This week I have a cargo bike frame building class for Jimmy Lizama. Jimmy was the founder of the Bicycle Kitchen, a bicycle workshop in Los Angeles, dedicated to teaching people about bicycle repair and self-reliance.
I met Jimmy at the 2008 NAHBS in Portland, but had heard of the Bicycle Kitchen when we attended the 2006 NAHBS in San Jose. When Jimmy called many months ago about signing up for a class I immediately remembered him, because he is one of those very enthusiastic people who LOVE bicycles and loves life!
Jimmy has a small family and they live in part of the Eco Village, which is a small community of people who support living with the least amount of impact on the city and have some shared space for projects and community living and gardening. While his work in the Bicycle Kitchen has been on a volunteer basis [not to mention donating a lot of his personal money for tools], Jimmy has supported himself with being a professional bicycle messenger in Los Angeles.
Jimmy and his family walk the walk, by living in the Eco Village, transporting their children by bicycle and building a bicycle community in the most car dominated city in the world. The work of the bicycle Kitchen has led to the development of the “Bicycle District” in LA. The district is an area of town that has sprung up some bicycle related businesses and food and entertainment spot for people who bicycle.
The grass-roots ideas and efforts of people like Jimmy and the Bike Kitchen, lead to the Bicycle District and now to the Ciclavia in Los Angeles!
This week we will be building a Box Bike for Jimmy, so he can transport his kids safely. We will post pictures of the frames process and someday later get some images of the completed bike when Jimmy gets back to LA.
In the very near future Jimmy and his wife will be opening a small retail store. The main theme of the business will be Jimmy’s wheel building, that will have an emphasis on providing dyno hub lighting. He feels that many people in LA would be well served to buy into dyno hub lighting for their bikes. Jimmy’s wife is starting a business sewing bike clothing that looks like everyday wear, but with some vintage flair. they have the small place secured and will be opening up soon. Once they are set up and have a site I will link them up and write some more about them.