Bicycle Inter-Community Art & Salvage (BICAS) in Tucson is a combination recycling, repair, educational, gallery and general hangout space located in an old warehouse just north of downtown on 6th Ave. It is where old bicycles go, not to die, but to be re-born as working bicycles or, if too far gone, as creative works of art.
The yard outside reflects the experience inside, with a mélange of bike-based sculpture vying for space with pickups full of old bikes and bike parts. The entrance, once located, leads one underground into a veritable treasure trove of everything bike. Literally hundreds of bikes in all levels of repair are jammed together, while scores of boxes overflowing with an unbelievable selection of parts and components line the walls and create aisles for the serious aficionado to wander. Their mission to save thousands of bikes from the landfill each year is admirably achieved.
You can rent a work stand ($4/hour) and all the tools you need to work on your own bike, with expert assistance if necessary. You can take classes in bike building and maintenance. You can join a work-trade program in which you can earn money toward buying a bike or bike parts -- great for those who cannot afford a new bike. And you can join a workshop in creating art from worn out frames and parts. There is even the WTF Sunday workshop, staffed by all female mechanics, which provides a friendly atmosphere for women and transgender folks to learn about bikes and tools. And, as BICAS is a 501(c)(3) organization, you can complete a community service obligation while still having a great time.
BICAS provides the perfect exclamation point on Tucson’s continuing reputation as a great cycling town (#9 in the America’s Top 50 Bike Friendly Cities 2012 by Bicycling Magazine). While there are a multitude of great shops to get all of the cool new stuff, BICAS offers the opportunity for the less fortunate to get a good bike, to learn how to take care of it and to enjoy the benefits of the miles of great riding throughout the community.