Saturday, August 30, 2008

Free Market at Monroe Park... Last Saturday of every month from now on

Wow this picture sucks. My camera is obviously about to crap out. But, a bunch of people were out this afternoon for the really really free market in Monroe Park, that will be held there on the corner of Main and Belviedere from now on on the last Saturday of every month.

Had a gentleman again comment on the use of a chainbreaker, saying, "Damn, I still do it the old way with a screw driver and a hammer. Tryin' to fix the chain and get the bike working, but ya hit your hand a few times and you end up just saying 'Fuck this bike'."


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Richmond Zine Fest: October 11th

It's still a while from now, but the zine fest last year was awesome, so save the date.
Here is whats going on:

"The 2008 Richmond Zine Fest will be held on Saturday, October 11, 2008, from 11am to 5pm at the Gay Community Center of Richmond, at 1407 Sherwood Ave. The event is free to the public. There will also be free coffee on hand, and (vegan) food will be available for purchase at a small price.
The 2007 Richmond Zine Fest featured 45 vendors from all over Virginia and the US, two workshops, and readings by noted zinesters Ariel Gore and China Martens. Over 250 people attended last years zine fest, which was spread out on two locations on the 1600 block of West Broad Street.

What's a zine fest exactly? A zine fest is a gathering where zine creators, small comic, small press creators and zine distros come together to sell and/or trade their creations (the choice of whether to sell their zine or trade it is up to each individual zinester. Distros generally have to sell zines because they're beholden to other zinesters whose zines they are selling). There are workshops concerning zines and other DIY skills or matters, as well as zinesters reading from their zines or books. Zine fests are also open to the public".

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lady with a beard

This article was written in Summer '07 and is awesome, but I can't help but laugh that the author kept refering to Ward as a lady. I'm not sure if it was an editing mistake or not:

"Standing next to their Mo'Book Mo'Bike Mobile, ard Tefft and Shelley Briggs, co-founders of Books on Wheels, hope to bring information about literature and transportation to communities across the U.S.
Books and bikes? While it may seem like an unlikely combination, two activists in a '70s style mini-bus are taking their cause national.
The multi-colored bus that houses Books on Wheels was on Penn's campus last Sunday at Saint Mary's Episcopal Church for a community event called Bike Church.
Books on Wheels is a non-profit organization that distributes books and bicycle parts throughout the country at community events free of charge. The mission of the organization is to increase literacy and access to transportation in economically disadvantaged communities.
Books on Wheels was founded by Ward Tefft, owner of Chop Suey Books and Shelley Briggs, co-founder of Spokes, an organization that specializes in bicycle repair. Together, they combined their specialties to plan two East Coast tours.
"Our goal is to hand out as many books as we can to spread literacy, give people access to good literature and knowledge about repairing bikes," Tefft says.
Venues for Books on Wheels include cafes, recreation centers, after school programs, churches and festivals in cities such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, Richmond, Va., Rochester, N.Y., Chicago and Worcester, Mass. Among the most memorable events for Tefft and Briggs was their excursion to Baltimore in early July.
"Baltimore CSAFE rec center was one of the most rewarding experiences for me. It was a cookout and small bock party over there. They helped us do two bike events where we repaired around 20 to 30 bikes," Tefft said.
Philadelphia events have also been well-noted by Tefft and Briggs.
"Going to Philadelphia is great. This [Bike Church] is one of the biggest bike projects we've been to. A lot of people show up and everything is so well organized," said Briggs.
However, this organization was not always the large-scale, national project that it is today. Books on Wheels took a grassroots approach - starting in Richmond and eventually branching out to surrounding areas.
"We really had no expectations in starting this project. And the overall experience has just been amazing to me and more that we ever expected. It's overwhelming how many people came out and supported us," said Tefft.
Tefft added that she finds the whole venture personally rewarding.
"From this, I have learned how needed this is," she said. "It's been really helpful for many people. We hope to inspire other people to do projects like this."

Urban Velo

Books on Wheels is going to be featured in the next issue of Urban Velo, here's a sneak. It will be available free online as of the 1st, and then published for 3 bucks. Check it out:


Ward noticed this a long time ago and i hadn't thought of it until this afternoon while i was sitting at the mechanics, waiting to get a diagnosis of whats wrong with the little bus. Etched into the the key for the little bus is "SPOT"; Ward figured it was the name of the bus by the previous owner, Buzz, who ran a river rafting business and used the buses to haul people up and down the James. Today I noticed that the key for the big bus says "BOB". Its weird because I can't imagine calling them anything else that "Moby" and "Deez", but I love that they had names before we had them, like they're kids or something. Really big kids.

I'm going to check on the bus right now and find out whats up. Greg at Paradise Garage is awesome, go see him on Allen St. for your car repair needs. He thinks its an electrical problem with the bus not knowing when to shift because some wires may be disconnected.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Really Really Really Free Market: August 30th in Monroe Park

Books on Wheels will be at the Really Really Really Free Market on Saturday August 30th giving away free books and doing free bike repair. Not sure how much stuff is going to cost, but it should be a good time. Yeah! All day and open to everyone.

Here is what the market is all about:

"The premise behind the fo' real free markets is that this country is being swallowed by an excess of STUFF. Being a capitalist society, we are bombarded with messages every day that the sheer amount of things that we own is equal to the amount of success that we have had in our lives. And with all this excess of ownership, there is also a quickly-increasing and vast amount of WASTE. We know we've all done it- taken that one thing, barely used, and since we don't feel like taking a trip to the thrift store- whoops! Into the garbage can it goes.Sometimes it might be something that you think is useless - torn jeans, old cigar boxes, scrap lumber, a half-used bag of unmixed cement, packets of flower seeds that you'll never plant because you just don't have that green thumb - the point is, what is useless to you may be exactly what someone else in your community needs.The fo' real free markets (based on Really Really Free Markets []) provide people with a chance to share the excess that they possess, to prevent the landfills from filling with stuff that will never decompose and is nowhere near the end of its usefullness, and to offer the community a chance to come together for a day of free fun in the sun!So the next time you hear about a free market, bring your music, your skills, your stuff, your food, and your friends and family, and help us prove that there is enough stuff in the world for everybody!Because there is enough for everyoneBecause sharing is more fufilling than owningBecause corporations would rather see landfills overflow than anyone get anything for freeBecause scarcity is a myth constructed to keep us at the mercy of the economyBecause a sunny day outside is better than anything money can buyBecause "free trade" is a contradiction of termsBecause no one should have to do without food, shelter, entertainment, and community"
Look for info here:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Getting back in gear

Taking the bus into the shop on Tuesday to find out about what the cost will be to get the transmission repaired. Keeping fingers crossed that its not too messy. This time of year would be perfect for us to be holding a bunch of events since its not crazy hot and the kids are about to go back to school. Hopefully we can get back on the road soon... We need to hold events! I can't even tell you how many times we have had to cancel with people this summer because of bus problems or scheduling or something, and it's hard to not show up and not be a consistent organization, even though there is not a lot we can do about it anyway. Its sad, but I'm insistent on getting moving again. Apologies to everyone that we couldn't work with over the summer- don't give up on us. We will be back in action soon.

In other news, I got older this week. I'm no longer in my mid-twenties. I have moved into the category of mid-to-late twenties. Ward's beard is coming in well as he prepares to move. Don't forget to go by Chop Suey (the original) before you never can again- I'm pretty sure Ward is having a pretty sweet sale right now as he gets ready to move.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Best Friends Day 7 this weekend

Although the buses won't be making any real appearances at BFD this weekend, except that the big bus lives at the Bike Lot where the Sunday event is being held, its a fun weekend and anyone is invited to come join in the festivities. Ward and I will be busy with this until Monday- looking forward to some good times. Check out all the details for the weekend at:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The book boxes

We haven't done a lot lately, and one of those things is filling up the book boxes that are out on Broad St. located at 9th and Broad and 2nd and Broad. The boxes are old newspaper boxes that now function as a source for free books for anyone. I try to go by a couple times a week to fill them up, and amazingly they always empty immediately. A lot of times I don't even get a chance to unload the books into the boxes before people are scrambling for them. But with the small bus out of commission for now, and there is no way I'm driving the big bus in mid-afternoon Broad St. traffic, thought i would write stories about my visits to fill the boxes in the past:

Upon arrive to fill up the book box outside of the market on 2nd and Broad st., where a bunch of people tend to congregate during business hours, a guy proceeds to keep the box door open as i shoved books in, a proudly screams over and over : " READ A BOOK, (explicate word)! READ A BOOK (explicate word)!" to everyone on the corner to promote the newly arriving literature. It was quite a site.

A guy at the bus stop at 9th and Broad told me as i was filling up the book boxes that his favorite day is any day that the bookmobile comes by and fills up the boxes.

A woman at 2nd st. told me not to be afraid to come by every day and fill up the boxes, with confidence that possibly i wasn't coming by every day due to intimidation. It was quite a wonderful tactic of convincing through this challenge: " Now don't be scared to come by here everyday. its ok, just come on by and don't worry about stopping any time".

A guy asked me if we had any free cell phones in the bus.

And the top half story:
I went to fill up one of the book boxes and as I'm loading in books, a city bus stops next to me and the driver opens the boor. I figured she was going to make a comment about how i had stopped in the bus lane and that i should move my car so she could pick up her passengers, but instead she says, " You're top half is hanging out", and shes laughing at me. Confused and distracted by my task at hand, i kept shoveling books in while asking her, "What? What?".

The bus driver repeats herself and tells me i need to fix my shit before i cause an accident. It finally registered she is talking about my butt crack. I stood up and adjusted my pants, laughing my top half off as she drives away.


Jonny Z festival Pics Part 3

Thanks to the wonderful bookmobile guy, Phil , for these photos. And check out his blog at:

Jonny Z festival Pics part 2

Thanks to Tess for sending the link to her photos:

Jonny Z Festival Pics part 1

Thanks to Matt Richardson for sending these photos in from the Jonny Z festival outside of Joe's this past Saturday.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Jonny Z festival

Saturday was a blast at the jonny z festival outside of Joe's Inn on Shields. I don't have any photos because I had to borrow my roommates camera for the event, and then forgot the memory card, and realized this only after having attempted to take a picture and was denied. Anyone have pictures they want to send me, i would love to post them here or on the website. We had a leak during the event, and Hippie helped me find the hole in the anti-freeze line; a little bit of tape and a trip to the local gas station and the problem was temporarily fixed, at least enough to get us back to Oregon Hill. A whole ton of people came out, including my parents, who were denied access by a 7 year old onto the bus because they did not know the password, which was not "my daughter owns this bus".

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Transmission: Failure

Yeah, so Moby is in bad shape. We can't get the bus to drive over 15 mph before the engine screams to stop having gas applied, and the gears never change from first before its too scary to push the pedal anymore. Luckily, our friend Dennis has a small school bus and has recommended a great transmission shop that he just went to to get some work done. Unfortunately, it will be a little while before we can afford it- transmission problems dont tend to be cheao. So , Books on Wheels won't be around as much for a little while, and we have had to say no to a few events because of this, but Ward is busy getting ready to move from Oney to Tuey and having the task of growing his beard out, while I am trying to work more and plan for the future.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Free Vitamin Water!

Thanks a whole bunch to Ellwood's and RVA magazine for hosting the ride on Friday evening. I would say we had about 50 people show up and Monroe Park, heading up Main St. to Ellwood's for some free vitamin water, and then back down Cary. I was way stoked on how everyone did their best to be safe and ride well through Friday afternoon traffic, so we didn't have too many scary encounters with motorists. Can't wait to do it again!!

Friday, August 1, 2008


Books on Wheels was donated its first unicycle over the weekend. Ward tried to ride it and confirmed that it is very difficult to do. Anyone hearing about someone expressing great interest in unicycling who can't afford to purchase a unicycle should contact us.