Feel free to fill out a testimonial form here!
Max – Mechanic, Sales Manager
My name is Maximiliano Delacruz. I’m 19 and I’m from Springfield, Massachusetts, born and raised here. I first heard from RadSpringfield (which we just call “Rad”) last year from friends and posts here and there through social media. First thoughts were “it’s a community-based bike shop?” and “what does that mean and what is it about?”
My curiosity got the better of me as always. I first visited Rad around mid summer or early fall of 2018 to find out what all the fuss was about. Even when I first walked into Rad for the first time it feels no different from today, the atmosphere is and always will be welcoming. You walk in, you’re greeted right after you sign in and enter. The volunteers are as helpful and knowledgeable as can be with each different person having a unique and diverse set of skills with bicycles.
It’s not just the regular volunteers who help, however. Anyone of any age or background can surprise you with how much they know about bicycles! It’s also not just about repairs. I soon realized Rad was more than just “some shop downtown that fixes bikes”. We teach people of all ages, children to adults about:
- Community bicycle repairs. Rad aims to help others
- acknowledging the laws and rules of the road as a bicyclist,
- the rights to the road,
- the necessary information to safely cycle out on Springfield roads
- the use of lights,
- the life saver that is the helmet.
Rad’s community has also grown so much in such a short period of time, I don’t regret ever walking into there with an open mind and curiosity. At this time I’ve been volunteering consistently at Rad for around 6 months and thanks to a grant from MassBike, even got paid for my summer hours at a growing partnership with Springfield College. It hasn’t been a lot of time but it honestly feels like I’ve been there much longer.
Each Monday I’ve been helping others, giving a caring hand and not expecting anything in return. Rad honestly feels more like a second home to me now – I love Rad and all that it is. The atmosphere, the people, the bikes especially (haha), but what I love most is the opportunity to see the smiles and the gratitude from people who you helped, who needed assistance – a quick fix or an overhaul. you know?
Being able to help, being able to give Springfield’s community an easier more accessible, reliable bicycle shop. Helping people get to work, to school, to point A to B. Volunteering was never on my mind when I entered Rad the first time. But I’m not sure I’ll ever stop going to Rad now!
Nate – Youth Coordinator
My name is Nathan Lavergne and I have been riding bikes for 10 years. I’ve also been working on bikes since I was 9 and it’s been a fun hobby. Now I’m about to graduate high school and go to school to learn auto mechanics. Since I’ve gotten older I don’t consider working on bikes a hobby – it’s more like my job.
When I was 14 I finally ventured out on long bike rides which made my biking experience more fun – although I did find many problems when riding around or near the city. People didn’t respect the bikers including myself. For example: I got screamed at by a lady on the side walk because I didn’t know you couldn’t ride on the sidewalk.
I live in Springfield Mass . Yes some roads have bike lanes, but people don’t always respect that. When riding in the city you always need to be on the lookout or you can get hit by a car.
Right now we are starting to take action as not many people respect us bikers, possibly because of how the young ones in the biking community treat the streets. The more experienced riders try to work with the younger ones, but at times it seems like young kids have no respect for cars. After all, we can’t stop them because we have no place to put these big groups of kids.
One good idea is building a BMX / skate park and this will definitely help because a lot of kids will go there.
In 2017 I found Rad Springfield where I now work as a community mechanic and youth coordinator. This community bike shop has changed me a lot. Having a shared set of tools and resources has taught me a lot more about bikes. New friends both older and younger than me have helped me build up my communication skills.
It feels good to know you work in a place where you can teach others about bikes. I think Rad Springfield is bringing a change to Springfield. In the future there will be more respect for bikers and the community will definitely benefit from this.
That is when Rad comes into play because we are here to help and figure out ways to move these groups of kids out of traffic and into safety.
Stories of our work