Sunday, July 21, 2013

To the Future

Dearest Bike Cavers,

This last year and couple of months have been quite a trip, really more like last two to three years. As many of you know The Bike Cave started about 5 years ago as way to help out our friends and neighbor kids with bicycle maintenance. We tried to keep regular shop hours at our home every Sunday afternoon. Things were pretty wild back then. We decided in 2011 it was time The Bike Cave had a space of its own, so we put together an actual board of directors and held regular meetings. We worked hard to find a space that was big enough, but also within our meager budget. Almost a year after we started working towards opening a real shop our dream and plans came to fruition. We opened at our Pattie street location May 2012. Originally the plan was to have this awesome community space where people could just come and volunteer and learn and hang out and have fun. Its there now, but its taken some time to get there. After the first month we lost most of our board members to busy life schedules, something we knew was a possibility since none of us were getting paid and it was a lot of hard work. I should point out that there are no hard feelings towards any of our former board members. We love you all and thank you for helping us get The Bike Cave to where it was. That being said, Mike and I were left to do all of the work and it was tough, but we felt The Bike Cave was something the cycling community and Wichita needed. Since then we have worked four days a week, six hours a day not getting paid except for the satisfaction of doing a good job. We managed to keep this place going even when the winter months were crushing the bank account. Luckily, Mike and I had a strong relationship before The Bike Cave opened, but this last year was definitely a strain on us. Mike was in his last semester of school and I was working to pay our personal bills. Stress levels were high, so if we seemed rude sometimes we sincerely apologize.

That pretty much brings you up to date. So, here is where I relay some good news and some bad news. The good news is that Mike and I are both working full time now, as well as, preparing for the birth of our first child. We both still love The Bike Cave and want to see it continue to grow and move forward, but at the end of this year we will be stepping down as President and Vice-President(Secretary, Treasurer, and/or Marketing Director). We will be holding elections this November to fill the following board seats: President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Marketing Director. We will train the new board in December in how we currently run the shop. In January 2014 the new board will officially take over as the owners and operators of The Bike Cave. That being said, if nobody steps up to take over The Bike Cave we will hold a garage sale in December and donate all proceeds to the Bike/Walk Alliance of Wichita. We really would like to see some of the community step up and take over what we have built, we know its not perfect, but it has a good foundation and can really grow with the right leadership and board.

Until then, we ask that you please be a little flexible with the hours. As I said we are both working full time and can not always be at the shop anymore. We will do our best to maintain the shop hours we have (Thursday-Sunday 12 to 6), but we can no longer guarantee them.

Thank you to everybody that has helped us along the way and to all the community support we have received without you we really could not have done this.

Love Always,

Charli Lauer
The Bike Cave

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