Midtown Sacramento was packed on July 10th for the monthly Second Saturday Art Walk, and bikes were everywhere. For some, the bikes themselves were the artwork. Custom tall bikes adorned with streamers and flowers were displayed in at least one location. Symbols of creativity and individual craftsmanship to some, mere curiosities to others. Either way, they seemed right at home amidst the predominately urban and utilitarian bicycle presence throughout the entire event.
For others, the bikes were a convinient workhorse, a mobile art gallery or shop. And for a great many more, the bike was the only reasonable way to navigate to, from or through the Midtown Sacramento streets that become completely full of art lovers, party-goers and those just out to mingle.
Few other places in Sacramento embody the practical and community aspects of the bicycle lifestyle like the Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen. This fusion of ideas was demonstrated even more as the Bike Kitchen hosted a music-and-beer event right in the shop. Bands like the country-rock group The Alkali Flats kicked out the jams to a backdrop of shelves of donated and repaired bikes and benches adorned with wheel truing stands.
According to Doug (Hear the full interview here), one of the volunteers working at the event, the Bike Kitchen is “…non-profit, volunteer run…tool co-op.” The tools and parts that are present all over the shop all come from donations. Anyone can come in off the street and for a “five dollar suggested donation” get help getting their bike back on the road. The entire shop is staffed with volunteers, and will not only help you fix whatever is broken on your ride, but probably also teach you how to do it for yourself in the process.
If you can afford it, if you can afford the 5 bucks to come out and donate and learn how to work on your bike what you’re doing is helping someone that can’t afford that. You’re going to help a college student that wants to travel, or your going to help a homeless person that’s wanting to try to find a job. You’re going to donate into the community that’s Sacramento – the bike community – and get someone on a bike that wouldn’t otherwise get there.
All proceeds from the sale of refreshments at the show go to support the Sacramento Bike Kitchen. The scene of folks sporting polka-dot cycling caps talking to women in evening gowns was fantastic. Add in the accompaniment of music by The Alkali Flats and it made for a great evening all around.
For more on the Sacramento Bike Kitchen, listen to the entire interview with Doug (QuickTime format)[local /wp-content/uploads/2010/07/DougFullInterview.mov]
Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen is located at 1915 I Street in downtown Sacramento, on the alley adjacent to the rail road tracks between H and I streets.