Board of Directors
Jack VanDyke has been riding bicycles most of his life, for exercise while growing up and for daily transportation as an adult. Jack has a degree in City Planning from the University of Michigan and has worked for a couple of Ann Arbor bicycle retailers. He started volunteering with Back Alley Bikes in 2005 and moved to Detroit later that year. His interests include singing, looking at maps, and deconstructing automotive hegemony.
Jack has worked coordinating volunteers, instructiontating youths-earning-bikes, edutraining mechanics-in-training, wrangletating unbroken bikes at bike rodeos, and showing others how to repair their flatulent tubes.
Jack stepped down as a staff member in the fall of 2012 but remains a dedicated collective member that can tell you the complete history of bicycles. It all starts with a volcano…seriously, just ask him when you have time to listen.
JDR Tanner is one of the more versatile strains of homo sapiens sapiens. He has the mental agility of over-tested lab rats, the brute strength of a shrewdness of silverbacks arranging themselves in a manner that resembles Voltron, and the problem-solving capabilities of a task force subcommittee of the cutest, furriest, mammals that have ever had their brains cored with electrodes and buzzed their way through mazes and puzzles. Sometimes he plays the violin. And he loves yelling.
Likes include, but are not limited: literacy, wordplay, s-wordplay, wreckage, construction, food, and the American South.
Dislikes include, but are limited: The FDA, christopher columbus, orientalism, industrial media, the FDA, and westerns.
JDR Tanner can generally be found; however, he can also specifically lose his place, over and over.
JDR Tanner is a Jack of all trades as his photo suggests.
Darrin Brouhard has been a full time bike commuter for the last 14 years 10 of which have been spent in Detroit save for brief stints in SF and Nashville. His pet peeves are racks that aren’t parallel to the ground, handlebars turned upside down and tires that “aren’t flat, they just never get pumped up.” Other than that, just love it, and ride it. “Work to eat, eat to live, live to ride, ride to work.”
Darrin helps manage the Retail Service Center among other things.
Carlisha Johnson is on the fast track to world domination. In 2009 Carlisha began to hang out at The Hub. In 2010 she became one of our Mechanics in Training. In 2011 she came back as an employee in our Retail Service Center. At the end of 2011 Carlisha became a collective member here at the Hub of Detroit. I’m not sure what the next step is after that, but if you ride a bike in Detroit you are fewer steps away from Carlisha’s wrenching skills than you will ever be to Kevin Bacon.
During volunteer nights Carlisha will tell you the strangest trivia you’ve ever heard.
Joe Michel has super powers. He takes children’s toys and hacks them into industrial music making machines. Currently he is working on a “tractor bike” that puts a Pugsley to shame. Joe has bent a frame to accommodate an extra large tire that he is making out of inner tube meant for a tractor. Joe joined the collective in 2011 in hopes of making things weirder around here.
Joe is also known as “Mr. Fishboy” when making industrial music made from hacked instruments. If you were lucky enough to be at the Feb 2012 benefit concert you got to see him perform.
James McMullen doesn’t sleep. James is a native Detroiter but went to live in San Francisco for a while where he helped develop a bunch of maps for what would eventually be the “biking” directions on google. Upon returning to Detroit James decided to fix everything. He began to volunteer at Back Alley Bike, but could also be found building the Mount Elliot Makerspace and getting jiggy with it at OmniCorp Detroit. Back Alley Bikes was fortunate to claim him as part of the collective in 2011.
You’ll find James adding class to the Cass Corridor riding the “Yuppie Nightmare”, his dutch city bike.
James helps out with the Youth Earn-a-Bike program and writes the wonderfully witty “Bikes of the Now” updates for The Hub of Detroit among other things.
James needs to submit a photo for this bio. Until then, enjoy this picture of crayons.
Olivia Dobbs doesn’t need to be told anything twice. One of her super powers is being a lightning fast fencer. She began to hang out at Back Alley Bikes by volunteering and learning everything about bikes in the Adult Mechanics Class. Soon she would just walk into volunteer nights and build bikes like it was as natural as breathing.
In 2012 Olivia was one of two instructors that got around 30 youth on bikes at a pilot Earn-a-Bike program in the Osborn Neighborhood in collaboration with the Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative.
If asked politely, perhaps she will be convinced to combine her powers of bike mechanics and fencing to become a world champion bike jouster.
Olivia could be called a Jane of all trades if you wanted to add gender equality to popular phrases. and you do, just so you know
Heather transplanted herself from the west coast to Detroit a couple of years ago. Since then, she started riding bikes again after an 11 year hiatus. Being inclined to do things herself, she learned everything she needed to know about bikes, and then asked a bunch more questions, and started volunteering last year. She then decided that kids need bikes and decided to help get them some. Heather is working on becoming a 2nd level bike mechanic, which is sort of like being a bike-ranch-hand, but with less stall mucking-out. She likes teaching adults how to work on their bikes, and can often be seen leading a group of henchmen, I mean, her Mechanics-In-Training down in the retail shop. Heather is the nicest person in the whole bike shop, especially if you give her ice cream.
Jason – Back Alley Bikes program director (jason @ thehubofdetroit.org)
Heather – Back Alley Bikes donations and volunteer coordinator (heather @ thehubofdetroit.org)
Olivia – Program leader
Sicily – Program leader
George – Program leader