Since 2006, SanTana bicycle-safety group Bicycle Tree has empowered local cyclists of all ages with the knowledge to fix and put together their own bikes. The small, covert shop, tucked away on Main Street between a theater and Pop’s Cafe, houses a large collection of parts and tools. Volunteers are on hand four days a week to help Spanish- and English-speaking riders fix their rides, as well as hold classes on bike safety and maintenance; they also organize group rides throughout the city.
Aside from fixing two-wheelers and donating them to charities such as Mercy House, it has partnered with Santa Ana Active Streets and other groups to encourage individuals to ride more regularly. It’s certainly come a long way from when organizers Paul Nagel, Hector Madrigal-Ramirez and Gina Marzolo would fix people’s bikes from the driveway of a house in Anaheim. “When we started, we didn’t know much,” Nagel admits. “We had little experience fixing bikes; we didn’t know people or have good connections. We were just dumb kids who wanted to get it going.”
Little by little, the team grew in shape and demand, operating on a mobile basis for years—until the collective launched a crowd-funding campaign in 2013 to open a center. In 2014, they became a recognized nonprofit.
This year, Bicycle Tree celebrates a decade of service and activism with an all-day fête that features live music by Edith Crash, Yellow Red Sparks and others; also involved in the fun are DJs from KUCI, all-girl vinyl collective Chulita Vinyl Club, food and vendors.
Bicycle Tree, 811 Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 760-4681; www.thebicycletree.org. Anniversary party, Sat., noon-7 p.m. Free.