Friday, June 29, 2012

Meet a Bike Cave Volunteer: VP Charli Lauer

"I like the people that I work with, the people that are able to help, I like the positive vibes that it sends out to the community, that we get more people on bikes, excited about bikes."

Charli Lauer and her boyfriend, Michael James had an enormous collection of bikes and the neighborhood kids began to notice. Parents and rugrats alike began to visit Charli and Michael at their home; looking for spare parts and fixing their bikes. It was in this fashion that the notion of The Bike Cave began stirring, so Charli and Michael began looking for a home with large storage and a suitable garage. This was about 3-4 years ago and a hobby of building bikes with friends evolved into a nonprofit bicycle co-op.

"My hope [for the Bike Cave] is that we get more volunteers and [people] that want to be part of it. If Mike and I aren't around, they will be able to sustain it."

Charli's interest in bikes spurned long before this when she, Michael, and a small group of friends built bikes for commuting and then formed a riding group called Riders of Rohan. Friends of theirs in Springfield, Missouri as well as many cities all over the states had been seduced by bicycle culture; the feel of nature around them, the pride and euphoria that comes with lowering one's carbon footprint, the savings in gas money, the exercise, and especially in Wichita, the welcomed alternative to needing a car. After a woman ran a red light, hit Charli's car, and totaled it, she opted to commute primarily by bicycle.

"I enjoy working at the Bike Cave. It's a great way to spend my time."

Charli is a member of the board for The Bike Cave and is its sitting Vice President. She is essentially the central element to the organization and dealings of the shop.

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