Help The Sip & Spoke Bike Kitchen unlock $50,000 in funding through Commonwealth Places!
Together with The American City Coalition and Historic Boston Incorporated, Bowdoin Bike School has launched a crowd funding campaign to close the remaining funding gap so that construction can start in July. If we can raise $50,000 from individual donors, MassDevelopment will match each donation dollar for dollar. That is $100,000 to pay for permanent capital expenses associated with the reactivation of the long-vacant, historic Comfort Station into a bike shop and cafe!
Please consider donating to our Commonwealth Places campaign and spread the word to your networks!
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Meet The Sip & Spoke Bike Kitchen
The Sip & Spoke Bike Kitchen will be a mission‐driven retail business that integrates a full‐service bicycle shop and cafe. Based in the Upham’s Corner neighborhood of Dorchester in the City of Boston, The Sip & Spoke Bike Kitchen will offer retail sales of new and refurbished bicycles and parts, new accessories, as well as maintenance and repair services to a heretofore underserved local biking community in a key transportation artery that is increasingly used by local and regional cyclists. The Sip & Spoke Bike Kitchen will serve high-quality coffee and a range of food items sourced from local and respected vendors, meeting a need identified by local residents.
The Sip & Spoke Bike Kitchen is anchored by four central principles:
1. Offer high‐quality biking and cafe products for the local market at reasonable prices;
2. Foster a warm and friendly store environment centered on respect;
3. Contribute positively to the local community—source local products, hire homegrown baristas and bicycle technicians, and support the local biking culture in an area of the city where many rely on the bike as an affordable means of transportation that is faster than walking and cheaper than a car;
4. Become a community hub for residents of Upham’s Corner and the surrounding neighborhoods
Uniquely, The Sip & Spoke Bike Kitchen and the Bowdoin Bike School will be co‐located in the long‐abandoned historic Upham's Corner Comfort Station built in 1912 for the old trolley car system. In partnership with Historic Boston Incorporated, The Sip & Spoke Bike Kitchen will preserve and reuse this historic building, helping to reactivate a key portion of the commercial business district, preserve an important piece of historic architecture, and reconnect the Comfort Station to its original transportation-related roots.
Meet Noah Hicks
Noah Hicks was born and raised in Boston’s Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood and began cycling at the tender age of three. As a teenager, Hicks started tinkering with bicycles in his family’s basement in inner-city Boston, a neighborhood underserved by traditional bicycle shops. His hobby became a lifestyle, providing plenty of spending money and exposure to culture, green spaces, and social activities outside of his neighborhood.
Hicks, like many adults, outgrew cycling and shifted his energies toward his career as a Latin teacher at an urban charter school. After weathering the closure of his school and subsequent loss of employment, Hicks returned to cycling as his sole means of transportation in order to stay active and save money. He joined the Executive Board of the Boston Cyclists Union (BCU) and the City of Boston’s Bicycle Advisory Group to serve as a voice for equity within the cycling movement. As founding chairman of BCU’s programming committee, Hicks brought his mechanic teaching model to bicycle repair clinics throughout Boston. He advised a local youth organization in planning a family-oriented event for persons of all ages and abilities, now in its sixth year.
In 2013, Hicks turned an 8’ x 10’ shed in a local park into a pop-up, seasonal bicycle school offering low-cost bicycles and repair lessons to the community. With a dedicated crew of teenage volunteers, Bowdoin Bike School saved countless bicycles from the trash heaps, safely led group bicycle rides through the neighborhood, and outfitted new riders with free locks, lights, and helmets. In partnership with Victory Programs, Hicks launched an earn-a-bike initiative for formerly homeless individuals in the community, connecting them with an affordable means of transportation and the opportunity to share their newly-minted mechanical skills with other burgeoning cyclists. Hicks then spearheaded a successful online fundraising campaign to support the expansion of Bowdoin Bike School into a brick-and-mortar location and hire his volunteer corps. The corps converted a long-vacant automotive repair garage into a bicycle retail shop and education center, rolling out classes for women, queer youth of color, and working parents.