Who We Are
Recycle Ithaca’s Bicycles is a program of the Southside Community Center, Inc. We are a community bicycle maintenance and repair shop offering education and support to Ithaca residents for over 20 years. We accept donations of unwanted bikes and bicycle parts, effectively rerouting them from landfills.
RIBs staff and volunteers refurbish the bicycles to good working condition and redistribute them to community members. We do this by "gifting" (donating) refurbished bicycles to local non-profit organizations and/or human service agencies in the city of Ithaca and Tompkins County. We do not distribute bicycles to individuals! Hence, RIBs is not the place to acquire a bicycle. Instead, we are the place to come to repair and/or maintain a bicycle that you already own! All of our services are free and open to both youth and adults who reside, work, attend school, or worship in the city of Ithaca. We simply ask that you sign a liability waiver/release form before beginning any repair work or installing a donated bike part. Participants under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian sign the waiver as well.
The main services offered at RIBs are DIY (do it yourself) Open Shop; Hands-On Bicycle Maintenance and Repair Clinics; Geared for Change (GFC) programs for under-served populations; and Shop Orientation. These programs provide opportunities to learn bicycle mechanics and safe riding skills. The most important resource we offer our participants is a safe, structured but fun environment with a focus on cooperation. Participants and staff share technical knowledge and personal experience, building self-esteem for youth and adults alike.
Recycle Ithaca's Bicycles (RIBs) is a teaching bicycle maintenance and repair program that is owned and operated by the Southside Community Center for the Ithaca community. RIBs services members of the greater Ithaca community, aiming to increase bicycle use, repair services, and bike-related knowledge among its residents. Our programming fosters equitable access, affordability, and a sense of community. RIBs increases social and environmental consciousness through hands-on learning, networking, and teaching. Our reuse and recycle practices also support the city's sustainability initiatives. RIBs provides a safe, structured environment where people of all ages become empowered by (1) working on bicycles; (2) learning and sharing mechanical skills; and (3) building sustainable community through the reuse and recycling of donated bicycles and parts while working cooperatively and constructively with others.
At RIBs we operate with a hands-off policy, empowering our shop users with the opportunity to challenge themselves while learning bicycle maintenance and repair. "Hands-off" means that RIBs staff and volunteers do not fix your bike for you. We simply assist in the repair. RIBs staff and volunteers are allowed to demonstrate how to do something or offer an extra hand. Participants may become frustrated when unable to perform a specific task, but sometimes it takes more than one try to use a tool successfully or to get something right. The slow and often frustrating process of figuring out a task on one's own will prove far more educational than simply observing an experienced staff member or volunteer at work.
Program Coordinator / Shop Manager: Mustafaa Ali (Seven)
RIBs operates on shifting hours depending on the season and availability of volunteers. The shop is typically staffed Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. Additional days are added in the summer months from July - September.
DIY Open Shop: Tuesday and Thursday
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
*RIBs no longer employs program assistants or mechanics. Please be prepared to complete all of your maintenance and/or repair work yourself with little to no assistance.