“On your left!” is a mantra on Eugene’s streets (along with a few other phrases I can think of). Biking is a part of our town’s bloodline, a matter of passion or necessity or both. It’s foremost a lifestyle of momentum and velocity — OK, that and flat tires.
Ding Ding Cycles, owned and founded by Isaac Johnson, is a mobile bike repair shop that keeps Eugene and Springfield cyclists on the go.
“Eugene doesn’t need another bike shop,” Johnson explains, so he started his mobile bike repair company. His get-up is minimalist: a bag of bike tools, a pop-up tent and cyclist gear sorted and strapped onto a decked out cargo bike, all based out of a garage space behind David Minor Theater.
Johnson started in fall 2016 when he downed some cold brew, dropped $2,500 on bike tools and set out to nearby areas that lacked accessibility to bike repairs.
Two years later, Ding Ding Cycles is pitching tents and fixing bikes whenever, wherever, rain or shine, as a public-benefit corporation partnered with David Minor Theater and sponsored by a handful of local businesses, including Morning Glory Cafe, Oakshire Brewing, EugFun! and more.
Ding Ding charges for its services, but also solicits donations through GoFundMe to support its community work.
From Ding Ding Cycle’s first events in the rain outside of Plank Town Brewery to Johnson’s summer-long presence at Party in the Parks, Johnson and his team of three volunteers repair and tune up bikes while walking folks through each greasy detail.
“People who rode their bike to an event would throw it up on the bike stand,” Johnson says. “We’d ask them what was wrong with it, teach ’em how to do a couple of things, tighten their chains, pump up their tires and off they went.”
Ding Ding Cycles is a frequent presence at Oakshire’s Hellshire events, works with local trail advocacy group Disciples of Dirt and teaches at the Bethel Bike Lab program at Cascade Middle School.
In December, Johnson and his (self-titled) chief mechanical officer Andrew Alef devoted several days to fixing up dozens of children’s mountain bikes.
“We tuned up 40 kids’ bikes,” Johnson says. “The bikes had never been tuned up and were almost 10 years old. That event was just us, eight hours a day for three days fixing up mountain bikes.” ■
Learn more and keep up with Ding Ding Cycles at dingdingcycles.com or visit the company’s main office at 180 E. 5th Avenue. Ding Ding Cycle’s next event will be at Disciples of Dirt’s mountain bike day 11 am Saturday, Mar. 17, at Carpenter’s Bypass in Lorane.