The ReCyclery took root as an experiment in the Summer of 2007.
Originally called the "Boiler Room Bicycle Workshop", it began as a free bicycle repair clinic held twice a month in an alleyway adjacent to the Boiler Room in downtown Port Townsend, Washington.
The first free clinic was hosted by Chauncey Tudhope-Locklear and Todd Temres, both avid cycling enthusiasts and experienced bicycle mechanics. The young Flynn George, quickly joined force. The goal of the clinic was to promote positive social change by teaching people how to repair bicycles.
By Fall of 2008, the Port Townsend Bicycle Association (PTBA) and the Food Co-op joined the Boiler Room by becoming official sponsors of the free repair program. Four times a month, in pretty much any weather, Chauncey and/or Flynn could be found under a tent outside the Food Co-op or Boiler Room offering free bike repair and education. There was clearly a need to support DIY bike culture in Port Townsend.
Dramatic growth came in 2009. Discarded bikes collected from The Jefferson County Dump and the Police Department were now being reintegrated into the local community through the bike clinic's Adopt-a-Bike program. Kids and adults who would otherwise go without bicycles now had a source for bicycles and parts!
As a result of the community’s endless support and encouragement, the bike clinic found its first permanent location in an uptown courtyard, owned by Malcolm Dorn. Fundraising and local donations enabled the newly formed business to open shop five days a week, host a Community Shop Day, and support the now named Earn-a-Bike Program. It became a hangout for local kids and people who were interested in learning more about bicycles. With it's new name, The ReCyclery, Chauncey's brother Dash Tudhope-Locklear joined as co-owner and founder of the brick and mortar business. All programs fell under a local non-profit umbrella allowing volunteers the chance to be involved in promoting bike culture.
In 2012, The ReCyclery outgrew the uptown location and a lease with the City of Port Townsend was negotiated. The to move 1925 Blaine Street at the Mountain View Commons happened all by bike. A board of directors was formed to create a non-profit to house the organization. At the helm was Board President Kees Kolff, a former mayor of Port Townsend and strong believer in bicycles as a way to address social and environmental ills. Six months later, the ReCyclery gained 501(c3) non-profit status. It was now a community-owned entity with three employees (Dash, Chauncey, Aliina Lahti - newly appointed Volunteer, Outreach and Membership Manager) and a handful of enthusiastic Volunteers who helped, not only in the Shop as mechanics, but also county wide helping run bike education programs for middle school students.
The original founders have since left, making way for new energy. We now employ at least three passionate people year round and bring on several apprentices throughout the year. And so it goes, with every year comes new growth at The ReCyclery and continued community support.
A big THANKS to all those who have been instrumental in creating and maintaining The ReCyclery and supporting bicycle use for a healthier and more sustainable community.