About The Common Wheel Our Story
Since summer of 2014, The Common Wheel has been devoted to promoting biking and bike culture in the Lancaster community. In just a few years, we’ve impacted hundreds of lives through our classes, programs, and events. And, we’re just getting started!
Way back in early 2014, our co-founders, Brad Copeland and Chris Caldwell had a whole lot of passion for biking and an early concept for The Common Wheel. Brad, a bike mechanic, and Chris, the self-proclaimed “big picture guy,” were inspired by Jeff Maples’ 2009 book, Pedalling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Transforming American Cities, which introduced them to the “community bike shop” model. After researching and being further inspired by community shops like Portland’s Community Cycling Center and Seattle’s Bike Works, they decided to take the plunge. The first step, finding a location!
Our first home was once an old, abandoned pump-house in Reservoir Park on the east side of Lancaster City. The circa-1918 building was closed after the city reservoir was no longer being used in the 1950’s. It was piled with sinks, roofing materials, and other items being stored behind boarded up windows. The interior renovation and transformation of the 1,100-square-foot-space was into The Common Wheel community bike center, where both youth and adults learn the basic maintenance and riding skills necessary to make cycling a part of everyday life.
After several years of operating classes, programs, repair services, and sales out of the original pump-house location, we finally recognized the need to expand to continue fulfilling our mission. In the winter and spring of 2018 we began building out our second location, a retail and service shop located on 324 North Queen Street. This new location is designed to be a hub for bike culture right in the heart of downtown Lancaster City.