Saturday, May 21, 2016

Bike Library gears up to move Sunday May 22nd

"The Iowa City Bike Library will again pack up its inventory and pedal to a new address this weekend.

A year and four months after re-opening its doors at 840 S. Capitol St., the Bike Library  will begin its move to 700 S. Dubuque St. into the space formerly occupied by Max Effect Cycling and Fitness Studio at 11 a.m. Sunday."

-Read the rest of the article from the Iowa City Press Citizen:

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Iowa City Bike Library has moved to 840 S. Capitol St!

The Iowa City Bike Library is happy to announce the location of our new home at 840 S. Capitol St.  Our hope is to open toward the end of January 2015 and plan to keep our patrons updated on the exact date via our website and social media outlets, including Facebook and Twitter.  We will not be accepting donations or offering any other bike library services during this transition. 

Click below for a map to the new shop:

The new location is still within walking distance of downtown Iowa City just south of Burlington St, situated in the same building as Iowa Business Supply and kiddie corner from the Benton St. recycling center.  The entrance will be at the back of the building- you can see the Johnson County Health Department from our entrance.

We'd like to thank our patrons and our generous community members for your continued support and donations to the ICBL! 

An additional THANK YOU to all the volunteers who dedicated time to help us with heavy lifting and loading of trucks in early December on our official moving day.

Please email with any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your patience during this very exciting time! 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Community Bike Programs Around Iowa

Ever wonder what other groups are doing around Iowa to promote bicycling? Here are some resources for supporting cycling in other Iowa cities:

Dubuque Bike Coop
2206 Central Ave. in Dubuque

The Dubuque Bike Coop is a volunteer-run non-profit that checks out bikes for 3 month periods similar to the BL here in Iowa City. Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to stop by on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday evening.

NewBo Bike Collective
39 16th Ave SW
Cedar Rapids
Across from the National Czech & Slovak Museum
Right next to the Cedar River bicycle trail.

New Bo Bikes is an all volunteer non-profit organization.  Our primary programs include recycling bicycles.  Fix up donated bikes for sale at reasonable prices or dismantle them for steel & aluminum scrap.  Bikes are also donated to various local charities.  Donations of bicycles, parts, money and food are welcome on Saturdays.

Cedar Valley Bicycle Collective
219 W. Fourth St. in downtown Waterloo

The Cedar Valley Bike Collective offers repair classes, shop space, and used bikes. Open to the public on Monday and Wednesday evenings and Saturdays, the shop is looking for new volunteers. One exciting event that the CV Bike Collective hosts is the annual bike swap on March 8. Come buy, sell, or swap bikes!

Des Moines Bicycle Collective
506 E. Sixth St. in Des Moines' East Village

As the only bike collective in Iowa with multiple staff, the Des Moines Bicycle Collective runs a number of different projects to encourage bicycling. These projects include Des Moines' bike share stands, selling used bikes, having open shop space, getting bikes to refugees and other populations with acute mobility needs, and publishing the Des Moines bike map. Their shop is open Tuesday-Saturday.

Changing Greater Des Moines Two Wheels at a Time from Strobie Creative Services on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cycling in the future?

Check this out for a truly cycle friendly future in the big city:

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Update on Potential New Bike Facilities Coming to Iowa City

As many Bike Library folks probably already know, the city of Iowa City recently hired a firm to make a new street-scape plan for downtown. One of the major components of this plan is proposed new bike facilities for a few streets downtown. These include new bike lanes on Clinton and Gilbert Streets and a reconfiguration of Market and Jefferson Streets into two way streets with two way bike lanes on one or both of the streets. The plan also proposes building covered bike parking throughout downtown Iowa City. For more info on the project, see this article in the Press-Citizen:

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Johnnyrandom and bicycle music

Many of you may know of this guy and what he's done, but it was new to me so I thought I'd share it with you.  Check out Johnnyrandom at:


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Commute Safely By Bike Year Round with the Bike Library!

Fair weather commuter looking to save bus fare or gas money during the winter? Already bike most of the winter but not sure how to tackle the snow and ice? Wish you could bike to school and work more but afraid of the rain?
Come to the bike library's presentation on Safe and Comfortable Bicycle Commuting Year Round at the Iowa City Public Library on Saturday Feb. 8! We'll be talking about how to bike safely and comfortably in all types of weather with an emphasis on how to tackle cold, snow, and ice on your bike. There will be info on how to stay warm and dry in inclement weather, how to keep your bike from rusting due to the snow, ice and rain, and how to keep from slipping on the ice during the winter. The presentation is free and open to the public.
Safe Bicycle Commuting Year-Round
Sat., Feb 8, 3pm
Iowa City Public Library- Meeting Room A

For more info, email us at iowacitybikelibrary [at] 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Polar Vortex or Not, We're Still Getting Iowa City Onto Bikes

While Iowa has been covered by cold temperatures and ice for much of January, we're still open at the Iowa City Bike Library. In fact, since re-opening for our 10th year on College Street on January 17, we've already checked out five bikes!

The Bike Library serves the general public on Fridays for Rent-a-Bench from 4-6:30pm and Saturdays from 10-3pm for checkouts and Rent-a-Bench. Our checkout bikes are loaned for periods of up to six months in exchange for a refundable deposit of $50-200 (depending on the bike) and all have been refurbished by skilled mechanics. We currently have over 15 bikes of different styles, sizes and shapes available for checkout. If you're looking for a new bike this year, now is the time to stop by and beat the spring rush!

In addition to our regular open hours, we also offer Ladies Bike Night, a Women-Run Bike Night every 1st and 3rd Monday from 7-9pm.  Everyone who's interested in a safe, no-pressure space to learn more about bikes and riding is welcome to stop by. We usually start with a presentation followed by time where participants can ask questions about riding or problems they're having with their current bike.

The Bike Library is all volunteer run, and we're always looking for new volunteers to help us continue and expand our programming. Interested in helping? Stop by the shop Friday or Saturday and pick up an application!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bike Library Repair Class

Have you ever wished you knew a little more about bicycle repair and adjustment? Well, so have we!

The Iowa City Bike Library is once again offering a course in basic bicycle repair. This course will provide you with an overview of all of the major systems on your bicycle, as well as familiarize you with the tools and procedures used to adjust those systems. Braking, shifting, bearing overhauls and adjustments, wheel truing, tire and tube installation, lubrication, inspection: we'll cover all of these in some depth. Ideally, you will learn enough to think your way through a mishap or repair, and not be intimidated by it.

Our next course will run on consecutive Saturdays from September 7 through October 5, inclusive. Five class sessions total, each running from 4:00-6:30 pm (please be on time). Please plan to attend ALL of the classes in the session, as there is some building upon previous content, and there will be no make-up sessions.

Cost is $100 per person (current Bike Library volunteers may be eligible for a discount), payable in advance, in person, at the Bike Library. This is the only way we are currently able to accept payments. You may register and pay any time there are volunteers at the Bike Library: see the website for the hours when people are there (M-Th evenings between 6 and 8 pm are generally pretty safe, as well as much of the day Saturday; Tuesday and Thursday 6-8 pm, I am almost always there). Preregistration and prepayment are REQUIRED for this class. Enrollment is limited to six, so hurry and claim a spot (don't worry if you can't make this one: more classes are planned).

If you have any questions about the class, please send them to

Hope to see you soon.

- James

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

In May 2012 local cycling advocacy group Think Bicycles of Johnson Co. devised the Light the Night partnership to encourage all cyclists to start using lights on their bicycles at night. Think Bicycles recruited University of Iowa Public Safety and the Iowa City Police Department as partners in their effort.
Under program, cyclists who receive a citation for failing to equip their bike with a front white light and/or rear red reflector/light, now have the choice to participate in Light the Night. When a police offer tickets a cyclist for riding at night without lights they are given a choice. The cyclist can pay the 93.75-dollar fine, or they may elect to buy and install bike lights.
Results of a 2012 Iowa City Bike Master Plan online survey reveal that cyclists’ main concern is law enforcement. Of the 306 people who took the survey, 112 of them said that enforcing headlight/reflector laws during non-daylight hours was most the important.
“I’m a cyclist and driver,” comments Martha Norbeck, local bike advocate and Think Bicycles member. “It’s simple, lights allow you to see and be seen by motorists, pedestrians, and other cyclists. We want to foster a positive bike culture where people can ride, walk and drive with safety and confidence.” In addition to being highly visible, lights are required by law.
To date the Iowa City Police have written 31 citations, while the University of Iowa Public Safety has not written a single ticket. Twenty-eight bicyclists cited by ICPD elected to participate in the Light the Night Program, thus having their $93.75 fine waived.
“It’s unsafe for cyclist not to have lights. We don’t allow cars to not have lights. It’s not like you have to pay the ticket anyway. It’s a safe win-win situation.” Said Mark Pooley, President of the University of Iowa Bicycle Advisory Committee.