BICAS (Bicycle Inter-Community Art & Salvage) is a worker self-directed nonprofit 501(c)(3) bicycle center located just north of downtown Tucson.
Relying largely on generous donations from our community, and responsible stewardship of those donations, BICAS is able to provide a variety of programs to learn how to fix a bicycle, earn a bicycle, create unique art from recycled materials, and provide programs specifically targeted towards youth. We believe in bicycles and other human-powered machines as essential vehicles for transportation justice, and we are always striving to make them more accessible to our community.
We are an education center, not a traditional bike shop.
Through advocacy and bicycle salvage, our mission is to participate in affordable bicycle transportation, education, and creative recycling with our greater Tucson community.
Empowered Communities with Sustainable Transportation
BICAS is committed to…
- Creating a space where support/acomedido can flourish
- Creating an environment that is inclusive and accessible, where we can engage in mutual learning and growth
- Welcoming all sorts of voices and stories that help shape a sense of belonging and connection
- Supporting one another through a Do-It-Yourself/Do-It-Together model of knowledge sharing
- Cultivating confidence and competence by providing new experiences and opportunities through which we can be vulnerable, take risks, make mistakes and learn from them
- Using bicycle maintenance as a vehicle for self-determination and personal growth
- Reusing/recycling old bike parts to build affordable bikes, reimagine everyday objects, and create art
- Investing in un futuro with clean, healthy, reliable transportation which does not harm the environment
- Viewing every member of our community as a teacher who can share their skills and create more teachers
- Working towards a more equitable future by listening to the needs of our community
- Recognizing and responding to structures which oppress, disrespect, or invisibilize members of our community
- Holding ourselves accountable by striving for anti-oppressive spaces and transformative practices in our collective, in our shop, and in our community
- Welcoming all people to bicycle riding, mechanics, and art-making, while acknowledging obstacles individuals may be facing
- Generating opportunities for community members of all identities to develop skills that meet their needs
- Ensuring that all individuals can access their right to a sustainable form of transportation
- Collaborating as a group of equals, building a space of open dialogue
- Practicing a consensus model of decision making where all voices are recognized by proposing and not imposing
- Prioritizing the needs of the group over the needs of the individual to draw us closer to the needs of the community
What we do…
You can find the following at BICAS:
- Community Tools — rent a shop stand, tools, and mechanical assistance
- Used parts — vintage, cheap, high end, low end
- New parts — the basics: tubes, tires, seats, racks, etc.
- Refurbished bicycles — fully refurbished bicycles with a warranty
- “As-is” bicycles — used bicycles that we can teach you how to repair
- Work Trade Program — earn shop time, used parts, and bikes
- Classes — learn bicycle mechanics in a structured setting
- Youth Programs — camps, classes, and drop-ins
- WTF Workshop — our shop services in an inclusive WTF environment
- Art for purchase — bicycle-themed art, gifts, and BICAS merchandise
- Make art — weekly art corners
- Bike scrap parts for your art projects
- Metalworks Program — commission us for public art (including bike racks)
- Bring donations — bikes or bike-related items (Check our wishlist for more)
BICAS started in late 1989 as an organization called Bootstraps to Share. A group of like-minded community members came together to assist and empower the homeless population in Tucson, helping folks attain work, shelter, food, and transportation.
Over the next few years, the organization focused on sustainable transportation as a requisite for sustainable work, determining their greatest impact was to provide recycled bicycles and the skills needed to maintain them. In that same period, youth became interested in the bicycle mechanics programs.
Thus, BICAS in the way we know it today came into existence around 1994, although the name “BICAS” wasn’t used until 1996. We have since extended our bicycle recycling, advocacy and education programs out to the entire community. Since our founding, we have trained thousands of youth and adults in the trade of bicycle repair, maintenance and safety, and restored thousands of bicycles, saving them from the waste stream.