October Happy Hour with Special Guest Larry Mason, Executive Director of the Huntsville Urban Bike Share Coop (HUBS Coop)

Larry Mason, Executive Director of the Huntsville Urban Bike Share Coop (HUBS Coop), will join the Huntsville New Liberals at our monthly happy hour on October 26th from 6-8 pm at The Camp at MidCity. 

RSVP now to hear Larry discuss how HUBS Coop is helping Huntsvillians break free from car-dependence and learn to love the bike.

Both HUBS Coop and Huntsville New Liberals fundamentally believe that everyone should be able to safely travel anywhere in Huntsville via bicycle, regardless of their age, ability, or income. 

More bike travel equals less car traffic, shorter commutes, and lower levels of pollution. Promoting bicycling is a profoundly inexpensive and effective way to improve public health while helping people save money. 

Not only is providing low-income folks bikes the right thing to do, but it also creates a virtuous cycle (pun intended). 

The more people we get on bikes, the easier it becomes to advocate effectively for more of the infrastructure that makes biking safer, faster, and more pleasant. Access to things like protected bike lanes then encourage more people to get out of their cars and onto their bikes. 

Larry is a lifelong biker, starting with his paper route growing up in San Diego. He also biked around Portland State University while earning his MA in Urban Planning. 

In addition to leading and serving as Executive Director of HUBS Coop, he is Co-chair of the Tour de Ville and Pedal Power Exhibition event, October 7th at Campus 805. Larry serves as Boad Secretary for AlaBike; was a former board membre of Your Town Alabama, and is the City of Madison citizen representative to the Citizens Advisory Committee of the Huntsville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO CAC).

A retired an IoT and web application developer for many urban and municipal projects, now you can find him at the next Huntsville Bicycle Advisory and Safety Committee (BASC) meeting or fixing bikes at the HUBS Coop shop at 1317 Virginia Blvd NW 35801 on Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. or perhaps you might see him taking care of the Blue Bike bikeshare downtown.

Read on to learn a little more about HUBS Coop’s goals, programs, and accomplishments. We’ll also share how you can help Larry and HUBS Coop get even more Huntsvillians traveling on two wheels.  

HUBS: Vision

The HUBS Coop exists to help ensure everyone – regardless of age, income, or ability – can get around Huntsville safely and efficiently. In so doing, they’re improving lives, increasing equity, and boosting Huntsville’s economic growth.

HUBS: Progress

HUBS Coop promotes biking in Huntsville by helping connect less-resourced residents with low-cost or free access to:

  • Bicycles 
  • Bicycle safety programs
  • Bicycle tools and work stands
  • Bicycle repair training
  • Bicycle maintenance skills workshops

They’ve collected more than 250 bikes to give away to would-be bikers. So far, they’ve repaired and distributed more than 110 of those bikes to folks in need of basic transportation.

They currently offer three basic bike maintenance skills workshops – two adult classes and one for kids (Kidbilt). 

The group also offers Bike Valet (secured parking) corrals at public events to encourage people to bike instead of drive.

In the near future, HUBS Coop plans to debut several programs to benefit the community and their members. 

In addition to giving away bikes and providing ways to “earn a bike,” the group will start selling some of their bikes to those who can afford them. 

They’ll also launch a bike library where members can borrow a bicycle for longer rides.

Lastly, leadership is working with the bike share system to offer their members access, and to expand the system into Cummings Research Park.

On a policy level, HUBS Coop (like Huntsville New Liberals), advocates for abundant, inclusive “All Ages All Abilities” mobility infrastructure to make Huntsville fully, safely walkable and bikeable. This includes protected bike lanes, bicycle and active transportation trails, and a robust network of bike shops and clubs. 

HUBS Coop has also raised money for the Williams Unit Boys and Girls Club through their Tour de Ville and Pedal Power Exhibition event. Grab your tickets now for group rides and post-ride group activities, all for a good cause. 

HUBS Coop has participated in last three annual Mayor’s Bike Rides, held on the 1st Saturday of May. Remember May is Bicycle Month, so put it on your calendar for the first Saturday of May in 2024!

HUBS: History

Larry and Bruce Weddendorf the first Board Chairperson incorporated Huntsville Urban Bike Share Coop as a 501(c)(3) in May 2020 with “a couple of hundred bucks,” and a dream. 

“We intended to set up a coop like Redemptive Cycles in Birmingham, with an earn-a-bike program, and work towards the day when we could have a weekly ride,” Larry told me. With such limited resources, their first challenge was finding a space where they could collect and store bikes and set up a bench or two for maintenance and repairs. Thus began the long process of obtaining the IRS Tax status required to find free space.

In May, HUBS Coop members elected a Board to help ensure strong, responsible, professional, and collective leadership. David Nuttall and Ben Dyer serve and the Board Co-Chairs. HUBS Coop recently received their City of Huntsville Business License. 

HUBS: Needs

To help get more Huntsvillians on bicycles, join HUBS Coop’s more than 55 dues-paying members today.

Volunteering with HUBS Coop is a great way to make friends, learn bicycle repair and maintenance, and help promote access to biking. Approximately 125 bikes are currently sitting in HUBS Coop’s inventory awaiting parts and volunteers to refurbish them and give them away to would-be bikers in need. 

And don’t forget to register for the Tour de Ville.  

Lastly, consider making a donation. Current HUBS Coop sponsors include Google Fiber, Straight to Ale, and Keel Point Financial Advisors, but more are needed. 

“While we have come a long way in the last three years, we still have a way to go in finding a home we can call our own and financial revenue streams that will allow us to expand transportation justice and options for our extended community and to be a sustainable community-driven organization,” Larry told me.

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