New community bike shop opens in Santa Maria

Non-profit aims to teach basics, encourage safety

Santa Maria community bike shop

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition opened a 4th Bici Centro location in Santa Maria in late April. 

In a small business plaza on Oak Street, Ken Dahmen rolls up the doors, where he and his band of volunteers are here to help. 

"When the public comes in and they need help working on their bikes, we walk through the process of fixing their bike," says Dahmen, a Santa Maria native. He runs Bici Centro in his hometown after the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition already had three locations in the southern sections of the county. 

The non-profit Santa Barbara County project aims to help anyone get out and enjoy the Central Coast on a bicycle. They gather parts from donors, working closely with the county, local bike shops, and other non-profits to provide many used parts for free to those who need them. 

They even do some recycling of their own.

"Sometimes we get bicycles that would be put into a landfill, but instead they're being taken out of those landfills, and we're getting them here to be processed," says Dahmen. "We get little kids bikes, refurbish them, that way we can give them to kids in need. 

This is just one of many programs the bike shop is a part of. They hope to continue to expand their reach and work with more volunteers across town. 

The shop is located at 310 Oak Street, and is open on Thursday afternoons with volunteers from 3 to 7 p.m. It is also open for repairs and help Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. 

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