GOSHEN — The Chain Reaction Bicycle Project has a new location, a new executive director and new goals for promoting sustainable bicycling in the Goshen community.
Two weeks ago the Goshen-based bike project moved from its old building on Jefferson Street to its new location at 510 E. Washington St., about a half-mile away. In celebration of its new space, Chain Reaction is holding a First Fridays open house Friday from 2 to 9 p.m.
“We have quadrupled our space,” said Ray Collins, the new executive director at Chain Reaction. “Before we didn’t have much work space or place to store bikes. Now we actually have room to move around.”
Unlike its former location, the new Chain Reaction building has electricity, heat and restroom facilities for the first time in the project’s eight-year history. Collins is excited about the upgrades and what they will mean for the organization’s non-profit bike shop.
“It’s a great change — now volunteers can come in and not have their fingers freeze to the tools,” Collins explained.
Collins, who signed on as project director three months ago, believes the new and improved space will open more opportunities for its advocacy and training programs. With so much new space, the organization hopes to host more bike education groups such as Goshen Bikes. Eventually it would also like to start a bicycle mechanic school, where it would teach bike repair and maintenance to people who are unemployed and seeking mechanical training.
One of Chain Reaction’s biggest challenges right now is to let customers know it’s no longer located next to Main Street, Collins said. Its goal is to maintain former customers and volunteers while also reaching out to people in its new neighborhood.
“The cool thing is, kids started coming to the shop just to hang out,” Collins said of the old bike shop. “It was great for building community. We’re hoping to see more of that at the new building.”
Founded by Tom Benevento in 2004, Chain Reaction runs a non-profit community bicycle shop where used bicycles are repaired, sold or bartered. The shop is run by volunteers who help people repair their bikes and make bikes available to those who use bicycles as their primary mode of transportation. Chain Reaction also operates Goshen Re-Cycles, a bicycle-powered, curbside recycling pick-up service.
For more information about Chain Reaction’s recycling services and parts or to donate a bike, call 903-3056.