Co-op to Co-op Bike Ride Roundup

Tompkins Square meetup

Tompkins Square meetup

A group of about 18 or so met at Tompkins Square Park Sunday to start the Manhattan/Brooklyn ride. The 4th Street Food Co-op and Times Up! were the main organizers, and Julie live-tweeted throughout the day so people could join in progress.  We had tandem riders, a four pawed friend, and a nice sound PA system with groovy tunes. We stopped first at 4SFC where Elissa and Julie gave us some information about the co-op’s history and how it works.

Elissa at 4th Street Food Co-op.

Elissa at 4th Street Food Co-op

Next stop was Bluestockings, a collectively-run bookstore on Allen Street in Manhattan.

Mallory with Bluestockings just behind the tree

Mallory with Bluestockings just behind the tree

Mallory told us all about the volunteer staff and the benefits of working there, the staff talent show, and their packed events calendar. We took a big dance break here and a few passersby joined in.

We have Barbara to thank for hauling the sound system around the whole day, including over the Manhattan bridge. More dancing under the bridge, Brooklyn side.

No special sporting footwear required

No special sporting footwear required

Barbara reminded me of sherpas who are so pro that they don’t even need specialized footwear to haul heavy things up hills!

Center bike lane on Sands Street in Brooklyn near the Navy Yard.

Center bike lane on Sands Street in Brooklyn near the Navy Yard.

Occucopy was the next stop, and Chepe was nice enough to interrupt his day off and come open the shop for us to peek inside. It’s a new-ish worker-owned collective on Bergen Street not far from Atlantic Terminal. They do democratic decision making, and also give better rates on printing to orgs with radical causes. Occucopy was born out of the Occupy movement, and are fully functioning but still growing.

Vintage machinery at Occucopy

Vintage machinery at Occucopy

We pedaled over to Greene Hill Food Co-op on Putnam Ave next, in the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill area of Brooklyn. They are open 3 days a week, but not Sundays, so Tasha met us to share some information about the co-op. All members work, and they offer a payment plan for those unable to meet the $175 investment all up front.

Amanda greeted us at Bushwick Food Co-op with cold apple cider and chips with homemade salsa. They are operating out of a storefront in the Loom on Porter Ave and Flushing in Bushwick, for just a little under a year now, after starting as a buying club. They do a summer CSA, and carry locally grown produce from Lancaster, PA in season. Non-members may shop there.

We ended the ride at Times Up! workshop space in Williamsburg near the bridge. David and Barbara gave us the low-down on various environmental actions over the years, including the long-running critical mass rides, as well as other fun theme rides designed to encourage novice riders to experience safe group riding. June 28th is the Drag ride, and June 30th is Just Eating.

A few of us rode back to Manhattan over the Williamsburg Bridge, others dropped out in various places near their homes in Brooklyn. It was a great educational day, not too hot, with one short rain shower to cool us off midday, and nice to ride through various neighborhoods we might not see all the time. Thanks to everyone doing great collective work and hosting stops on our ride!

David at Times Up! in Williamsburg

David at Times Up! in Williamsburg

Amanda at Bushwick Food Co-op

Amanda at Bushwick Food Co-op

Tasha at Greene Hill Food Co-op

Tasha at Greene Hill Food Co-op

Chele and Julie at Occucopy

Chepe and Julie at Occucopy

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