Richmond SPOKES (the back story)
Brian Drayton, Doria Robinson, founded Richmond SPOKES as a community organization in 2009 in collaboration with Richmond Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee RBPAC, and Contra Costa County Health Services. Without funding, or infrastructure, it quickly grew to be recognized as the pied piper to the hidden bike culture in Richmond California.
Originally conceived to be a Cycles Of Change "Type" organization supported by Safe Routs to Schools, Richmond SPOKES was crafted by Brian Drayton and Doria Robinson to be a grass roots organization answering many problems of public safety and community development. Brian's history working as a social worker, youth program developer, and environmental educator guided him and his cofounder to crate a template witch later became known as SPOKES across East Bay, The San Francisco Bay Area and expanding across the country.
It wasn’t long before Richmond SPOKES was receiving requests and inquiries from other cities looking for sustainable models of community engagement that provide mobility, healthy lifestyles, green jobs and a place for the community (especially youth) to experience a different model of economic and social engagement.
Two years later Richmond SPOKES launched the only Bike shop in Richmond California. Richmond SPOKES is a hub, and its programs are where the rubber hits the road.” Said one participant who has made it his home for what he calls his "Intentional Community”. David Meza, James Johnson, Roxana Alejandra, interned for 6 months to get their foot in the door of the SPOKESHOP BIKE LOUNGE and have earned full ownership of the shop through their dedication training, and perseverance.
The SPOKESHOP survived its first year and triumphed the hurdles most urban communities have that prevent the incubation of 100% pure community built business. With fewer than 100k, the SPOKESHOP now operates as a business full time and hosts a professional full-service bike shop lounge that is a place where the entire community calls home.
During the summer of 2012, RIchmond SPOKES launched a national campaign incubating the "SPOKES" model across the country. Along with SPOKES National's first partners establishing Atlanta SPOKES, Brooklyn SPOKES, DC SPOKES, LA SPOKES, and Oakland SPOKES it has launched a two national projects The Community Bike Collective and United Cycling Voices. SPOKES National also has two moments that are having regional impact and national attention: Valet Bicycle Parking and a two speaker series called Life At the Speed of Bike and Biking As Social Justice.
With community bike movement partners Red Bike and Green, Bikes For Life, and East Bay Bike Party, Richmond SPOKES and SPOKES National organized rides with up to 1200 cyclist a month during the summer seasons of 2011-2012. As a Bike Valet service provider, deploys over 25 bike valet events a year in five Bay Area cities. SPOKES parked over 6188 bikes in 2011-2012 offsetting 272,272 lbs. of carbon footprint for the Bay Area or the equivalent of 14.81 football fields of trees. This equals $63,255.11 of gas for 13,751.11 gallons of saved gas.