By Brian Cohen
Here to service the community and help the city go green, the Arcata Bike Library has plenty of bikes to rent and an abundance of bike parts to fix any bike problem.
The Arcata Bike Library, a second generation resurgence, now consists of simply a red shipping crate. The outside of the shed has plenty of old rusty bikes piled against it. The shed can also be identified with their name sprayed on faintly with black spray paint. The Arcata Bike Library can be found off of Alliance Road, right next to the railroad tracks, near the corner of 11th and K. An online search for the bike library will not have much if any information on the bike library’s new location. Most of the information that can be found online is all outdated.
What used to be a known treasure of a bicycle friendly green community, the former Arcata Bike Library was the center fold of cheap transportation in Arcata. Once located right on the plaza and in a warehouse from 1997 to 2007, after 10 years it had to close due to high rent cost. Since the second generation has been sneaking by at its current location since 2008.
The Arcata Bike Library is a non-profit organization that was established by former owner Bill Burton. In an interview with the North Coast Journal, Burton openly blamed the City of Arcata for not funding his non-profit properly and consistently. However it seems the Arcata Bike Library is now a ‘hidden’ treasure among few in the community.
HSU business major Carlos Barajas, 20, said he looked all over the internet to find a road bike in Arcata.
“I searched online to find a bike, but I found that their [Arcata Bike Library] information is all out of date,” Barajas said. “I was finally able to find it after talking to one of my friends who know someone who volunteers there.”
The Bike Library does more than just simply providing anyone with the chance of affordable transportation to get to point A to point B.
“It sends a good message to the community, encouraging riding bikes and getting fewer cars on the road,” Barajas said. “The Bike Library is a true hidden treasure in Arcata and it definitely should be more invested in.”
HSU psychology major Joseph Schimmel, 19, said that he needed some bike parts to fix his means of transportation to school but did not quite have the funds.
“I heard about the bike library from one of the students in my class who happens to volunteer there,” Schimmel said. “I was even there early enough to help set up and open, and because I helped out and put in my own labor, they were kind enough to let me have the parts I needed free of charge.” The Arcata bike library proves a true helping hand to the community and also implements the bargain system.
HSU biology major Allan (Bard), 22, is one of the volunteer managers at the Arcata Bike Library. He said that the place is for the community.
“It is more of a community gathering place between cyclists right now,” Bard said. “We do not really have a lot of publicity, and it can be a little tricky to find, but it definitely is a gem to the community.”
Providing many with a way to fix or find a bike to ride the Arcata Bike Library is a real hidden treasure that soon with enough support can be a known treasure to all. The Shed is already filled with hundreds of different bike parts and a few bikes that are ready to ride right away. The Arcata Bike Library is open on Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to about 5 p.m.