What's Up with Bike Farm?

You can’t get a hold of anyone there: they don’t check their voicemail and they never reply to their emails. If they ARE doing anything they’re being inconsiderate of the logistics of people’s lives by insisting we take all concerns and questions to them physically in person … hoping of course someone’s actually there on arrival!

I’ve heard they’re doing free repairs for essential workers. That’s great; I’m one of them! But when? What hours? And what all’s covered under this umbrella term “free repairs”? A lot of people consider bicycle repairs to be fixing a flat tire; I’m more advanced than this — right now I need to do something with the spacers on my rear wheel axle to center the tire properly, and I’m hoping without requiring me to dish my wheel too much.

But, the REAL QUESTION is: why IS Bike Farm closed to the public? It’s a warehouse! I don’t even think I ever stood within six feet of anyone when I used their services before the pandemic, so I’m incredulous that Bike Farm would effectively punish the poor by denying access to stand time and tool use, for no good reason at all! Bike Farm isn’t a food cart; there’s plenty of room for volunteers and cyclists to do their thing with their masks on and properly socially distanced from each other.

(As such, I’ve concluded Bike Farm is incompetently managed and doesn’t care about its mission. There will be a reckoning for the botched pandemic responses by nonprofits. We marginalized people will remember who abandoned us during our time of need. Even second-class citizens despise hypocrisy and betrayal!)

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Apparently they were open for three hours today. Bike Farm - 423 Photos - Bicycle Shop - 1810 NE 1st Ave, Portland, OR 97212
And it was closed last week due to smoke, their Facebook says.

I can’t view any of that information because I don’t have a Facebook account.

While I am sympathetic if your stance is to refuse to get any information from Facebook no matter what, it should be pointed out in case others are interested that that Bike Farm’s Facebook page does not require having any sort of Facebook account to view.

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They were one of the first shops to shutter. I was surprised and asked specifically why, with the same thoughts on my mind as you. They told me that they do a lot of instruction and that they weren’t capable of doing it from 6 feet away, so they closed.

From the replies above I see that they’re somewhat open. But as you say, they’re not a reliable source for bike repair.

Ah, you’re right!

I had to switch my desktop browser agent over from mobile to desktop, strangely, to be able to view their Facebook page.

Why my desktop was posing as mobile, I don’t know. I also don’t know why their public content would be blocked to a mobile user.

If we can receive instruction from Park Tool videos on YouTube, I fail to see how we can’t view socially distanced demonstrations.

Also, I have to point out that face coverings are recommended for people who aren’t or likely can’t avoid being at least six feet away from others. According to the CDC we should be fine standing closer than six feet to each other during instruction so long as we’re wearing masks or face coverings. Either Bike Farm leadership misunderstands pandemic precautions, or is using it as a justification for some kind of ineptitude or disregard.

I just can’t believe that I can’t work on my bike because I can’t afford to drop $120 on tools from Amazon. Tell you what, though: by the end of the year I’ll have a full bike shop in my living room, and no non-profit or for-profit bicycle business in this city will ever see any money from me again — well, except for Universal Cycles and STB Coatings.

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