Nonprofit shop is a hub for Tempe cycling community – and a recycling project

TEMPE – When he first walked into Bike Saviours, Christian Lee Bowers was so awed by the place he was speechless.

“The next day, I even wondered if this place was real,” he said. “So I came back and instantly just started working on projects.”

The cooperative bike shop not only teaches customers how to fix their bikes, its volunteer mechanics help those who need bikes build them from scratch using donated parts available at reasonable prices. The shop also sells certain new parts, such as tubes and tires, and it hosts workshops for women, according to the Bike Saviours website. It also works with partners to educate riders and make Tempe a safer, “more bikeable” place to live.

“It brings a lot of joy into my life,” said Bowers, who volunteers at Bike Saviours. “This place kind of calibrates my heart and my compassion a lot.”

Shop manager Nicole Muratore also described the nonprofit, which has been around about a decade and at its present location for five years, as a “recycling project.”

“Our biggest revenue stream is from the sale of used parts – so if it has life left in it, we keep it,” she said. “We have several outlets and tributaries for the things that come into our shop because we don’t want them to just wind up in some landfill somewhere.”

Bike Saviours, near Broadway Road and Roosevelt Street, is open Sundays through Thursdays; no appointment is necessary. Ten workstations, as well as basic and specialized tools, are available for $5 an hour with a $15 ceiling. For riders of minimal means, the shop also swaps work for bike parts.

This story is part of Elemental: Covering Sustainability, a multimedia collaboration between Cronkite News, Arizona PBS, KJZZ, KPCC, Rocky Mountain PBS and PBS SoCal.

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