Lawrence Central was visited by the founders of a growing grass-roots movement in the US to get people on bikes by creating spaces where old bikes can be rehabilitated, where people can rediscover bicycling, learn how to maintain their bikes and learn how to bicycle safely and legally.
Lawrence Unchained was founded in 2014 by Michele Berendsen, Lisa Hallberg, and Jessica Mortinger. All three are avid cyclists who were inspired by initiatives in Topeka – Topeka Community Cycle Project – and in Kansas City – Revolve KC and 816 Bicycle Collective, as well as other similar shops.
The founders make bicycling a part of daily life, both as regular bicycle commuters to jobs in and around Lawrence, Kansas, and also as social and sport cyclists.
Their mission is to share the enjoyment that bicycling brings to our lives to others in the area by advocating for cycling, by teaching safe bicycling techniques and, most importantly, bringing old bicycles out of sheds and basements and garages and getting them back to life and back on the street.
Lawrence Unchained first bicycle pop-up event with the Lawrence Community Shelter happened in September. Attendees, in exchange for committing time to learn bicycle basics and taking a safety ride received refurbished bikes complete with lights, locks and helmets.
Right now they have lots of bikes but are looking for a place to set up shop where people can come in, volunteer time, learn biking basics, and be able to eventually have dependable basic bicycling transportation and know how to be safe while doing it.
The three will happily discuss how to get anywhere around the region on a bike. Michele even explained to someone how to get back and forth from Lawrence to Johnson County and that The Joe will let people take their bikes on it and drops you off at the KU Edwards campus.
The group recently submitted their 501-C3 tax paperwork and were granted non-profit status so now any donations to the Co-Op are tax deductible.
For more information about Lawrence Unchained Bicycle Co-Op check out their website at http://www.lawrenceunchained.com/