The Bicycle Collective: Salvage Your Bike, Save Money, See the World
Bicycle Collective St George (St.George) is a bicycle cooperative located in Provo Utah. It was founded in 1993 and since then it has grown into one of the largest bicycle cooperatives in America with over 30 members and an annual budget of $1 million dollars.
It was founded by Don and Brenda Nelson after they saw how bicycles were being used to transport goods throughout their small town of St. George, Utah. They realized that if they could get together enough people to buy a few bikes each, they would have a viable business model to sell their wares at fairs and events around the country. Soon after, other local residents joined them in buying bicycles from the cooperative and began selling them on eBay or Craigslist for cheap prices.
Since its inception, the cooperative has been able to expand its reach beyond St. George by offering services such as repair, insurance, and even hosting workshops where people learn how to fix their own bicycles. It’s not just bicycle enthusiasts that benefit from these services either; many families are now able to take trips across the United States without having to pay exorbitant airfare costs because they no longer need a car. Instead, they can get around by using a series of underutilized bicycles that they rent for a cheap price. The cooperative also allows customers to pay in installments.
Other bike-based services offered by the collective include free delivery for many of the items sold at the local grocery store or big box stores such as Target or Wal-mart. This service has proven especially popular with single mothers who do not own cars and cannot transport bulky items back home.
As the cooperative continued to grow in size, it soon became apparent that they needed their own headquarters. Thus, a building fund was created. The collective’s members were able to reach their goal in only six months thanks to a very successful Kickstarter campaign and the support of local businesses such as Ken Garff Ford and Visit St. George. The used building that they purchased used to be a furniture store but sits on one of the busier roads in the city.
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