May 2, 2014
Learn how to fix up your bike
Third Hand Bike Co-op
Located at 979 E. Fifth Avenue in the Milo-Grogran neighborhood is a small brick building. If you're like me, you might pass it by without realizing it. Don't let the outside looks fool you, though. It's plenty big inside and houses racks of bikes for sale, bicycle parts, an area to work on bikes and a lounge/library area. The group has open garage nights where you can bring in a bike to work on it, but you might want to sign up in advance. It got pretty full during a recent visit on a Wednesday night and I was told it's busier on Saturdays. Not to deter you, but you just want to show up when the open garage night starts or you might be without a work station. The group will not fix your bike for you, but tell you how to fix your bike and offer tips and help if needed. You can also donate bikes or bike parts and equipment (helmets, pedals, etc.) as they keep them for future use or to fix up bikes they already have. About 30-40 bikes are for sale in the front portion of the building and range in price. Most newer ones are in the $100 range, but some do need a little work and it's indicated on the tag. The most expensive one I saw was a Trek Antelope 850 for $125. They have quite a few cool old coaster bikes, too, in addition to 10-speeds and mountain bikes.
The open nights are Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m. and Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. Ladies night is the last Thursday of every month and is held from 6-9 p.m. It is free to use the open garage and tools, but you do sign in on a computer when you arrive and if it's busy, you might have a time limit of 30-45 minutes set for a work station. Parking is located in front of the building and at spots in the gravel lot adjacent to the building. The group is seeking volunteers and not just people with bike maintenance knowledge-they are also looking for artists to help decorate the space. Volunteers can trade their time in for discounts on parts or bikes.
I was also told that Franklinton Cycle Works holds a similar program, but I haven't been there yet to check it out. For details on its program, visit http://franklintoncycleworks.org/
For more information about the group, visit http://www.thirdhand.org/joom/
**Deals and Discounts**
When you purchase a large drink at McDonald's through June 9, you will get a cup with a QR Code and link to discoverohiotogo.com. The page allows you to purchase deals such as $5 off of Reds game tickets, $20 off a pair of Cedar Point tickets and 20% off at ZipZone. There are other discounts, too. Check out the link for details discoverohiotogo.com.
Also, Zoo admission half off on Wednesday for Franklin County residents with valid I.D. Don't forget parking is $8.