That’s right. 200. Between the hard work of The Common Wheel staff and amazing community volunteers, we had 200 bikes ready for kids in need in Lancaster last weekend! On a cold, snowy Saturday, our bike buddies were thrilled to welcome families from all over Lancaster and hand out refurbished bikes, helmets, and lights.

The Common Wheel crew looks forward to the Holiday Bike Drive all year. In fact, the entire process of getting 200 bikes into the hands of Lancaster youth begins long before the snow arrives. You might remember reading about our Holiday Bike Drive goals back in August, and it’s safe to say that we far exceeded those goals! To do so, it took a massive volunteer effort- with over 1,500 hours of volunteer time!
Volunteers helped pick up and deliver donated bikes from all around the county. Volunteers cleaned, refurbished, and prepared all of the youth bikes. Volunteers helped us with bike storage and transportation to and from the event. Volunteers helped to coordinate the event and assisted as Bike Buddies. Volunteers communicated with families, relayed information, and coped with the inclement weather of the day.
The Common Wheel Holiday Bike Drive was possible because of an incredible group of volunteers. For that, we are so grateful, and more importantly, kids all over the county with new bikes this holiday season are grateful.
At the event itself, I personally talked with over 50 kids about their new bikes. There were kids who told me how excited that they were to ride to school, Reservoir Park, or their friends’ houses. Others told me about their first bikes- ones that are now too small or “got messed up” or were stolen. Looking down at her new bike, one girl told me, “This is my first real bike.” And another told me, “Now, I can finally learn how to ride.”
We owe a big thank you to the School District of Lancaster Community School Directors pictured below. They do an amazing job connecting SDOL to our community, helping in countless ways and making an immeasurable impact on Lancaster. Without them, there would be no kids to ride all these bikes.
And last but not least, thank you to the Santa Spokes team who raised funds to support the Holiday Bike Drive, distributed snacks and refreshments the day of, and volunteered their time to make this day a success.

As you can see, we are already looking forward to next year!Santa’s Spokes – Lead Sponsor and Refreshments

Blakinger Thomas – Presenting Sponsor
Gall Laminating – Corporate Sponsor
Garden Spot Village – Corporate Sponsor
Lancaster General Health – Light Sponsor
Wilco Electric – Corporate Sponsor

In kind sponsors:

Mint Photobooth
QBP for providing volunteers
Rhoads Energy – Storage
Shumaker PDT – Transport
Summer Crow Photos

Ride bikes. Build community. Keep it wheel.

By Lija Diem Stoltzfus, Impact Director

100 Happy Faces



Look at this picture. It’s from our holiday bike drive last year. Look closely at the boy’s face. No, not our awesome volunteer, Steven- I mean the boy on the bike. See that smile? Can you feel his genuine happiness? Can you sense his excitement? His pride? His potential? I assure you: each and every child who came in that day left with that look on their face. Because, in reality, a bike isn’t just a toy. It’s so much more than that. It’s freedom, community, camaraderie, unity, STEM skills, responsibility, connection, friendship, true adventure. It’s a gift way beyond a toy.

Every year since The Common Wheel started, we have held a bike drive for young people in need of bikes in the Lancaster community. It’s been some of the most important work we’ve done. The gift of a bike at a young age can literally transform lives. It’s a powerful gift, and the bike drive is a simple but kind of amazing way to directly improve the lives of young people in Lancaster through the power of bikes.




Delivering Happiness

Last year, we were able to provide over 60 bikes to young people in Lancaster on one day in December. We were able to do that with the help and coordination of a few fantastic volunteers. As someone who actually attended the drive and met nearly every child there, I can tell you that it was a pretty incredible experience all around. So. Much. Happiness. In fact, so much so that we want to double that happiness this year. Yes, double. In order to do that, we’ve created a plan, but we need lots of help.




100 Bikes

I know, I know. It is still July. But believe it or not, we have a lot of preparation to do to meet our goal of 100 bikes to 100 young people in Lancaster this holiday season. With our Holiday Bike Drive just over four months away, we have to get moving.



So here’s the plan.

We have linked up with local schools to help us connect with families with children in need of bikes. There is never a shortage of kids in need of bikes. Like last year, we will be partnering with the Santa Spokes crew to distribute the bikes and helmets on the big day. But in order to put the rest in motion, we need some help with a few things.




Get involved!

  1. Bike donations. While we do have a solid supply of kid’s bikes at the shop, we definitely need more in order to meet our goal of 100 bikes. So if you have a kid’s bike collecting dust in your garage, bring it on over to the shop! Shop hours: Tuesday-Friday, 11am-6pm; Saturday, 10am-3pm
  2. Financial donations. In order to make this program happen, it takes some investment on our part, so any financial help in that area is always welcome! Typically, each bike needs work and replacement parts to be a safe and secure, and we provide helmets for each young person who receives a bike. This year, we are also hoping to provide a lock and a t-shirt, but we can’t do that without support. To help support this event, you can easily donate by clicking HERE!
  3. Time donations. This is our biggest one. We are seeking volunteers to commit to two hours, one night a week for a month, to cleaning and fixing up bikes for kids. 100 is a massive number of kid’s bikes, and while our staff is amazing, they can’t do it all and run the shop. The good news is that we welcome volunteers of all skill levels, so everyone can help with the effort. This consistent volunteer time will allow you to set a steady schedule, build your skills, and maximize your bicycle impact for young people of Lancaster. While the day of week will vary month to month, the time will always be 6:30-8:30pm at the shop at Reservoir Park. To sign up for your month, send us email at volunteers@thecommonwheel.com!

                  August: Wednesday

                  September: Thursday

                  October: Tuesday

                  November: Thursday




We can’t even begin to tell you how excited we are about kicking off the preparation for this event. It’s a lot of work, but it’s some truly rewarding stuff. Not to be dramatic, but it’s kind of life-changing. If we meet this year’s goal, our combined Holiday Bike Drive totals will extended well beyond 200 bikes for young people in Lancaster in just over two years in existence. Imagine what we will be able to do in five years! Or ten! (P.S. If you ever feel down, I recommend imagining how big and amazing we can make this event in the next few years!)

So there it is. You’ve got the info. You’ve got the links. You know how to get involved. So make a plan and start today. We are confident that the friends of The Common Wheel will support us in our goal to see 100 happy faces this December. Because really- we need more smiles like these in this world!













Ride bikes. Build community. Keep it wheel.

By Lija Diem Stoltzfus, Impact Director

Can I do Earn A Bike twice?

Darius wants to know. Can he do Earn A Bike twice? And he’s serious. Look at his face. It’s the face of someone who wants to keep working with bikes. And he’s not the only one.




One thing that we can confidently say about Earn A Bike is that there is never a shortage of participants; in fact, we always have a waiting list. And while we don’t offer repeat sessions for Earn A Bike classes (sorry, Darius), we do welcome many of our participants back to the shop to take more advanced classes, to assist with other Earn A Bike groups, and even to help as regular volunteers. If you look closely at the picture below, you might notice that two former Earn A Bike graduates; Damascene and Tyler, who both regularly help out at the shop, graduated just over two years ago.



And that, in and of itself, speaks volumes. Our shop isn’t just a place where people stop in once. It’s a place where we build relationships and a community of learners committed to bike life. With each Earn A Bike graduation, we consider it one of our greatest successes when graduates return to work beside us.

The Follow-Up

This fantastic group of Earn A Bike grads was impressive as usual, and we thought you might want to hear their thoughts on their experience. Because while we could tell you all day about the greatness of it all, as one of the primary communities we aim to serve, their opinions are what we all care about much more. These are the things that they told me.




Most Useful Skill: fixing a flat & learning about brakes

Favorite Part of Earn A Bike: learning about brakes (because she likes complicated things)

What She’d Tell Friends About Earn A Bike: Join and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and have fun!

Biggest Take Away According To Raessa: It’s important to go at your own pace and keep a strong mind and attitude.





Most Useful Skill: fixing a flat

Favorite Part of Earn A Bike: going for a ride as a group

What He’d Tell Friends About Earn A Bike: If you like finding out how things work, you should do it.

Biggest Take Away According To Aidan: He loves that The Common Wheel is a local community bike center- with his emphasis on the local aspect of it.




Most Useful Skill: fixing a flat

Favorite Part of Earn A Bike: meeting new people and building his bike

What He’d Tell Friends About Earn A Bike: “I’d go again, because it’s awesome!”

Biggest Take Away According To Darius: Repetition, repetition, repetition. Darius made sure that I knew that he learned the importance of repetition through his experience at Earn A Bike.





Most Useful Skill: learning how to build a bike

Favorite Part of Earn A Bike: meeting everyone

What He’d Tell Friends About Earn A Bike: It’s fun, and be sure to pick a good bike!

Biggest Take Away According To Tyrese: Perfect attendance pays off.





Most Useful Skill: knowing where to find the tools and resources to help with your bike

Favorite Part of Earn A Bike: working with tires & wheels

What He’d Tell Friends About Earn A Bike: “Just come!”

Biggest Take Away According To Solomon: Jason is the best!





Most Useful Skill: All of the skills are useful!

Favorite Part of Earn A Bike: He now has a bike and the knowledge to fix it.

What He’d Tell Friends About Earn A Bike: Yes- do it!

Biggest Take Away According To Nolan: That he doesn’t just have skills, but he has skills that he will actually use.





Most Useful Skill: learning to ride his bike safely with the group

Favorite Part of Earn A Bike: earning his bike

What He’d Tell Friends About Earn A Bike: the when and where!

Biggest Take Away According To Marquise: He loved working at a real bike shop and wished he could stay longer.





Most Useful Skill: fixing a flat

Favorite Part of Earn A Bike: making new friends

What He’d Tell Friends About Earn A Bike: You should try it!

Biggest Take Away According To Monguiko: I’ll be back to work on bikes and learn from Jason.


The Reason

The reason that I took the time to talk with, get to know, and write about each individual Earn A Bike graduate is because input from the community we serve is important. Each one of these students matters, and their growth as a result of this class matters. Each one of them offered some new insight into the ways Earn A Bike affected and improved their lives. And one thing that I can now say with certainty is that this was a meaningful experience for them- an experience that they are clearly grateful for.

For the record, I did try to pry some sort of constructive criticism from each of them about Earn A Bike. Something that could be improved? Something that wasn’t quite enough? Some skill that was missed? You know what almost everyone said?


Make it longer.


Let us do it again.


Take us on a field trip to ride farther.


And if those are the biggest criticisms, we are onto something important and valuable here.




If you, your company or organization, or someone you know is interested in sponsoring an Earn A Bike student, an Earn A Bike class, or maybe even a year of Earn A Bike classes at The Common Wheel, please reach out to us at lija@thecommonwheel.com. Sponsorships are always in need for these awesome young people, and we love partnering with the community!


Ride bikes. Build community. Keep it wheel.

By Lija Diem Stoltzfus, Impact Director

How to see 360° of Lancaster

Here’s the thing. The whole world looks different when you’re on a bike. You see things.


No, I mean, you really see things.


You see that elderly neighbor on her porch that’s always hoping for a friendly wave. You notice that new restaurant and remind yourself to take your friends there. You see cobblestones peaking out from beneath the pavement and think about the diverse history of your city. Okay, maybe that last one is just me. But it’s true that you can see so much more on two wheels than four; instead of a single dimension, you see 360° of your city.



Meet Eva.


Last year at this time, Eva Dombrowski was driving to work. In fact, Eva was driving everywhere. While she had been riding a bike since she was 13 (self-taught, naturally), she just couldn’t see herself riding the almost two miles to work. Then, as spring began to set in, Eva wanted to get more active, and she made the choice to prioritize biking. She recalls, “I was on the phone with my friend, Amanda, and I said, ‘Amanda, I think I’m going to try biking to work.’” Almost four months later, Eva bikes to work, to her friend’s houses, to the market and stores, and even out to dinner. She feels stronger, her body feels healthier, and she feels better about her transit life. And she emphasizes: she now truly sees 360° of her city.


A naturally curious person, Eva was determined to learn more about her bike and become a more informed rider, so she enrolled in our Adult Repair Class. Through the class, she expanded her basic bicycle vocabulary, learned to fix and repair her tires, and improved her bicycle diagnostic skills, and she finally knows how to tell when her brake pads need to be replaced. Moreover, she now feels more connected to the Lancaster bicycle community and sees the sights and sounds of the city with new eyes.


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Motivations & Expectations


I sat down to talk with Eva last week to get to the bottom of her motivations for taking the Adult Repair Class – since not everyone chooses to take it to the next level with their bike education. First, Eva explained that she is an experiential learner who wanted to really know the ins and outs of her bike and generally be more informed about her riding. She told me, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” and she’s right. Most of the time, it’s not until we are in jam that we realize that we really don’t know something thoroughly.


While Eva had no specific expectations for the class, she hoped that the course would ultimately get her biking more and help guarantee her safe arrival at her destination. From the first day, she said that she immediately felt comfortable in The Common Wheel space and found the accessibility of the bike mechanics to be a real asset for learning; she also felt that she could act out of curiosity with plenty of “as needed” guidance. She did, however, mention that she wished that our workspace was bigger since the shop has to close to the public during class time.


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That led me to wonder: what other kind of things do people envision for The Common Wheel? So naturally, I asked Eva. Eva responded by first addressing advocacy for biking in the city as well as for non-traditional transportation (non-traditional by U.S. standards, that is.) She would love to see more systemic change and broader education to help people understand the benefits of bikes, and she would like to see The Common Wheel more involved in that. And The Common Wheel, according to Eva, should continue to do a lot of what it already does- like inform people of all ages about bikes, prepare bikers and used bikes for the road, teach bike repair skills, and make it possible for all bikers of all experience levels to have a resource.


A Year Ago Today


Because- and this is important- a year ago today, Eva never really thought that she would be biking back and forth to work. Her choice to make the change to bike to work was the first step, but it was also vital that she accessed her resources, educated herself about her bike. and connected herself to a supportive bicycling community. The Common Wheel was able to offer that resource, that education, and that community to her.


unnamed (3)


Eva’s life is different now than it was a year ago, and that, for her, is a good thing. For one, Eva knows more- enough to call herself a biker. She also feels better, stronger, and healthier- which is some pretty powerful stuff. She is now a bike advocate too- just by sharing her story. And she really sees her community differently too- as she says- all 360° of it.


Ride bikes. Build community. Keep it wheel.

By Lija Diem Stoltzfus, Impact Director

Books & Bikes: A Winning Combo

New Books Each Week!

Over the last four weeks, The Common Wheel partnered with The Mix at Arbor Place to deliver books via bike to 100 young readers in Lancaster. Each week, volunteers hopped on bikes to hand deliver books to the front door of school age students across Lancaster. Can you imagine how great it would be as a child to have a new book arrive at your door each week? It was an awesome experience for the readers and the volunteers! Some of our volunteers were thrilled to share their stories.

Erin Long

This past month, I had the honor of delivering books on my bike to 6 kids throughout the east side of Lancaster City. My 4 mile route started on North Marshall, ventured down Orange, then South Ann, and ended on South Church Street. I had the pleasure of meeting 6 spunky kids who were very excited about a new book delivery every week. Often throughout the program, I would deliver to them while they were playing outside with friends and was saddened not to be able to give a book to every kid. Looks like we have some kids excited to sign up next year! Being a Community School Director on the east side of the city, I was excited to help volunteer for a program that gave our kids the opportunity to read culturally appropriate books and enhance their summer learning. Not only did I meet some fantastic, engaged learners, I also met some incredibly dedicated and loving parents. This was without a doubt a memorable and fun volunteering experience with The Mix and The Common Wheel!13434976_928872854757_4695633438330722771_n

Doug Sell

#PagesOnPedals was a great experience. I delivered each Tuesday evening. My route consisted of stops at six homes, with a total of 9 children receiving books each week. The route started down South Prince Street and then went south of Hershey Avenue, before winding back through the city for a total of 5 miles, door to door. The children and parents were always very appreciative of each new book. The first week, a neighbor friend of one of the book recipients asked if he could have a book. I was sad to have to say no. Hopefully, his parents will sign him up for next year! Thank you to The Mix and The Common Wheel for partnering on this initiative.


Lija Diem Stoltzfus

Nothing is better than seeing a child’s eyes light up at the prospect of a brand new book just for them, and every week, I got to see Delilah’s eyes sparkle with joy when she saw her new book. By the second week, her mom told me that she had just finished her first book and was awaiting my arrival. It was such an honor to bring books to these young readers! Each week, I delivered books to 7 children on the southwest end of Lancaster City and got to know their families in the process. I wish I could keep delivering books to excited young readers! I’m looking forward to participating again next year and hopefully getting even more books to more young people in Lancaster.


Chris Caldwell

Many of the people that I delivered books to were English as a second language learners, so our communication levels varied, but I could always sense their gratitude every time I delivered a book. I delivered books to 13 children in Lancaster over the four weeks. Each week, the route and the faces of the families got more familiar, and I looked forward to delivering each week. It was good to know that each book was helping them to become stronger readers. I am so glad that The Common Wheel could partner with The Mix for this great program, and I hope that I have the opportunity to participate in Pages on Pedals again next year and contribute to literacy in Lancaster.


Adriana Atencio

I had the pleasure of being a substitute Pages on Pedals delivery person, and I wish I had been able to volunteer the entire time! I loaded up my milk crate with books for varied ages of kids. Some of the books looked super cool, and I am jealous that there wasn’t this program when I was a kid. I got to go down some streets that were unfamiliar to me; there is a beauty and charm to the south east that you don’t see when passing through (but you do when you get *slightly* lost). I hope I can participate again and more next year!


To learn more about this year’s Pages on Pedals program, check out the Lancaster Online article!

To read more about the Pages on Pedals program, click here!

Ride bikes. Build community. Keep it wheel.

By Lija Diem Stoltzfus, Impact Director

Packed House: Adult Repair Class & Beyond

Packed House

When you stop by the shop late Wednesday afternoons, it is always packed. Packed with neighborhood kids asking to ride bikes around the park, with teenagers crowded around a bike teaching each other in Swahili or Arabic or French or Kinyarwanda, with customers dropping off or picking up bikes, with volunteers showing people where to find tools or supplies- the shop is packed with people working together to ultimately get more bikes moving and- maybe more importantly- empowering people through the power of bikes.




A Typical Wednesday

And on Wednesdays, the shop is packed with people ready to start our Adult Repair Class, which is so popular that we actually have a waiting list. For most adults in the course, the motivation is the same: basic bike knowledge. Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting the shop to check out the class in action. Led by two skilled bicycle mechanics, the class offers group instruction, plenty of one-on-one support, direct guidance, and personalized troubleshooting assistance. On the whole, the class covers basic bicycle care, safety, and maintenance, but it also opens the door for the students to move toward more advanced repair. In the future, we hope to offer an advanced mechanics course as well, seeing as many of our Earn A Bike graduates are already skilled enough to take on more advanced repair.


360° of Lancaster

Last year at this time, Eva Dombrowski was driving to work. In fact, Eva was driving everywhere. While she had been riding a bike since she was 13 (self-taught, naturally), she just couldn’t see herself riding the almost two miles to work. Then as spring began to set in, Eva wanted to get more active, and she made the choice to prioritize biking. She recalls, “I was on the phone with my friend, Amanda, and I said, ‘Amanda, I think I’m going to try biking to work.'” Almost four months later, Eva bikes to work, to her friend’s houses, to the market, and even out to dinner. She feels stronger, her body feels healthier, and she feels better about her transit life. And she emphasizes, she now truly sees her city. All 360° of it.

A naturally curious person, Eva was determined to learn more about her bike and become a more informed rider, so she enrolled in our Adult Repair Class. Through the class, she’s expanded her basic bicycle vocabulary, learned to fix and repair her tires, and improved her bicycle diagnostic skills, and she finally knows how to tell when her brake pads need to be replaced. Moreover, she now feels more connected to the Lancaster bicycle community and sees the city with new eyes.

To read more about Eva and her journey into bike life, click here to access our website and sign up for The Common Wheel newsletter!

Check out some pics from the most recent Adult Repair Class








Click here for info on our Adult Repair Class

Ride bikes. Build community. Keep it wheel.

By Lija Diem Stoltzfus, Impact Director

Bikes, Lancaster, & Goodness

Watch the New Belgium Ride’s culmination!

Get on your bikes and ride- regardless of weather!

IMG_2930Last Thursday, we had the distinct pleasure of slow riding with a convivial crew to celebrate New Belgium’s 25th anniversary with an instantly legendary rain ride from The Fridge to Tellus 360. Organized by The Beer Place, The Common Wheel, The Fridge, and Tellus 360, this slow ride and raffle directly benefitted The Common Wheel and all our endeavors, making it possible for us to do great things with bikes in the Lancaster community!

The evening started off around 5pm at The Fridge with some of their amazing hand crafted pizza, raffle tickets, and some awesome give aways including this sweet bike bell! Ride on!


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Every rider received a free bell and/or a patch kit thanks to New Belgium Brewing

After about an hour of talking everything bikes/Lancaster/goodness at The Fridge, the crew hit the streets with some pretty ominous dark clouds moving in. But if you know us, you know that we persevered on one of our faster (and wetter) slow rides through the heart of Lancaster City to Tellus. Most of the slow riders were soaked by the end, but it didn’t stop us from enjoying The Vinegar Creek Constituency, Levee Drivers, and Corty Byron on the Tellus stage. Meanwhile, the raffle, give aways, and good times continued as patrons all vied to win the grand prize New Belgium bike. It was so awesome hearing all of the stories about how so many people are Keepin’ It Wheel on their bikes around Lancaster; we are a city changing and growing in so many ways, and The Common Wheel loves being a part of that evolution.







The culmination of the night was the Chief Wheel Spinner sharing some of what The Common Wheel does with the crowd. What an awesome night partnering some of Lancaster’s biggest bicycle supporters!

Check out our website so that you too can be one of our biggest supporters through membership in the Pumphouse Crew!

Click here for info!

Ride bikes. Build community. Keep it wheel.

By Lija Diem Stoltzfus, Impact Director

Join the Pumphouse Revolution

A message from Chris, Chief Wheel Spinner of The Common Wheel.

Every Movement Starts With a Revolution – Join Us!

“Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the people doing it.”  – Chinese proverb


Yours truly, on my birthday, in the softest shirt I’ve ever worn.

More than two years ago, I shared this proverb in The Common Wheel’s very first email blast.  At that time, we had a small team of dedicated people, the beginnings of the pumphouse, some energy, a pile of bikes, and a good sense of humor.

We also had a vision. A vision of a vibrant, happy, healthy community that was connected and easily accessible to everyone. We believed (and still do) that bikes are a powerful tool to help solve many of society’s ills. A tool for teaching life lessons, a tool to improve our public health, and a tool to build community. And, they’re a hell of a lot of fun too.

Since that time, we have reconditioned over 800 bikes (many of them destined for the trash) and more than half of them were donated to people in need including refugees from Rwanda to Myanmar to Cuba.  We provided over 3,800 cumulative hours of education, and 65 kids have graduated from our Earn-A-Bike program.  

Along the way, we have met some absolutely incredible and inspiring people, shared many laughs, and witnessed countless people start to ride again for the first time in years.  No matter who walks through our doors, we aim to do whatever we can to help get them on the road.  We want to use the power of bikes to help change the world – or at least our little corner of it. We don’t plan on stopping. We don’t plan on slowing down (except for Slow Ride Lancaster).  

We have big dreams. Dreams of providing access to bikes for everyone that could use one to improve their lives. Dreams of taking our kids on bikepacking adventures.  Dreams of pushing and fighting and organizing and rallying and encouraging until Lancaster becomes a first-class city to walk and bike and just be a human in.  

To do so, we need your help. We need you to be a part of this movement.

If you believe in what we’re doing…if you enjoy our social rides…if you’ve felt the joy and freedom and empowerment of a bicycle and want to share it, please consider taking part of our #KeepItWheel campaign and joining The Pumphouse Crew.

The Pumphouse Crew is our freshly launched monthly giving program. It’s an opportunity for our fans to provide ongoing support that will give us a reliable source of monthly income to help us reach our vision.  

  • $10 a month can provide a child in need with a bike during our Holiday Bike Drive.
  • $25 a month provides a recent refugee or other adult in need with access to affordable, reliable transportation via a fully refurbished bike, helmet, lock, and light-set.
  • $50 a month allows us to create life-changing experiences and provide mentorship to youth via bike-powered trips that expand their worldview.

All members also get a very nice, very soft, and very exclusive t-shirt as well as access to private events and special rides.

Sharing is Caring

In addition to (or in lieu of) joining the crew, we are asking you to tell the world why The Common Wheel matters to you. Let’s hear why you #KeepItWheel and let your friends (and their friends) know about The Pumphouse Crew. Take our friend Sarah for example, she posted this on Facebook just last week:


#KeepItWheel selfie style!

Why do I ‪#‎KeepItWheel‬?

For SO MANY reasons! But the #1 is because the power of bikes has allowed me to connect with my Lincoln Middle School: A Full Service Community School students–especially my students who have come here as refugees. They remind me time & again that bikes know no boundaries.

Whether you bike or not, you can be a part of this magic by joining The Pumphouse Gang sustaining membership for $10 (or more) a month! http://thecommonwheel.com/donate

Thank you & happy birthday to my friend & The Common Wheel founder, Chris Caldwell.







The #KeepItWheel campaign is running from now until July 9th, when we’ll celebrate our 2-year anniversary.  We’re aiming for 150 members by the end of the campaign. Please help us make that happen!

We started with our building, and now we’re building community. One bike and one person at a time. Join us on this crazy, two wheeled adventure!

Ride bikes. Build community. #KeepItWheel.


Keepin’ It Wheel


Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about what we do to keep it wheel around here. With the kick off of our Pumphouse Crew membership, our new monthly giving program, we have been talking to friends of The Common Wheel about how and why we keep it wheel.

Some people keep it wheel for health and wellness purposes.

Some people keep it wheel for environmental reasons.

Some people keep it wheel because it saves them money or time.

But one thing that keeps ringing true for the riders we know is that we keep it wheel because we care–and mostly because we care about people. We care about helping young people, especially ones without resources, access both bikes and important skill sets for life. We care about setting examples for our kids and our community. We care about helping new people in Lancaster, including refugees, connect with a bicycle-friendly community. And we care about supporting people in their pursuit of healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyles.

One of the easiest ways that we can put all this why and how into action for The Common Wheel is through a sustaining membership in our Pumphouse Crew. This program gives members the opportunity to impact and improve lives through the power of bikes on a regular basis. Friends of The Common Wheel have the opportunity to join us in membership in three ways: 




Our hope is that The Pumphouse Crew will build a stronger bike community, connecting members to our events, bike community, and overall vision on a deeper level.

To help spread the word about the Pumphouse Crew, we are kicking off the #KeepItWheel campaign. In addition to getting the Pumphouse Crew off to a great start, the campaign will make vital strides in funding our programs in this bike-friendly season.

Beyond membership, we are asking all of our friends and family to start sharing how they #KeepItWheel on social media. Tell us how you #KeepItWheel and we may feature your story on our website and social media pages! You might even win super cool swag! Each and every one of these stories impacts lives and builds a stronger community. We can’t wait to hear from all of you!

Join the Pumphouse Crew today!

Keep on keepin’ it wheel,

Lija Diem Stoltzfus

Impact Director, The Common Wheel

TCW Celebrates Inaugural Year

By Chris Caldwell


One year ago today, we officially opened our doors despite needing to take the plywood on and off every day! Aaron was the first to earn a bike thanks to his many construction skills!

One year ago, after months of hard work on the pumphouse, we officially opened our doors. Since that time, 38 young adults have graduated from our Earn-A-Bike program (with 8 more graduating next week)hundreds of bicycles have been rescued from trash piles, and an unimaginable amount of fun has been had in our little corner of the park.

We believe that we have helped many people improve their lives through the power of bicycles and hope that we’ve played a role in getting more people out there on two wheels.

As we move into our second year, we will be focused on becoming a sustainable organization and expanding our reach while continuing to have as much fun as possible! If you would like to pitch in to help year two be even more successful, here are a few ways to start:

  • Sign up to volunteer – From helping with the Earn-A-Bike class to construction skills to helping with writing, we can use your many talents!
  • Take this short (3 question) survey to help us develop our Membership Program
  • Consider making a 100% tax deductible donation – Our next Earn-A-Bike program begins in two weeks, and we are seeking sponsors now
  • Help us tell our story and the stories of bikes in Lancaster. We are looking to start a blog on our website and are looking for writers to help share the load. – Reply to this email if interested!

Help Needed for Marietta Bike Race

We are still looking for some help on July 11 with our bike valet and information booth during the Historic Marietta Criterium Bike Race.

We will be there from 9-5pm (race is 10-4), and we are looking for people to assist in 3 hour shifts (the 3-5pm gets a break with just 2 hours for pulling the late shift). If you have any other time preferences, we can work with you!

Email volunteers@thecommonwheel.com if you’re willing to help out!

We’ll leave you with a few pictures from last month’s Slow Ride! 

(Photos by Patty O’Brien of Summer Crow Photography)

Retroactively posted from original email sent August 8, 2015.