The freewheel project is a not-for-profit cycling collective and shop with a mission to empower the local cycling culture through education, accessibility and infrastructure. We are conveniently located in downtown Gainesville, close to the Hawthorne state trail and Depot Park.
Gainesville has converted several of us into cyclists. Having one of the shortest commutes in the state, this small college town has made cycling easy and accessible for residents. Plentiful bike lanes, dedicated bike avenues, multi-use trails and sparse parking are just a few of the reasons why it’s so easy to become a cyclist here. For some of us, the bicycle has become such an influential machine—offering us a sense of community, a culture to create and participate in and a way to adventure. That was enough to inspire an organization dedicated to giving back to our local cycling community and its diverse needs.
The Freewheel Project offers a collective to empower local cyclists with bike maintenance skills and bicycle access for any occasion. For $50 a year, our collective members gain access to community work stands and a bicycle library. Our work stands contain all of the tools necessary for you to repair your own bicycle and our shop mechanics can guide you every step of the way. Our bicycle library is a collection of bikes and accessories that members can borrow for a period of time, much like a library book. This includes everything from city bikes, to touring and cargo bikes, and accessories like car racks, trainers and trailers.
One of our goals is to get as many people on reliable bicycles as possible. Since opening our doors in late 2015, we’ve been working on perfecting our methods of reaching out to Gainesville residents.
We hope to serve children, women, low-income residents, veterans, the homeless and other underrepresented communities. We can’t do it without your support.
We rely on collective member fees and donations to support our outreach programs. Besides the aforementioned benefits, our collective member fees help fund classes, events and services. We gladly accept used bicycles and equipment as donations. Some of these donations serve as educational tools during our bike mechanic courses and repair clinics. Bikes are repaired and sold at a low cost back into the community or donated to children. Monetary donations allow us to pay class instructors and host events.
We have plenty of involvement opportunities, and you don’t have to be bike-savvy to help us out. Every Saturday, we host a repair clinic, and volunteers are taught how to fix bikes that will later be donated to children. For those with limited means, we offer a work-trade program for monthly store credit that can be applied to parts and service. Every semester, we accept interns and teach them the basics of bicycle mechanics. We’re also accepting interns who would like to help us build our organization through advertising, graphic design and event planning. We’d love for you to come to one of our rides or classes! •
For more information about us, check out our website, get in touch with us on Facebook or come visit us in the shop at 618 S. Main St.