Volunteer Handbook


This booklet is a resource for all things about the Davis Bike Collective in Davis, California. Whether you are a visitor or a regular volunteer you should be able to find the answers to most of your questions.

This booklet must be regularly updated to maintain its usefulness. We all must do what we can to keep it current and relevant!

About Us

The Davis Bicycle Collective is a volunteer-run nonprofit community bicycle organization. We provide a public do-it-yourself (DIY) shop where folks share tools, skills, and knowledge about bike maintenance and repair. We accept donations of used bicycles and parts from the community and, in turn, make used parts available for anyone else to build or repair a bicycle. We ask all patrons to contribute financially to the cooperative shop, but we don’t turn anyone away for lack of funds. Our aim is to empower confident and committed cyclists through education and community building, and to encourage more cyclists by making bikes and bike maintenance, fun, safe and accessible for everyone.

Between 2004 and 2009 we operated as the Davis Bike Church from the Domes on the UC Davis campus. There we taught thousands of Davisites the way of the spoken wheel and pedal wrench in a quest for for community liberation, love, peace, and sustainability through appropriate technology and self-empowered transportation (i.e. bicycles). Today, we are now organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit thanks to the fiscal sponsorship of the Solar Community Housing Association and venture onward with our mission.


The purpose of the Davis Bike Collective is to give the community a low-cost resource that provides the knowledge and tools necessary to maintain and repair their various forms of human-powered transportation. The Davis Bike Collective seeks to be a place where people of any age, sex, color, race, sexual orientation, or nationality feel comfortable to learn about and work on bikes.

The Davis Bike Collective is made up of a group of volunteers from the Davis Community where we strive to serve all people from Davis and the surrounding communities who desire our services. Central to our mission is to increase bicycle mode share, decrease waste, empower people in their transportation choices and self sufficiency, and cultivate community and bicycle culture. We believe that everyone should have easy access to cheap, reliable transportation and riding a bicycle is the best choice because it is good for both human and environmental health, is safe, decreases pollution and global warming, and is one of the least expensive of transportation alternatives.

To achieve our purpose we created the shop space Bike Forth where we have used bikes, parts, and accessories available for a donation along with tools and advice on how to fix your bicycle so you can get back to bicycling. The shop space also serves as a space for cycling related educational activities.

Other important aspects of the Davis Bike Collective:

  • People can help each other, share skills, and empower each other in fixing and repairing their own bicycles.
  • Resource use and reuse is emphasized and practiced.
  • Tools are shared and learned to be used correctly.
  • Bicycle repair is taught, not done as a service.
  • Sustainable bicycle/human powered culture is cultivated.
  • Waste is given another chance at reuse.
  • Getting as many people riding their bikes as often as possible is paramount.
  • The idea where the disconnection from knowledge is smashed.
  • A place where community can be built through the communication of knowledge and the practice of sustainable/recycled transportation.


The Davis Bike Collective comes from the community of people who created the Davis Bike Church which was modeled after the Santa Cruz Bike Church. The SC Bike Church was named because of its first beginnings on Church Street in Santa Cruz in the mid-90s. The Davis Bike Church was started in 2004 in response to the lack of accessible bicycle repair resources. It formed around the bicycle graveyard at the Domes where tools and parts were collected and public shifts were held to allow congregants to repair and maintain their bicycles. Since then the Davis Bike Church, now the Davis Bike Collective has become more organized.

2004 Ted Buehler and Chris Congleton, along with a handful of dedicated volunteers, envisioned the Davis Bike Church and began searching for like-minded individuals.

2005 First official meeting was in January 2005. They purchased the first tools, set up the space at the Domes and started having open sessions. Five shifts per week were held for a while. A membership style payment was introduced. The self service station was built. Bikes were repaired and sold by the Ministers during down time.

2006 Church grew with some new organization and regular shifts. Bike Church business cards were introduced. New tools were ordered with the help of the Santa Cruz Bike Church. The Church received a shed and began using it for tool storage. The first Burning Bike Festival was held after the May critical mass.

2007 The Bikebrary was started in January. A new larger dome was raised after Burning Man. The East Davis Bicycle Spiritual Center was opened on Duke Drive. The Mobile Ministry Unit was constructed. Tools were purchased with the help of Sunshine Bicycles in Fairfax. The first Ganesh T-shirts were printed.

2008 The Great Pedal Forward was enacted. First annual fundraiser was held at the Delta of Venus pulling in $1000+. Second round of T-shirts were printed along with buttons and stickers. A SPAC group formed. The dome floor was constructed. Then Student Housing told us we had to leave…dun, dun, dun…

2009 The Great Exodus began. After continuing covert operations of bike fixery and attempting to negotiate to remain on campus, we fled the land of bureaucracy and opened up a new location at 4th and L: Bike Forth!

2010 Our Bylaws are signed on September 19, 2010. The Davis Bike Collective officially steps out on its own as an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

2011 An updated, engineered Mobile Ministry Unit is completed. We had a great time hosting Bici!Bici! in April 2011. Bici!Bici! is the unofficial western regional version of Bike!Bike!, a conference for bike collectives.

2012 Heaters blow out the breaker and give us a dark winter.

2013 The second major update of our website.

2014 The Dark Ages.

2015 The large metal recycling bin outside the shop catches fire, and we have to bid it farewell.

2016 The Great Renewal begins. Third revision of our website.

2017 The Great Renewal continues!

2018 We begin a major reorganization of the shop and cleanup.

Contact Information


The Davis Bike Collective location was originally called Bike Forth (or Bike Fourth, or Bike 4th; somehow people found this confusing). The shop is located at 1221 1/2 4th Street, at the corner of 4th and L Streets.


The current active Ministers can be contacted at theministry@davisbikecollective.org. Non-sensitive discussion regarding the Davis Bike Collective should be directed to allvolunteers@davisbikecollective.org. These accounts forward email to Google groups through our Google for Non-Profits account. Originally our email address was bikeministry@gmail.com and this address forwards email to theministry@davisbikecollective.org. Sometimes the bikeministry@gmail.com is used on flyers to ease the manual typing of our email address.


The current shop phone number is (530) 341-8322. This is a Google Voice number managed through the bikeministry Google account.


Our website address is http://davisbikecollective.org. It is hosted through a free Dreamhost account for non-profits.

Organizational Items and Roles

The Ministry The current active Ministers of the Davis Bike Collective.

Minister A core volunteer at the Collective. Ministers are officially inducted and are the voting members of the Davis Bike Collective corporation.

Patrons The visitors to the Davis Bike Collective.

Operational Procedures


The Davis Bike Collective would like to provide everything for free, but unfortunately the supplies would quickly dry up without any sort of income. Ministers must ask for reasonable donations from the patrons of the Davis Bike Collective. The Davis Bike Collective accepts cash donations, bicycles, bicycle parts, tools, and labor. Everyone is expected to donate for the services of the Davis Bike Collective, but no one shall be turned away due to lack of funds. Technically, this is a donation for the tool and knowledge share. We also have to recoup the cost of purchased parts.

Sales Policy

The Davis Bike Collective does not sell bicycles. Patrons are expected to repair any bicycle they obtain at the Collective using the Collective’s resources. There is a Build-A-Bike Checklist to assist in this. The Davis Bike Collective does not sell parts or tools. We accept donations and work trade for used parts and bicycles. Some new items are made available at-cost to be used for repairing bicycles in the shop.

Suggested Donations

Axles $3-5
Baskets $4-10
Bells $2-5
Bearings $1 per race set
Bottom Bracket, Complete $3-5
Bottom Bracket, Complete Cartridge $5-15
Brakes $5-15 per pair
Brake Pads $2 per pair
Brake Levers $5-10 per pair
Cables $2
Cable Housing $1-3 per used set
Cassettes $3-12
Chain $1-5
Chainrings, Steel $4-8
Chainrings, Aluminum $6-10
Cranks, Steel $5-8 per set
Cranks, Aluminum $10-20 per set
Derailleurs, front and back $5-15
Fenders $5-10 for set
Forks $4-20
Frame $18-40
Freewheel $5-15
Grips $2-3
Handlebars, Steel $2-7
Handlebars, Aluminum $5-15
Headsets $4-12
Hubs, front or rear $5-12
Kickstands $1-5
Lights $1-5
Mountain Bike Bar-ends $1-5
Patches $0.50 each
Pedals $5-10 for pair
Quick Release Skewers $1-2 per skewer
Racks $4-16
Rim Only (Not Wheel) $3-8
Saddles $3-14
Seatpost, Non-integrated Clamp $1-5
Seatpost, Integrated Clamp $7-15
Shifters, Flat-bar $2-10
Shifters, Stem/Downtube $5
Shifters, Integrated Road-style $15-45
Spokes $0.50 each
Spoke Protectors $0
Stem, Threadless $5-15
Stem, Threaded $5-15
Tires $2-10
Tubes $1-2
Wheel, Front Steel Rim $5-10
Wheel, Front Aluminum Rim $10-20
Wheel, Rear Steel Rim $10-15
Wheel, Rear Aluminum Rim $10-30

Open Shop Shifts

Opening Duties

    • Try to show up early (10 to 15 min).
    • Get the wallet from the cash box.
    • Count the upper and lower contents of the cash box and wallet.
    • Record the counted amounts in the cash box logbook.
    • Make sure nothing has been stolen or broken. Check all five windows. Record anything unusual in the logbook.
    • Unlock the door and remove special lock/bar from the roll up door.
    • Open the roll up door.
    • Neaten up donated bikes and bring into the shop if space is available.
    • Clear hazards from walkways and working areas, and tidy the shop if necessary.
    • Move wheel sign to the parking strip and roll the Mobile Ministry Unit into the courtyard area.

Running Open Shop

    • Greet each person who arrives at the Collective.
    • Ask if they have been to the Collective before. If not explain the shop use, donations, and bike sales policies.
    • Ask if they need specific help with a problem and get them started on the path to fixing it.
    • Have them read the Shop Use Agreement and sign in with the Guestbook when they arrive.
    • The Minister is around to help the patrons of the Collective. Patrons are your primary responsibility. If they need help drop what you are doing and help them. Typically the Minister on duty should not be working on a personal project while running a shift.
    • Give equal amounts and quality of your time to everyone at the Collective.
    • Check in regularly with each patron to make sure they are doing okay.
    • Make sure everyone is using the tools correctly and safely.
    • Teach before doing: Don’t fix things for people if possible. In general a volunteer shouldn’t touch the tools, the person should do as much work as possible. If needed show them how to do a task and then let them do it again.

Closing Duties

    • Clean up time starts 15 minutes before closing time. All people must clean up at this time, give a verbal warning that the shop is closing and it is time to start cleaning up!
    • All tools need to be put in their proper place. Check around for loose tools and return them to their appropriate place.
    • Floors should be swept. No parts or metal pieces should be on the floor or ground.
    • Miscellaneous parts must be in their proper bin. All tables must be cleared.
    • All bicycles must be organized and not be a safety hazard. Walkways must be kept clear.
    • Trash and recycling should be put in appropriate containers.
    • Empty the trash and recycling bins if full or nearly full.
    • Make sure everyone makes a donation for the day and signs out.
    • Write any missing tools, bikes, parts, etc in the Minister log book.
    • Count the money in the money box. Leaving $40 in small change (Fifteen $1 bills, three $5 bills and one $10 bill) in the wallet. Put the remainder in the bottom of cash box with a note of amount and date. Note amounts in wallet and bottom of cash box in the ledger.
    • If the amount in the cash box exceeds $200, place the cash in the bottom of the cash box into an envelope labeled with the date, cash amount and your name. If possible, leave $40 in small change (Fifteen $1 bills, three $5 bills and one $10 bill) in the cashbox. Put the labeled envelope in the designated location for bank deposits, record the deposit amount in the ledger and notify the Treasurer or Ministers responsible for bank deposits. Do not reveal the locations of the cash box and designated deposit area to anyone other than current Ministers and Ministers-in-Training.
    • Check that all five windows are closed and latched.
    • Move in the wheel sign and Mobile Ministry Unit, close the roll-up door making sure to secure with the crank, turn off computer, lights, and fans, shut and lock the deadbolt and door.


Each Minister may store one project bike in the project room marked with their project tag for as long as they remain a Minister. The remaining hooks may be provided to patrons for their projects. Patron projects must be tagged with the patron’s name, contact information and the last date the project was worked on. If a patron project is not worked on for two weeks it may be removed from the project room. Each patron may only have one project at a time. Unlabeled or incompletely labeled bikes may be removed from the project room at any time.

It is best to avoid storing personal bikes in the project room since we cannot guarantee their safety. Build-A-Bikes should be paid for when they are taken away from the Collective rather than when a project is started.

Women-Trans-Femme Night

Women-Trans-Femme (WTF) is a safe space for women, genderqueer, femmes – those who are typically marginalized in the bicycling and bike mechanic world. Our goal is to empower the female, genderqueer folk of Davis and surrounding areas to learn more about bike mechanics and gender relations.

To maintain this space, we ask that individuals not identifying with these groups come to the shop during our normal Open Shop hours. WTF is run similar to an Open Shop shift, but the wheel sign is not put out and WTF signs are placed in prominent locations to make it clear that it is not a normal Open Shop.

Meeting Procedures


At a minimum meetings must be held once every six months for the purposes of appointment of Officers, review and approval of corporate budget, and other business.


If the meeting is to be held at a location other than the principal office of the Davis Bike Collective (1221 1/2 4th St), notice must be given in advance of the meeting.


For transaction of business three Ministers constitutes a quorum.


Meetings are presided over by a facilitator, and minutes are taken by a note-taker.


Fire Extinguisher

There is one fire extinguishers at the Davis Bike Collective. It is on the west wall near the entry door. Do not cover or block access to the fire extinguisher. It need to be checked monthly and inspected annually, and it should have a tag for this purpose. The monthly visual inspection should happen at each monthly meeting. Check that the pin is intact, pressure is okay and there is no visible damage. Call River City Fire Equipment for annual maintenance.

First Aid

A first aid kit is labeled and behind the central counter.

Emergency Phone Numbers

To report an emergency, call 911. From a cell phone, call (530) 758-3600 which is the Davis Police Department emergency number. The fire emergency numbers are exactly the same.

Davis Police Department non-emergency number: (530) 747-5400

Davis Fire Department business number: (530) 752-1234

Power Tools

Only Ministers may use our power tools (drill, angle grinder, Dremel, circular saw). Do not use them if you have not been trained and/or do not feel comfortable using them. Ministers must get approval from the Ministry before using new power tools other than the four previously listed. Be aware that using a plug-in tool with a high current draw can blow our breaker, which we do not have direct access to.

Digital Organization


Organizational Structure and Duties

Responsibility Definitions

Volunteer Responsibilities

All volunteers are expected to maintain the shop as a safe and welcoming place for everyone who respects the space.

Minister Responsibilities

Ministers are the face and the hands of the Davis Bike Collective. The Ministers must uphold the values of the Collective. They should promote the do-it-yourself (DIY) culture and spend most of their time teaching rather doing. A Minister should only get their hands dirty when assisting a patron if the situation requires it. Ministers aren’t expected to have a full spectrum of bicycle repair knowledge and should not be afraid to seek knowledge from others to solve unfamiliar problems. Likewise, Ministers should be upfront and open about gaps in their knowledge.

Officer Responsibilities

Officers have additional responsibilities depending on their role.

President is responsible for ensuring that there is a Minister to preside over and take notes at each meeting. These are respectively the facilitator and note-taker.

Secretary is

Ministry Ethics

Safer Space



Ministers are not allowed to profit off of bicycles obtained and/or repaired at the Davis Bike Collective. Ministers should only build bicycles for personal use. Ministers can only work on one project at a time. Ministers should not hoard all of the good bicycles and parts. These bicycles and parts should be made available to the patrons of the collective.

Mobile Ministry Unit

The Mobile Ministry Unit (MMU) is the Davis Bike Collective’s cargo tricycle and mobile repair kit.