Our Mission

Our mission is to encourage bicycling in Lancaster by creating a fun, welcoming space where we provide access to hands on education and tools to all members of the community.

70% of all car trips in the U.S. are under two miles. Empowering more people to replace these short car trips with trips by bike can have a tremendous impact on everyone in the community.
We want to transform an old, abandoned pump house in Reservoir Park into a community bike shop where kids and adults can learn the basic maintenance and riding skills necessary to make biking a part of their everyday lives.

Why Bike?

There are many advantages to using your bike as much as possible! Individual health benefits are obvious, but it is also healthy for the community—reduced congestion downtown, an increase in local small business commerce, more streamlined and efficient transportation and a considerable reduction in pollution and other emissions associated with automobile use means using your bike instead of your car is one of the best ways to positively impact your community!

Lancaster has stated its interest in bolstering its bike infrastructure. This means that Lancaster will be investing in things like bicycle lanes for safer travels for those riding on public roads, as well as more convenient access to safe bicycle parking. Cities similar to Lancaster in size and demographic have undertaken similar initiatives and have established measurable improvements in local small-business commerce where businesses have provided cyclists with suitable bicycle parking. One of our missions at The Common Wheel is to educate Lancaster City Government, local small businesses and individual members of the community about the advantages to embracing a bike friendly community. Everyone benefits when more people use bikes.

Values

Diversity

People of all kinds ride bikes. Cycling can and should be accessible to everyone, regardless of age gender, language, skin color, beliefs, or income level. We want our space to be welcoming, inclusive, and helpful to as wide a variety of people as possible. Diversity brings a variety of perspectives and richness to any community.

Community

Community is strength. Community allows us to stand together and advocate for a cause we believe in. It will take a strong community to help support and grow a bicycle movement. It is important that we embrace opportunities to join together.

Life

Helping to improve and empower the lives of the people we serve is central to our motivations. We want to be conscious of the environmental implications of what we do and remember that bicycles are tools to help improve the lives of members of the community. We value the vibrancy of life and will look to incorporate joy and love in all that we do.

Board of Directors

The Common Wheel is a board-driven organization, with representatives from many facets of the Lancaster community. Meet our leadership:

Darren Finn

Darren is tax and business advisor for Simon Lever LLP. He has worked with many small business leaders and brings his knowledge of tax, finance, and stewardship to the board. He is relocated to Lancaster 3 years ago from Washington DC. Darren continues to be an enthusiastic city dweller and proponent of city living. He currently volunteers with Leadership Lancaster. Informed by over 15 years of DC city life, he believes that non-motorized transportation and access are keys to high quality of life and reduced road congestion. An avid runner and biker whose passion far exceeds his talent at either, Darren can usually be found on the city streets doing one or the other. His wife believes that Darren should get a pedi-cab to transport her and their two young boys around town.

Dave May

Dave is the outbound manager at Quality Bicycle Products (QBP) east coast distribution center in Middletown, PA. In addition to making sure that boxes make it out each day to thousands of independent bike shops all over the country, Dave’s primary role includes organizational development, coaching, and project management for a variety of teams and initiatives. He is also the company gatekeeper for time management best practices and the east coast sponsor for QBP’s ACE (Advocacy, Community, Environment) program. He is a 10 year Lancaster City resident and actively involved in the Lancaster music scene, playing with three well-known local bands and running a local music showcase every month at Quips Pub. Dave has drunk gallons and gallons of the QBP Kool-Aid and truly believes that bicycles have the power to change the world! He recently transitioned to a completely car-less life and is looking forward to making some good bicycle memories soon that don’t involve being honked at, thrown over the handlebars by potholes, or run off the road by dump trucks.

Lija Stoltzfus

Lija Diem Stoltzfus brings almost a decade of teaching experience and over a year of professional contributions in higher education to the Common Wheel board. Lija’s love of bicycling began when she lived in the Netherlands where she witnessed an impressive commitment to the use of bicycles as the primary form of transportation. Lija hopes to contribute to both the education components of the Common Wheel as well as writing, event planning, and anything involving creativity.

Larry Keating

Larry worked as a lawyer for Armstrong World Industries and two other Lancaster companies. He has served as a volunteer for numerous community organizations, currently SCORE Lancaster, The Janus School, and Leadership Lancaster. Larry has been an avid rider and bike mechanic for decades and once rode slowly up Mt. Ventoux.

John Caldwell

John is a co-founder and vice president of Caldwell, Heckles and Egan, a general contractor in Lancaster. He is also a part-time cellist, fiddler, and ski instructor.
Most of his favorite memories on a bike involve the loss of a few layers of skin and possibly some cacti.

Stu Smith

Stu is a Pre-construction Manager for Benchmark Construction. He has worked on fundraising efforts for clients of Benchmark and has assumed leadership roles on complex construction projects. He brings creative and analytical skills to the board and knowledge of the financial aspects of the organization.
Stu enjoys listening to and discovering new music. He also likes watching sports, practicing yoga, spending time with friends and family and riding his bike. Barcelona is one of Stu’s favorite places and he yearns to go to Peru and to explore more of the West Coast.

Andrea Lommen

Andrea is a professor and chair of the physics department at Franklin & Marshall College. She has also started two international astronomical organizations and was the founding chair of both. She wants to help Lancaster become a great place to commute by bike. She is good at getting people to get along and explaining complicated things in a way people can understand.
Andrea enjoys, cooking, yoga, having dance parties with her daughters and teaching really good physics and yoga classes (not at the same time). Amsterdam and New York are two of her favorite places and she also longs to go to Peru.
Her favorite memory of biking is bike camping across France with her family, where she really enjoyed getting to a place and watching her daughters run around.

Miles Gallagher

Miles grew up in Lancaster and was a baseball player and coach at Millersville. He is currently an associate athletic director at the school. Miles has volunteered with The Make-A-Wish foundation, The Wounded Warrior Project, SALSA youth baseball, and Hoop For A Cure. Miles brings strategic planning, fundraising and organizational skills to The Common Wheel, as well as bringing a great connection to Millersville. He is interested in seeing Lancaster become a place that encourages more people to live an active lifestyle.
Miles enjoys traveling, good food, hanging out with his fiancee and enjoying the company of family and friends. San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, and Vieques, Puerto Rico are his favorite places that he’s traveled to.
His favorite memories on a bike are from riding beach cruisers with family and friends on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina.

Sofia Ruiz-Alfaro

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