Spring Update


It’s been a long winter, but we’re gearing up to get The Community Spoke! up and running for the spring season! This year promises to be our best yet. We’re changing a lot of things around and updating our schedule to include open hours on the first Sunday of each month as well as our weekly Tuesday open shop. We’re also redesigning our space to make things more efficient and improving our organizational structure.We’ve absorbed Helping Everyone Live Longer, an organization that provides free bike helmets to anyone who needs one. From now on you’ll be able to pick up a helmet at our open shops or at any events at which we are present.

I’m pleased to announce that our opening day will be Sunday May 5. As will be the case for all of our Sunday open shops, we will have a volunteer work session from noon-3PM and we will be open for repairs from 3-6PM. We will be open the following Tuesday from 6-9PM and every Tuesday and first Sunday after that.

In the meanwhile, we will be busy getting things ready. We are having several volunteer workdays in the coming month, which are visible in our calendar. We will also be fundraising at the Back Bay Cycling Club bike swap and tabling at Smash It Dead Fest. In addition to these events we plan to be at the Wake Up The Earth Festival and the Green Roots Festival as we have the last several years. Stay tuned for more updates.

Of course, we’re always in need of a whole lot of stuff. If you would like to help donate, here’s an incomplete list of items and services we could use:

  • Tools (especially metric wrenches and bike specific tools)
  • High quality, working bike parts
  • Cargo Bikes
  • High quality workbenches and bench tops
  • Concrete
  • Bike lubricants, grease, degreasers, and other fluids
  • Heavy duty storage bins, window boxes, etc
  • Cables, housing, brake pads, and other consumables
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Website and graphic design
  • Mural/visual art design
  • Screenprinting supplies
  • General volunteer help

We’re currently not taking donations of non-working bikes, bike frames, and department store bike components. If you’d like to donate, stop by one of our posted volunteer days or email us atthecommunityspoke@gmail.com. We can use all the help we can get in the next few weeks, if you feel inclined to please don’t hesitate to stop by! Volunteer days are a lot of fun and we’d love to meet some new folks interested in volunteering this year.

We’re glad to be back!  Thanks to our supporters who sent us kind words and donations over the last few month.  Y’all are great.  See you soon.


We are now accepting online donations

Published November 17, 2012 | By Alex

If you would like to donate to help The Community Spoke! get back on its feet, you can do it here. Your donation money will go to buying tools and replacing the items that were stolen.

We are always in need of cash, but donations of parts, tools, and volunteer time are every bit as valuable. We are not sure how we’re going to go about accepting non-monetary donations at this time, but we will keep this page updated. Thanks to everyone for your gracious support.


A note on police involvement

Published November 15, 2012 | By Alex

Since our break-in was noticed on Tuesday, we’ve received more publicity and attention than we have in our entire two years of operation. This is both heartwarming and troubling. While we appreciate everyone’s generosity in reaching out, and we’re glad to have your support, we’re disappointed that it’s a negative event that has brought The Community Spoke! to the attention of the greater public.

I have personally turned down two television interviews in as many days and we’ve been mentioned in numerous blogs and online media sources. It’s becoming hard to distinguish between genuine concern and sensationalism in the responses to the break-in at our space. One question that has been asked by those concerned as well as those wishing to capitalize on our loss is “why have you chosen not to involve the police?”

The simple answer is that involving the police is at odds with our established points of unity. We have written and agreed that “we seek to challenge the root causes of social and environmental injustice by creating community-based alternatives and fostering a spirit of mutual aid” and that “our community workshop and mobile repair stations are safe spaces free from oppression, violence and weapons.” The police are an organization that doles out oppression and violence and we as a community can do better.

There are reasons that we have chosen to exclude the police from the Spoke that are deeper and more complex. We have done a radical thing by offering a free service. Many have told us that it’s unsustainable and unreasonable to do what we have done. We’ve never tried to adhere to social norms in our work but we’ve been able to help our constituency in some dramatic ways, and they have helped us grow. This is fostering a spirit of mutual aid. We’ve done this as a community and have never looked for outside help. We all can rebuild The Community Spoke! as a community without the police. We feel that the police will interfere with our mission to provide a free and important service to those who decide to use it. To us this is more important than recovering our stolen property or “bringing those responsible to justice.”

What service can the police provide? Do we actually want the police to target, question, and harass the youth of color of Jamaica Plain on behalf of the Spoke? Would that really help us build a community? Is punishing the people responsible what we want? Is TCS! still a safer space if there is a police presence? Questions like these must be asked when dealing with an event where a crime has been committed. It is, of course, a visceral reaction to call the police, but this could have dire consequences for the folks we serve. We’ve been taught to think that someone who chooses not to deal with the police is guilty of a crime or is hiding something. We need to shed this kind of thinking and understand that communities belong to the people that exist within them. We do not want to fracture the relationships we’ve built through suspicion, aggression, racism, and all the other things the police stand for. The concept of true justice extends far beyond the realm of law.

I feel confident that our stolen bikes will turn up eventually, and if they don’t we will find new ones. Our place within our community is not so easily secured. If you would like to help us begin a new chapter we will gladly accept your help and ideas, but please respect our wishes as far as dealing with the police.

We don’t often make political statements and we strive to welcome all regardless of ideology. I understand that not all share our views. We are genuinely grateful for everything that the spoke has become and everyone that has helped us along the way.

I would like to address some of the rumors that have circulated the internet. If you are a media source and have reported incorrectly, please make these corrections.
-We were not victims of robbery, we were victims of burglary. There is a very big distinction between these two terms.
-Most of our tools were not stolen. We moved all remaining tools and parts to storage. Photographs of our toolboard empty were taken after our move to illustrate our frustration with having to close and our shop being empty.

We have heard from many people that are angry with the thieves. We ask that if our bikes are seen that you please not respond with violence.

Thanks again,

-Alex and TCS!


The Community Spoke! is Closed

Published November 14, 2012 | By Alex

Hey everyone,

Thanks so much for a great season! This has been our best summer yet and we’re all happy and proud to have been able to do what we’ve done. However, due to a break-in and burglary at our shop, the Spoke will be closed indefinitely.

Tools, parts, and bikes were stolen. Please keep an eye out for a brown/copper colored ANT cycle truck with a 20″ front wheel and a very large front basket and an older steel turquoise Miyata mountain bike with an Xtracycle conversion kit. These are very recognizable bikes, and we use them to transport our tools and mobile workshop supplies to do free bike repair away from the shop. If you have heard anything about our tools or bikes, please email us at thecommunityspoke@gmail.com or call Alex at (910) 547-4843.

It’s very sad to have to close under these circumstances, but we will make every effort to reopen next season. Thanks again, y’all have been great.


Bike Swap and Open Shop

Published September 4, 2012 | By Dorothy

Hi y’all!

On Friday, September 21st we’re participating in a sweet Bike Swap at Headquarters Boston, hosted by the Back Bay Cycling Club.

We’ll be setting up a vendor space so we can fund our plans for the winter when the donations slow down quite a bit. Of course, 100% of your donations/purchases will go directly into The Spoke. We will be selling our best, shiniest used parts along with $3 tubes!!!

We’d love to see you there, it’s supposed to be really great with lots of vendors and lots of sponsors with raffles and sweet prizes.

And don’t forget that tonight is Open Shop night from 6-9!

Y’all have made our summer amazing. Thank you and see you tonight!


Women & Trans Night Tonight!!

Published July 16, 2012 | By Dorothy

Hi Everyone!!

Sorry it’s been so long since we’ve posted but we’d like to invite you over for some bike fixing tonight!

It’s Women & Trans night from 7-10pm, find the Facebook event here.

For folks stopping by for the first time, we’re at 10 Boylston Place in Jamaica Plain, right by the Stony Brook T stop. We’re the last driveway on the left.

Hope to see you there!


Visit us at the Green Roots Festival this Sunday!

Published June 1, 2012 | By Dorothy

Hi Folks!

Come visit us at Bikes Not Bombs’ Bike-A-Thon/Green Roots Festival  Sunday June 3rd from 12:00 noon to 5:30pm, weather permitting.

If the rain doesn’t hold out, visit the above web site for an announcement (the rain date is June 24th) and/or our facebook page for a cancellation notice.

We had a great time last year, and we hope to see you folks out there on Sunday. Good luck to all of the riders doing the Bike-A-Thon!

PLEASE NOTE that the Green Roots Festival is on the first Sunday of the month, which is when we would usually host our mobile clinic in Central Square but WE WILL BE AT THE FESTIVAL INSTEAD. We may reschedule our mobile clinic for another time in June, we’ll definitely keep you posted!!