SPOKES Bike Lounge was broken-into on 13 June, 2020, and lost over $20,000 in bicycles and inventory.
We are a black-owned family bicycle shop in Berkeley, Ca, that opened in 2015.
Our dream was to get more people on bicycles that fit them, to build a healthier community where we live, work and raise our kids, and to help everyone have mobility and access to healthcare, education and job opportunities.
We were already struggling from Covid19 changes and not receiving any funding or grants, and this is a big blow to our business. Many of the bicycles that were stolen belonged to our customers, and the bike trailer is essential for moving bicycles and whenever we provide free bike parking at East Bay events.
As we rebuild our shop from broken windows and doors, we appreciate any and all help from the community that we have dedicated our entire family to for five years. Most of our customers know we work over 80 hours a week and our kids have grown up in the shop.
We will recover from this with your help and be back to take care of you and your family's mobility needs.
More of our story at the bottom of this post.
We are looking for the following individuals: (Images below)
- Black man with dreads in his 30s/40s
- White man in his 30s/40s
These are some items they stole: (Images below)
- Price Road Classic
- Specialized Tarmac (Red)
- Kona Process
- Woom Off Air 4
- Woom Off Air 6
- Pure Cycles Urban (Pele blue, Medium)
- Bikesatwork 5 foot trailer
Anyone with information can email [email redacted] or call 202-505-2735.
Hello, I'm Pearly and I met my husband, Brian Drayton, in 2012. Together, we opened up Spokes Bike Lounge in 2015, to help bring the San Francisco-East Bay community closer together.
We wanted to create a space where families felt comfortable coming in and telling us what their mobility needs were, and trusted us to get their children and themselves on bicycles.
My husband has been teaching children to ride bicycles for over a decade and when we started the shop, we started our Training Wheel Liberation classes, where my husband alone has taught hundreds of children to ride bicycles. He believes that the independence and freedom children feel on bicycles help them achieve more in life and has always been patient with every child and family's unique needs.
He has hand built electric tricycles for seniors who need to keep exercising or loose mobility due to illnesses, and helped people with previous bicycle trauma from accidents overcome their fears through individual attention. We keep doing this because our customers have told us stories of their lives changed for the better.
Our family also provides free bike parking at over 30 summer events throughout the San Francisco Bay Area every year, and donate bicycles to people and organizations in need regularly.
I moved to the US from Singapore 8 years ago and when I arrived, I decided I wanted to be a cyclist. I went on Craigslist and typed in "small" and "bike" and saw the most beautiful bicycle I had ever seen – a Celeste (pale green) Bianchi. It was in the Mission in SF and I immediately texted Brian, who was then a friend. But before he could talk to me about it, I told him that I had bought it.
Though it was beautiful, I was in so much pain the first time I rode it that I didn't ride again for months. I thought that like running, I just had to get used to it. I was wrong.
The second time I rode it was with Brian. I was in so much pain, I told him not to talk to me. I suddenly realized how being on this beautiful bicycle made me a mean person.
When Brian asked me one day if he could help me fit my bicycle better, I begrudgingly said yes, with the caveat that I not spend too much more, just in case "I am just not a cyclist".
In the next few weeks, strange bicycle parts started arriving at my house. First some cranks, then a handlebar, then some other strange pieces of metal I didn't have a home for.
A couple of weeks passed, and finally, Brian invited me to go to a park in Berkeley with him. There, he told me to ride my bicycle and tell me what I felt and thought. When I returned, I said it wasn't comfortable. Wasn't great, but wasn't killing me yet. He opened his toolbox and told me to rest while he changed the angle of some things, and swapped out some other things.
After about 3 hours of work, I got onto the bicycle and took a ride around the block. It was like a completely new vehicle. It felt one with my body, like I was in control of the bike, it didn't control me.
Then I opened my mouth and said a horrible thing: "But that's not a Bianchi." That was the moment I knew my mistake - I had fallen in love with a bicycle that was never meant to be mine. I had grown.
These days, this experience guides the way we serve our customers:
- If you don't come back from a test ride with a BIG smile, let's try some more bikes.
- Your body and its memories are unique, we care about what it's experienced. It helps us build the right bicycle for you.
- We're a bike lounge because buying a bicycle starts with a conversation. Tell us your story, have you had an accident before? What kind of learner are you? What bicycle dreams do you have?
- We are the Family Bike Collective because we have two young kids of our own. We give our kid bicycles as much attention as we give our adult bicycles because we believe that children who have great memories on bicycles become adults who ride.
Bicycles are friendly vehicles, they allow us to smile, wave and hear "hellos", they are not the capsules cars are.
We want to build the next generation of cyclists: healthy, happy, and part of community.
- Zongjian Bai
- Alicia Chen