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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Missing Link Bicycle Co-Op, a Berkeley institution, is closing up shop

Over the course of two afternoons at the shop, I piece together a story of what led to Missing Link closing. For years, the store had seen declining revenue.

“We decided we couldn’t ignore the trends anymore,” says Chuck Betz, who, at 68, is the longest-standing co-owner.

There wasn’t any one factor. As online shopping and bike and scooter share programs became more popular, the number of people buying bikes and parts at Missing Link dropped. It hurt when Trek pulled their bikes from the store, and the loss of a nearby parking lot. The co-owners stuck with “acoustic bikes” as electric bikes and scooters gained popularity. Then, the store survived the COVID-19 pandemic on loans and donations, but profits took a serious hit. The impending demolition was just “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” as Rose Mota-Nadeau, another co-owner put it.

Read the rest at Berkeleyside


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