Yes, We’re Kind Of A Hot Mess.
…so tell us something we don’t already know.
When you walk into the shop, you might hear things that make you feel uncomfortable, like a kid calling another kid ‘gay,’ or ‘retarded.’ You might see kids riding with us and not wearing helmets. You’ll see a full ‘swear jar’ and probably guys hanging out by the door smoking cigarettes. Our meetings start late and our rides have never once actually left at ‘6, sharp.’ There’s chaos and disorganization and sometimes a mess.
When you walk into the shop, we hope that you notice a few other things too. Like the kid running out to the store for orange juice when one of our friends with diabetes quickly drops to low sugar. Another kid proudly showing his report card to Shop Manager Jason. The fact that Russ shows up every single week to volunteer as Sweep on the weekly rides, after working a full day.
The kid who pretty much had detention for the entire school year proudly and gently teaching another kid how to fix his chain. Someone giving Demitri a boost when he can’t quite make it up a hill. Kids switching bikes mid ride — because they want to share the ‘good’ bike amongst each other. The young man asking a younger rider, ‘And where’s your helmet?’
We are teaching each other, and it’s a slow and messy process. We have conversations about why calling someone ‘gay’ as an insult, or telling a joke that’s disrespectful of women, does not fit our motto of creating a safe and welcoming environment.
We talk about why it’s important to keep the shop tidy and to do our best to not swear when costumers are around. We talk about why it’s important to wear a helmet, and that we represent something bigger than ourselves when we wear our Reading Bike Hub tshirts in the community.
Our monthly crew meetings include individuals ranging in age from 10 to 55 and we discuss topics like Roll.Right.RDG. code of conduct, pump track and community garden maintenance, and our drug policy.
If you’re looking for a single-file, calm bike ride, Roll.Right.RDG. might not be the ride for you. If you’re coming to the Shop looking for a sanitized, structured programming, that’s not really our schtick. If you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and risk a few scrapes along the way, to work to increase social equity and engagement in our community, and be a part of an exciting and evolving experiment, then we’re the folks for you.
The only thing we can promise you is that you won’t be bored.
Local students are committed to maintaining the Pop Up Park, but we also need adult volunteers. We’re looking for adults to commit to 15–20 minutes for one day per week to help water the garden.Call 610 507 4820 if you would like to learn more or volunteer.