Put Something In The Box
If at any time you’ve looked for a used bicycle in the District of Columbia, you’ve run into the same puzzling brick wall everyone has—used bikes aren’t sold in DC. It’s due to heavy-handed regulatory laws for pawn shops, but it encompasses second hand shops as well. Until recently, shops that wanted to sell used bicycles would need to apply for a license and submit any product they received to the Metropolitan Police Department Pawn Unit (Change.org Petition). Even after that, MPD wants shops to hold their products for inspection for inspection. Without researching (because not getting paid), I’m assuming these were enacted during the crack epidemic to counter the sale of stolen items in order procure bad illicit illegal stuff.
Gearin’ Up Bicycles looks to jump into the gaping void that is used bike sales in the District. Since they’re nonprofit only a few of the secondhand regulations apply (according to them). Not only are they serving the underserved (those needing sub $300 bikes), they are also empowering and employing the underserved (those in underserved communities).
“Gearin’ Up Bicycles, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington D.C., is a community used bicycle store empowering and employing young adults from underserved communities. In our future downtown retail space, we will sell quality, affordable, used bicycles in addition to basic bicycle tools and accessories.
All sales representatives and mechanics will be teenagers from underserved communities. We will ensure a constant supply for our mechanic staff to tune-up or rebuild and prepare for sale via ongoing in-store collection, bike drives and fundraisers. In addition to providing the community with quality, affordable used bicycles, we give our staff members the skills they need to succeed in their future with Gearin’ Up and beyond.”
The shop, whose grand opening is May 3rd, is currently running an Indigogo funding campaign. As of this post, there were 36 hours left to make their goal.
I, for one, welcome our nieuw shop of empowerment. And used bikes.