I went down to see the Boise Bicycle Project at its new shop at 1027 Lusk for the big $10 bike sale this weekend. I was actually looking for a bike for myself, so I don't have to keep riding my rad full-suspension mountain bike to work everyday. But after talking to Jimmy Hallyburton, one of BBP's founders, I decided to go a different route: I'm going to bring my old blue Trek that I converted to a single speed a few years ago down to the shop and fix it up again myself. I think it needs a new bottom bracket and maybe some tweaking to the gearing.
BBP is a bike cooperative that helps people learn to work on their bikes. They also fix up bikes for people in Boise who need one but can't afford one. Volunteer mechanics have fixed up and donated more than 400 bikes so far. They just moved to a new shop near Ann Morrison Park where you can go down several afternoons a week and use some shop space and tools to work on your bike.
Though I didn't buy anything for myself (an orange cammo custom hybrid almost had my name on it), the Saturday morning was not a wash. My four-year-old kid is ready for a bike, so we spent about a half hour checking out dozens of pink and purple rides until we found a nearly-new Novarra. It's purple, but there are no princesses on it, so it's fine. A volunteer helped us pull a matching chain guard off another bike and mount it on ours. We adjusted the almost-banana seat, rode across the shop and handed over $10.
Hallyburton told me that they had steady traffic all afternoon, a bunch of it driven by Boise Weekly's Facebook page.
Some afternoon this week I'll head down there to fix up my commuter. I'll let ya'all know how it goes.