Earth Island Journal: Cycling for Social Change, September 1, 2017


Changing Gears

Five days a week, 27-year-old Ebony Smith arrives at Changing Gears Bike Shop at 10:50 a.m., ten minutes before opening. Walking into the large warehouse on the site of a former US Navy Base in the San Francisco Bay Area, she flicks on the lights, fires up the air compressor, opens the register, and reviews the repair orders. For the next several hours she will repair bikes with professional skill and care, and guide customers through bike choices like a seasoned rider, learning about their needs and preferences, and helping them to find the perfect fit.