The bike project has allowed me to maintain a fleet of bikes for a family of 5 and affordably upgrade my daughter’s bikes as they almost continually seem to outgrow their bikes. But the real fun has been learning the practical, mechanical skills of bike maintenance along the way. In a country that’s moving toward machines with “no user-serviceable parts inside” and treats consumer goods as disposable, the bike project is a welcome harbor for those who like to tinker and see value in used things.
I first worked with Aaron a few years ago when he was offering bicycle maintenance and restoration in a parking lot in downtown Carbondale. I wanted to sharpen my own maintenance skills and maybe help some kids get their first bike. I’ve followed his progress and even donated some tools and bicycles when we downsized our home. The Way of Compassion is unique among the many non-profits that I work with in my job as a state representative. Colorado has a long history of supporting bicycles. Nothing touches kids more to give them a first sense of freedom. I hope that the project can continue to grow and do even greater things.
I am really stoked to see the evolution of the bike project. It has benefitted so many families already. I like that the entire project is truly heart-driven and grassroots. The volunteerism and little budget keep it authentic and nimble. Personally, I have gained priceless cruiser bike opinions and fixes. My steed is riding better than ever!
The Bonedale Bike project hooked me up with my first commuter bike back when it was running out of the Back Door consignment shop. A couple years later they helped me build my extra cycle which literally changed my life. Now I can choose my bike over driving probably 80% of trips. Aaron introduced me to a life where getting from place to place can be fun and exciting instead of just time between places. Watching the bike project grow and reach more and more people from all walks of life has been truly inspirational.
The Way of Compassion Bicycle Project does so much for our Valley. My daughter had a classmate at school who every day, when walking home, wished she had a bike. The two of them had this conversation often and my daughter came to me with the question, “Can we get her a bike Papa”? He mother was not in a position to afford a bike and I went to Aaron with the same question. Over the course of a month or two he put together a very nice girls bike. We delivered the bike to school anonymously and the child was over the moon. We see her riding it to and from school and around town and give thanks to Aaron and the crew from the Way of Compassion Bicycle Project.
The Way of Compassion Bike Project has been of ENORMOUS help to myself, my family, and so many others in our community. When I was looking for a 20-inch bike for my six-year-old son, we went to Aaron who helped us find the various parts needed to update a great frame. Like so many of the other young people who come work with Aaron after school or on weekends, my son loved participating in scrounging through the bikes, listening to Aaron’s guidance, using cool tools and doing the work himself.
In it’s early days, known as the Bonedale Bike Project, Aaron worked out of a shed behind main street, and was often even a mobile operation. Over the years, he has helped so many people refurbish a bicycle to ride around town. Not only do these people leave with a smile and a healthful bicycle, but also a sense of pride and accomplishment of having made something themselves. Especially for kids, this “making” is increasingly rare and satisfying. I work with youth too, and over the years have referred dozens of kids to Aaron and the Bike Project to build a bike. Many of these kids don’t have much support from home, or success in academics. The Way of Compassion Bike project has provided them a place where they can feel safe, valuable, and successful. It is an invaluable community resource.
As a third grade teacher at Crystal River Elementary, the Bike Project has been amazing for my school. Every year we take our students on a bike tour campout to a local ranch. Every year, Aaron donates his time to come to school and teach our students about how bikes work, bicycle safety, and the importance and value of riding bikes. Additionally, the Bicycle Project does minor and major bicycle maintenance to make sure all the students’ bikes are in working order for our trip. This year, the Bicycle Project is even helping to make sure every student in third grade has their own bicycle. Teachers sent the project the number of students who don’t have bicycles along with their heights and the Bicycle Project will make sure they have their own bicycle in time to pedal to the ranch. The Bicycle Project‘s support of our school has been invaluable and incredible.
I have been fortunate enough to work with the Way of Compassion Bicycle Project in a couple of capacities. The first is with my own bicycles. Aaron was super gracious in helping me update my daily commuter bike a year ago to keep me pedaling to work everyday. The project was rather large, and Aaron was able to secure necessary parts, supplies, and tools as well as serve as a coach to me as I wrenched on my own bike. The second is by far the most beneficial and far-reaching is his work with our students in building a fleet of bicycles to use for field trips and excursions from school. This was a long time goal of our school, and was mentioned to Aaron a little over a year ago. During a community service work day in the spring of 2016, Aaron brought several hundred dollars of parts and supplies to outfit the first 10 bikes of our fleet and then worked with a group of ten students to overhaul and get these bikes to a safe running condition. In addition to this school connection, Aaron has been volunteering his Wednesday afternoons to work with a handful of our Freshmen in increasing the number of functioning bikes in our school bike fleet. Talking with a couple of the boys working with Aaron, they are very excited about the work they are doing and love gaining the hands-on knowledge.
My family has all enjoyed the benefits and service of Aaron Taylor’s Bike Project over the last number of years. Each of us has worked alongside Aaron and others in his basement bike shop full of many different parts and pieces of donated bikes. My sons, Henry and Noel, both built a bike from scratch with Aaron’s help. Aaron helped me repair my vintage cruiser! He has bike stands set up so he is able to help multiple people at once as each tries to build a new bike from old bikes, or simply to repair a bike. He is able to work with a diverse population of people in a loving, friendly, and seamless way, while helping each one to get their own “set of wheels” working for themselves.
Aaron Taylor and The Way of Compassion Bicycle Project (WOCBP) has helped the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) significantly over the past 10 years. WCB comes to ACES Hallam Lake campus each June to tune bicycles used by ACES naturalists each summer. These bikes provide transportation to these seasonal staff members who are teaching visitors to the Roaring Fork Valley about the ecology of our area. Old bikes are reused year after year, keep cars off the road and providing a healthy transportation option. By visiting each year, Aaron strengthens the community bond between the bicycle project and ACES. The feeling that surrounds the project are bicycles and working on bicycles can be a positive influence on community, self-reliance, problem-solving, environmental health, fun, and personal well being.
For the past 10 years Aaron and the Way of Compassion Bicycle Project have helped maintain a fleet of bicycles used by 20 Aspen Center for Environmental Studies summer staff. Our seasonal summer staff come from all over the country and typically stay for three months. The distance and short stay often makes it impractical to purchase a bicycle or bring their own. Our fleet of loner bikes enables staff to commute and get around town without the need for a car. With the help of the Way of Compassion Bicycle Project we’ve been able to enhance quality of life for seasonal staff and reduce their reliance on polluting cars!
ACES (Aspen Center for Environmental Studies)
Eight years ago Aaron and the Way of Compassion Bicycle Project built me an Xtracycle using an old bike frame and parts that had been left for the trash. During six of the past eight years the Xtracycle has been my primary form of transportation! My Xtracycle has carried hundreds of pounds of groceries, many people, and kept me out of a car for thousands of commutes!