Moab has long been a biking destination: for tourists, for mountain bikers wanting to move to a biking community, for bikejoring racers, for the locals who love biking—it’s home to world-class routes, including The Whole Enchilada, Captain Ahab, and Mag 7.
Evan Smiley, a local mountain biker who works as a bike guide and mechanic, noticed that the local biking community felt fragmented. Bikers who worked as guides usually stuck with their company to go on rides, and the same with those who worked in bike shops. Then, Smiley noticed, there were the mountain bikers versus the casual bikers in town.
“I’m trying to form a bridge between all the different people that enjoy riding bikes here,” he said. “Whether or not you’re like, the sickest shredder on the block.”
That bridge is Moab Community Cycles, a do-it-all cycling project that hopes to become a hub of cycling, connecting all riders in the Moab community and creating new ones. The project organizes bike mechanics to fix up old bikes, which can then be sold at a much lower cost to people who need them. They’ll also fix your bike during community tuneup nights for a small donation.
“Getting your bike fixed at a bike shop is prohibitively expensive for a lot of people,” Smiley said. “So I just wanted to provide a space where people could come and get their bike fixed for a donation.”
The donations are used to buy bike parts to fix up other bikes or donated to local nonprofits like the Moab Valley Multicultural Center. On March 17, the tuneup night raised over $60 for MVMC, and three volunteer bike mechanics came to help out.
Smiley’s been collecting bikes for a few years, he said—he estimates he has 50 in his backyard waiting to be fixed, given to him by people who didn’t need them anymore. Some are too far gone, making them ideal to strip for viable parts, he said. But others, with the right amount of mechanic work, can be reused. Smiley keeps his mechanic toolkit in a trailer: an old truck back that he totes around to tune-up events.
Moab Community Cycles offers a place for Smiley to sell those bikes—he offers a significant discount to first-time bike riders.
Smiley hopes to host tuneup nights every few weeks. He’s also looking for a more permanent space to host both the tuneups and his collection of bikes and bike parts.
“I just want Moab Community Cycles to be a little hub, for everybody to be able to come together,” he said.
Tuneup nights and volunteer opportunities are posted on the Community Cycles Instagram, @moabcommunitycycles. The next tuneup night will be on Thursday, April 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Moab Valley Multicultural Center (156 N 100 W).