Partner Spotlight: Bent Spoke Outreach

Bent Spoke is a local, intuitive based bicycle and trailer service team focused on the needs in Eugene. They strive to demonstrate compassion, patience, curiosity and usefulness. They are one of our first pilot program partners and we hope to support their journey to becoming the first microenterprise incubated at the Sandbox.

History

Bent Spoke started in January 2021. They focused on riding long the area bike paths and local parks looking for folks to help. They distribute food, hot and cold beverages, blankets, tents, sleeping bags, tarps, pet food, clothing, shoes, hand warmers, hygiene products, batteries and socks. They have since ridden over 2,000 miles, distributed over 4,800 sandwiches, 1,000 + blankets and much more.

Over the last four months, their service spectrum has grown. They provide information for local resources and assist individuals reaching for those services through any means appropriate. They assisted in camp re-locations, and provide transportation of people’s belongings when they find placement in housing or services. Bent Spoke is currently distributing over 500 meals a week to hard-to-reach camps throughout the community.

Bent Spoke remained consistent by following through with requests if solutions were possible and managed to build a strong level of trust with many sleeping in less than desirable conditions.

Bent Spoke rides in tandem 3.5 times a week. Their path covers 20 + miles and takes roughly six hours. They average 45-50 contacts a night. On the “off days” they travel 20+ miles delivering requested items and/or assisting in situations that take longer amounts of time.

How it All Started

Regeneristas first met Bent Spoke at a community bbq at the Unitarian church parking lot held for the 13th Street and Chambers camp.

Thomas has joined them in an outreach ride every week since that first day.

In May 2021, they agreed to join the team and are helping to develop our Transportation Pilot, slated to last 12-months.

In July we are looking forward to adding our next program participant, Sean!

ReCyclized

Our first pilot project is launching in the summer of 2021 and is slated to last 12-months. Our goal is to (1) build out a sustainable transportation infrastructure program and (2) develop a collective impact model for nonprofit, for profit, and government partnerships. Regeneristas believes in the mission of solidarity not charity and strives to create more pathways for fulfilling human potential in worthwhile work.

We are partnering with Cyclized, a local company for sustainable transport products. Together we are developing the curriculum and pathways towards a self-sustaining program. The business will donate a percentage of the proceeds of each product sold to support facilities, staffing and stipends for the program. During the initial pilot, Cyclized will help to develop train-the-trainer curriculum and fund research and development.

We are partnering with Carry it Forward (CIF), a 501(c)3 that serves unhoused people in Lane County, Oregon, with a primary concentration in Eugene, Springfield, and rural areas in East Lane County. CIF is a grassroots organization that addresses our community’s housing and homelessness problem on multiple fronts, seeking solutions at the individual, organizational, and larger systemic levels. They will provide fiscal sponsorship and case management support for the ReCyclized program.

We are partnering with Bent Spoke Outreach, a team that has been operating an outreach by bike program since January 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bent Spoke is currently distributing over 1000 meals a week to hard-to-reach camps throughout the community. They are working towards nonprofit status. Roger Jensen, Bent Spoke Outreach founder, is the team lead and site manager for the residential sheltering program for the pilot.

Program details

Participants receive (1) basic shelter supports and case management and (2) training and opportunities for work in the following areas:

  • Re-Cyclized: restored, reincarnated and electrified old bikes, made to be stylish, fun and functional.
  • E-cyclized: Customized e-bike conversions
  • Cyclized Bikes: Innovative new electric bikes, trikes and cargo trailers, redefining sustainable micro-transport. 

July 2020 through July 2021

  • Q1: Regeneristas will prepare a transitional shelter site, finalize agreements with community partners, and welcome the first cohort of four to six pilot participants into the program. Together, we will develop our program structure and business plan for rebuilding and electrifying recycled bikes.
  • Q2: Re-Cyclized workforce development program training, focused on teaching bike mechanics and detailing to participants, will begin in earnest. Housing navigation assistance, case management, and peer support are provided to support individual and collective goals.
  • Q3: E-cyclized workforce development training begins to teach participants how to electrify recycled bikes for resale. Cohorts and individuals who wish to incubate microbusiness models enabled by etrike begin work with business mentors.
  • Q4: Cyclized workforce development training concentrated on the production of high cargo capacity etrike begins. At the conclusion of the training, participants leave the shelter and are offered opportunities to apply for paid employment or develop their microbusiness further at a community partner microsite.

cyclized ecargo trike Designs

Cyclized is in the final stages of finalizing the eCargo trike design. The initial bike parts will be largely manufactured in China and assembled by the ReCyclized team until we are able to design components locally.