box truck for transporting things around the city.
[00:01:13] We believe that this is the future of metro transport and the capability that these vehicles have of moving stuff and people around is really incredible and underestimated at this moment.
[00:01:24] So we’re going to change a lot of people’s minds and it’s going to be a really convenient, affordable, and fun way to get people and stuff around.
[00:01:33] John Q: Two local businesses, Eugene Electric Bicycles and Cyclized, have partnered with EWEB on a $300 rebate.
[00:01:42] Thomas Holden (Cyclized): So yeah, EWEB jumped on board in a big way. Before they were just offering the rebate for new e-bikes. And when I met with them they found that more than half of the people were buying really cheap e-bikes. And they were buying them online, so it was cutting out a link to supporting local businesses and it was really supporting the more disposable end of the e-bike chain.
[00:02:05] So really anything under $1,000 you’re going to find online is going to be a disposable e-bike and contribute to landfill and all of the externalities of new production. Our infatuation with all new stuff is hard to break. And people shop based on price.
[00:02:22] So, EWEB decided to support local business. And I called up Eugene Electric Bicycles, who have been doing that for a long time. And we met together with EWEB and then the city also has a website which lists Cyclized and Eugene Electric Bikes as local professional conversion services for electrifying your bike.
[00:02:44] Google ‘EWEB E-bike rebate’ and that brings up a link to this incentive program. eweb.org/environment-and-climate/electric-mobility/.
[00:02:58] I definitely recommend people take advantage of it.
[00:03:01] John Q: His local business can upgrade your favorite bicycle to an e-bike.
[00:03:06] Thomas Holden (Cyclized): The conversions that I do they start at about $900, including installation, battery, and the motor and all the controls, the display, the throttle, you know, all of the sensors that shut off the motor for safety reasons.
[00:03:19] So it starts with an assessment of the bike to see if it’s fit for electrification and what the needs are. Almost any bike can be electrified, depending what the needs are, and who the rider is, and what they want out of the bike.
[00:03:29] So I ask a bunch of questions like that and then I determine if it’s a good fit and then, go from there and, it all starts with repair and refurbishment where needed, you know, initially the assessment, then the repair and refurbishment, and then the conversion.
[00:03:44] I do programming with an app, and I can control specifically each power-assist level at a certain percentage of total power. I can add wired lighting and other upgrades to the bike that can bring the price up. They’re a little bit more for mid-drive motors.
[00:04:00] And I also assess, afterwards, the bike and go through it, always clean it real good, make it look nice. But there’s also a purpose in that, in making sure that everything works.
[00:04:11] And I’d say the average price is about $12(00) to $1,300. It’s definitely an economical option. Yeah, $300 rebate is a lot considering I’m in the more economical zone of e-bike prices for converted e-bikes; a really quality e-bike that you normally only find in the $2,000-to-$3,000 range for new bikes.
[00:04:31] John Q: Thomas hopes to get more butts on bikes.
[00:04:33] Thomas Holden: Type 1 and Type 2 e-bikes going up to 20 miles an hour can go anywhere a bicycle can go—without a license, without insurance, without really any cost except for that of buying a bike and then maintaining it. Why pay for insurance and registration and fuel and all of these things and take a sedentary approach to life by sitting in essentially what a car seat is, like a couch?
[00:04:57] Whenever I get in a car, I’m always amazed. I’m like, ‘Wow, look, climate control.’ And, ‘I don’t feel the outside air and I can listen to music kind of like in this little box. And I’m in the most comfortable seat imaginable with like heat and like controls and all this stuff.’ It’s such a wild sensation. It’s such an incredible convenience. And that’s why it’s been adopted so widely, and this massive infrastructure to support it.
[00:05:20] But hey, look, it’s helping to contribute to all of this disaster that’s befalling us, nature’s giant karmic retribution to make us realize and wake up, a Big Slap that we have to change our ways and we have to adopt more sensible, cheaper, less harmful options and more helpful options and, you know, more economical options for ourselves.
[00:05:44] I want people to have fun and be safe, you know, and feel like they got a good value. And also, just finding a way to reuse your stuff—without having to throw stuff away. And just taking on a more sustainable approach to examining how long our stuff can last and finding creative ways to reuse it in a way that brings value and convenience and joy to our lives.
[00:06:09] And also Cyclized is sending money from every sale and every electrified bike as a donation to Shift Community Cycles, supporting a community bike shop. Jim Nevada, who’s the founder and heart and soul of Shift Community Cycles—we had a volunteer appreciation night at Claim 52 Kitchen, which is a great place there on Willamette, downtown—and Jim, he told me that I volunteered 352.5 hours last year, which surprised me because it didn’t feel like that long. And it was a great experience.
[00:06:42] You know, it’s like a symphony: You can play one instrument really well, but it’s not a symphony unless you get other people to play with you. It takes a community to create a community bike shop. So people are really stepping up and including bringing in some great stuff, you know, putting their heart and their power behind this, in creating the shift.
[00:07:04] So I’m really blessed to work with it. I’ve learned so much about old bikes. The owners, Josh and Jim, they’re really passionate about old bikes, new bikes, electric bikes, cargo bikes, but basically just getting more people on bikes.
[00:07:18] So I’d recommend anyone to head down to Shift Community Cycles, for sure. It’s a really good feeling. You go in there, it’s always lively and positive and really focused on inclusion.
[00:07:30] John Q: Save the planet, support local business, and get a $300 rebate.
Shift Community Cycles is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community bike shop that runs on monetary donations, bicycles, and volunteers. Donate by contacting them in person at 370 W. 1st Ave., by phone at 541-728-2453, or through their website, shiftcc.org.