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!