Volunteer At Free Ride
Volunteer night is the best way for you to get involved and experience what Free Ride has to offer. The overarching goal of volunteer night is the preparation for open shop activities, which requires the shop to be organized and space efficient. The efforts of our volunteers are greatly appreciated and we strive to make sure you feel that your time helping us out in the shop is worth it. Free Ride offers $15 per hour of shop credit to all of our volunteers to be used towards any bicycles, parts, or services offered at our open shop. In addition, we seek to pass on our knowledge to our volunteers. Our shop activities are deliberately designed to educate our volunteers about bicycles and bicycle maintenance.
Volunteer night at Free Ride is a one hundred percent inclusive event. We welcome people of all experience levels to join us in the shop. Even if you have never worked on a bicycle before, we are here to provide guidance and show you the ropes on working with a bicycle. If you share our love and passion for bicycles you will learn in no time!
The best way to get involved? Just stop by during volunteer night hours!
Volunteer night is currently held on Mondays from 6pm-9pm.
Outside of volunteer night, Free Ride relies on volunteer staff (“staffers”) to keep the shop open, and to retrieve and process the donations we receive. All of the current Free Ride staff started out by coming to volunteer night and grew into a bigger role within Free Ride.
Staffers are also volunteers, but they have increased responsibilities, which include opening the shop to the general public. Those interested in volunteering during Free Ride’s Open Shop sessions or contributing in other aspects (donation intake, events, etc) must undergo the staffer training session. Staffer Training will provide an in depth introduction to the day to day operation of our collective as well as our policy and procedures for Free Ride volunteer staff (see our Open Shop page for more information). Staffer Training typically takes place after open shop closure on Saturday at 2pm and takes about 30 minutes. Upon completion of the staffer training one is eligible to start shadowing Open Shop sessions. Being a shadow entails assisting with Open Shop procedure outlined in the staffer training. Upon shadowing Open Shop twice, one can request to become a staffer at Free Ride – which is finalized with council approval.
We have no stringent requirements for experience level to become a Free Ride staffer. The other staffers at Free Ride are here to provide support, answer questions, and help to develop the knowledge of their colleagues. We only ask for folks who are passionate about bicycles and cycling, and who embrace the Free Ride culture of acceptance and inclusivity of others.
See the Free Ride Bicycle Collective Bylaws for more information on staffer (member) eligibility.
The Free Ride Bicycle Collective makes decisions based on the majority vote of a collective council. The Free Ride council is formed by a group of long-time volunteer staffers who are passionate about our mission to provide the community with bicycles and want to contribute their own vision to the organization. One is eligible to become a council member after volunteering 32 hours over the course of 6 months and attending 3 council meetings (see Free Ride Bylaws) after which a written application can be completed and submitted to the current council members.
Council meetings are when the Free Ride collective council meets to discuss important items relating to the current events and future of Free Ride. These meetings occur on the second week of each month, with the day and time subject to change based on availability (see calendar). Council meetings are open to the public, so anyone is welcome to stop in and listen.