April 22, 2019 (Columbia, S.C.) - To kick off national Bike Month, the Cola Town Bike Collective (CTBC) is launching Sprocket, its new web-based app for cycling routes across the Columbia, S.C., region, with a celebration on May 1 at 6:00 p.m. The event will be held at CTBC’s new headquarters at 711 Elmwood Ave. in historic Elmwood Park, one block from the Vista Greenway. View info for the May 1, 2019 launch party here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2027074977405202/.
S.C.’s only freestanding nonprofit bike shop, the Cola Town Bike Collective is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) charitable organization of bicycle users whose mission is to educate and empower the community by providing a welcoming space to learn about bicycle repair, engage in maintenance practices, and promote safe operation through outreach and advocacy activities. Learn more at https://colatownbikes.com/.
Sprocket: Bike-Friendly Routes, Connecting Communities
Sprocket is a new, web-based mobile app created by CTBC that provides curated bicycle routes through the Midlands based on a rider’s comfort level as a bicycle user. Learn about the Sprocket cycling app: https://colatownbikes.com/sprocket/.
“Our volunteer team at Cola Town Bike Collective has taken our collective 40 years of knowledge and experience with cycling through the Midlands and is giving that knowledge back to the community,” says Scott Nuelken, President of Cola Town Bike Collective. “With Sprocket, you can plan a fun ride, find our network of bike repair stands, and identify the best routes near you.”
The Sprocket app will feature mapping, voice and visual navigation, as well as locations for bicycle racks, bicycle repair stands, and docks for the BlueCross BlueShield Blue Bike bicycle share program. Choose from beginner, novice and expert options in terms of difficulty, steepness of hills, etc. and enjoy a curated selection of “fun rides” for cyclists of all levels. This program was funded by a Connected Communities Grant from Central Carolina Community Foundation, as well as private sponsors and donations from around the Midlands.
Starting on May 1, 2019, users can go to http://www.ridesprocket.com to bookmark and use the app.
CTBC: A Crucial Service for Communities in Need
CTBC provides a vital service to the “invisible cyclists” of the region, bicycle commuters whose only form of transportation is a bike, and who often do not have the resources to pay for flat tires and repairs. The all-volunteer organization accepts donations of used bikes and bike parts (as well as financial donations), then rehabilitates the bikes for donation to individuals enrolled in support programs with organizations such as Transitions.
CTBC also reserves a selection of rehabilitated bikes, from cruisers, hybrids and mountain bikes to road bikes and tri-bikes, for low-cost resale to local consumers, college students, etc. These bike sales support the nonprofit’s operating costs such as rent, utilities and parts.
CTBC works with over half-dozen nonprofits and charitable organizations, including Transitions, Catholic Charities of the Midlands, Calvary Mission, MIRCI, Fast Forward, Oliver Gospel Mission, Refugee & Immigration Services of the Midlands, United Way of the Midlands, and area churches to provide reliable transportation to anyone who needs it in the Columbia, S.C., area. CTBC receives support from all three of the Midlands’ leading retail bike shops, Outspokin’, Summit Cycles and Cycle Center.
“After three years in the Rosewood neighborhood in a small storefront, the Cola Town Bike Collective was in need of a larger space and a bike-friendly, downtown location that would better serve our transitional clients. Notably, Mike Kelley, a.k.a. Captain Telegram — who is known for his support of the homeless community — is our new landlord.” says Nuelken. “We are grateful to local business leaders like Richard Burts and Jim Bowie for their early support in providing low-cost space to us when we were just starting out.”
“We are thrilled with our new spot at the head of the Vista Greenway in Elmwood Park,” notes CTBC Vice President David King. “Our new space provides a welcoming venue for community gatherings, and we look forward to being here for a long time to come.”
Upcoming Cola Town Bike Collective Events:
• 4/27/19: Kinetic Derby Day, West Columbia – Cola Town Bike Collective will provide Bike Valet services; ride your bike, and we’ll take care of it! Event info: https://www.facebook.com/events/906429826217478/
• 5/1/19: Sprocket cycling app Launch Party at Cola Town Bike Collective: https://www.facebook.com/events/2027074977405202/
• 5/12/19: Bike to the Ballgame at BullStreet - bike ride from the State House to the Fireflies baseball game; first 25 riders get in free. Event info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1509563469178375/
• 5/12/19: Fundraiser at The Hanger (Hunter Gatherer), sponsored by Will Brennan
• 5/18/19: Dear Blanca album fundraiser at the Cola Town Bike Collective, 711 Elmwood, with Transmission Arcade and Smokey Loggins BBQ
• 5/31/19: Bike to the Ballgame at BullStreet - bike ride from the State House to the Fireflies baseball game; first 25 riders get in free. Event info: https://www.facebook.com/events/685960818500026/
About the Cola Town Bike Collective
South Carolina’s only freestanding nonprofit bike shop, the Cola Town Bike Collective is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization of bicycle users whose mission is to educate and empower the community by providing a welcoming space to learn about bicycle repair, engage in maintenance practices, and promote safe operation through outreach and advocacy activities. The group services the bikes that it sells or donates to ensure that its clients can continue to count on the transportation it provides. CTBC works with over half-dozen nonprofits and charitable organizations to make sure that anyone who needs reliable transportation in Columbia, S.C., has it available. Learn more at https://colatownbikes.com/.