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Aug 11, 2015 1:03 PM ET

Archived: Rich City RIDES Cooperative Community Shop: The Rich City Rides Community Bike Shop provides refurbished bikes, bicycle repairs, accessories and supplies. We serve commuter cyclists, recreational cyclists and families.

iCrowdNewswire - Aug 11, 2015
Personal Story

My name is Najari Smith and back in August of 2012 I started Rich City Rides as a service to the community on a bike path that runs through a linear public park called the Richmond Greenway. The 2nd Saturday of every month, I would go out to the Richmond Greenway, and repair bikes for the children in my neighborhood, using borrowed tools and supplies. These monthly bike clinics led me to meet many neighborhood mechanics who joined in to help. Eventually, we added a bike valet service for community events and began fixing bikes on a sliding scale to support our programs.

In 2013 Rich City Rides was awarded a grant that allowed us to send two of our mechanics to United Bicycle Institute to become certified Bicycle Mechanics with an additional class in Bike Shop Operations. When we returned our goal was to establish a Bicycle Shop where we could continue our programs and earn a living. I drafted a business plan based on the community knowledge acquired from more than 2 years of community outreach done by Rich City Rides and reached deep into my network for advice and resources to bring this goal to fruition.

We are happy to report that we have successfully raised and repaid our 1st Kiva Zip loan of $5,000 and are now going for a 2nd loan for $10,000. We invite you to be a part supporting a great business and community resource by loaning to our loan raiser!

Business Description

The Rich City Rides Community Bike Shop provides refurbished bikes, bicycle repairs, accessories and supplies. Our customers are commuter cyclist, recreational cyclist and families. We are proud of our established connection with the community and our past of accomplishments built from over two years of work and service throughout the city of Richmond.

Since we opened in September of 2014, our biggest challenge has been building and maintaining a variety of supplies and accessories. Purchasing the items at wholesale to make them available to our customers with very little start up capital has been tough and we dread every painful moment that we have to turn away a customer that could have resulted in a sale. In the future we’ll have even more products and offer bike repair workshops, a bike rental service and bicycle tours around the city and throughout the bay area.

What is the purpose of this loan?

We’re going to use this loan to help us remodel our Cooperative Community Bike Shop. We need $50,000 to pull this off and this loan will go towards accomplishing this goal.

Our remodeled shop will include lighting, cabinets, shelf space, flooring, new display cases, well needed signage and many other elements necessary to run a bike shop at its optimum level, enabling us to better serve our customers and present the high quality inviting atmosphere our city deserves.

This is an effort that goes beyond our bike shop. By remodeling the interior and exterior of our shop we aid in the revitalization of our dilapidated downtown district in a way that will inspire others to do the same. Richmond deserves it!

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