Local organization Oasis of Hope is hosting the 11th Annual Community Fall Festival this Saturday, October 13 at The Green House, near the campus of KIPP Memphis Collegiate Middle School, 230 Henry Avenue in North Memphis.
The event will be packed with fun family stuff, like games and face-painting, tasty autumnal treats and giant inflatable things bouncing kids all over the place. But it’s the addition of the Bike Rodeo that has the Oasis Bike Shop bustling with activity.
Bill Jurgens leads a tiny staff and small army of volunteers in the spacious shop on Thomas Street. Buzzing with activity this Tuesday afternoon, the mechanics were getting a fleet of bicycles ready for use by folks attending the Fall Festival.
Volunteer mechanic Gene Carkeet helped train the volunteers, beginning last November, and visits the shop regularly helping the team get as many donated and salvaged bikes ready for new riders as they can.
“Bill’s out there networking, which is important,” said Carkeet. “But he’s so much better at that than mechanicking.” The other mechanics laughed.
In addition to the bikes, Jurgens and his team have also secured a cool treat for the first 100 kids to enroll in the Bike Rodeo: a brand new bike helmet to take home and use on future cycling adventures. The ability to give out bike gear to people who need it is at the core of what Oasis Bike Shop is all about.
“We’re a bike shop for people who need free help keeping themselves on bikes,” said Jurgens. When MemphisConnect followed up with a question about his interest in bikes, he paused briefly before answering.
“I have an interest in kids,” he said.
Keep an eye on MemphisConnect for an in-depth look at the Oasis Bike Shop and their pedal-powered efforts to get our city’s kids out and about on bikes, coming soon.