Good Karma Bikes CEO James T. Gardner, PhD, began fixing bikes for homeless people living in a downtown San Jose park. I took less than ten minutes for him to clearly see what was going on– and it was not about bikes. It was about self-esteem.
Attempting to service the enormous need, Jim began to teach them bike repair. They soon began to teach others. That’s how Good Karma Bikes was born on a rainy Saturday in 2008. No market research, no study, no plan–just an effort to help with bicycle transportation for those who genuinely felt they had nothing.
Shortly after, Jim began reaching out to people in any form of recovery and providing a bicycle to those who couldn’t even afford the bus. After about 1,000 people had benefited, a used appliance repair van was donated in 2010. Good Karma Bikes was now truly a mobile. The same donor then helped Good Karma locate a warehouse on Sunol Street. In 2016, Good Karma Bikes it’s current location on Lincoln Avenue.
Currently, we give away, on average, 1.5 bikes each day. Since our humble beginnings, we have provided over $2.6M in community aid to people in need. No one has ever been turned away for financial reasons.
In the Fall of 2023, Good Karma Bikes will move into a permanent home on the ground floor of Charities Housing’s new development, currently under construction at 399 Blossom Hill.
“We’re thrilled to see Good Karma Bikes’ inspiring vision grow in San Jose to serve thousands more of our community members in need” stated Mayor Sam Liccardo.
The new, 11,000 sq. foot headquarters is almost double the size of the current location on Lincoln Ave. The generous layout enables more volunteer workspace and education, community-run programs, a higher volume of refurbish- able bicycles, and community aid. We look forward to expanding our support and our community!