As of 3 p.m. December 1, Denver's favorite faction of pedal-powered radicals, the Derailer Bicycle Collective , will be back on a roll at its new location, 411 Lipan Street.
Earlier this year, as reported here, city zoning officials put the brakes on the non-profit bike shop, which since 2003 had been operating out of a garage behind a house in the La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood.
The collective might have been easy to dismiss as an insular crew of car-hating anarchists if their free services weren't so wildly popular among poorer residents -- for whom biking is not an alternative, but a necessity. In any given week, hundreds of Denverites would visit the makeshift shop to get their bikes fixed or build a new one, with the action often spilling into the narrow alley.
But that won't be a problem at the new spot, a 1000 square-foot space (with and additional 1000 square feet outside) inside a Baker neighborhood warehouse. The property owner, Dave Nester, is leasing to Derailer at a discounted rate of $250 a month for rent and utilities.
The anti-profit provocateurs have received donations from a variety of supporters. "We've gotten so many random people just giving us donations of $50 or $100," says collective member Sarah Bardwell. "It's amazing."
The local bike messenger community got behind Derailer, too, organizing the recent Denver Film Cycle as a fundraier for the group. (The fest included a trailer of a documentary on the collective slated for release next summer.) Bardwell hopes that such grassroots efforts will help sustain the bike shop through many future tune-ups in its new digs.
Because when your motto is "Every car a murder, every bike a love affair," it's not easy to move thousands of pounds of bike parts and frames. "We did it all by bike," Bardwell says, and laughs. —Jared Jacang Maher
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.