What seems as a small and highly decorated bike shop actually lies the foundation of a bicycle based community. The Reno Bike Project is home to millions of broken, used, and new bikes. The non-profit bicycle shop is an outlet committed to creating a cycling-friendly community through the points of education, cooperation, and advocacy. The Reno Bike Project was co-founded by Noah Chubb Silverman, who began his bike advocacy interest the midst of his college career.
A native of Reno, Nevada, Silverman, began his interest in the bike advocacy during his years in college. Since the age of 15, Silverman has been influenced by competitive mountain biking and cycling. In 2001, Silverman moved from Reno to Bellingham, Washington, and became a volunteer at a small bike shop named The Hub. As a volunteer, Silverman witnessed the large impact that a small group of staff and volunteers could create towards the value of helping people have access to riding bicycles. He later graduated in 2005 with a degree in Industrial Technology and moved back to Reno to give back to the community through the promotion of bicycles. Shortly after, he took his experiences from Washington and thus furnished the Reno Bike Project in October of 2006.
Moreover, Silverman could not possibly take on the great charity of helping his community and met the current co-founder of the Reno Bike Project, Kyle Koza, through mutual friends. The same year the bike shop opened, Silverman and Kozar set on a mission to recruit as many people as they could to ride bicycles. The growing organization amassed a large group of volunteers in order to solicit donated bicycles to be fixed up and made available to the public. One of Silverman’s main goals was to make bikes available to everyone. “I think one of the biggest things of this organization is creating groups of like-minded people. People that want better streets, more infrastructures for cyclists, and overall people that like the hang out together. It is not a sense of community but an actual community that brings people together.” Silverman says.
In the past nine years, the bike shop has moved into four different locations and currently resides at a long and slender shop on 4th street. The effects of the organization can be felt and seen throughout all of Reno, and hosts several cycling events promoting the culture of bicycles which include We heART Bikes Art Show and Bike to Work Day Pancake Feed. The Reno Bike Project has helped over 10,000 people get on bikes and provided an affordable resource for the community.