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American Faces #90 - Providing Freedom




American Faces No. 90


As I write this American Faces I am feeling quite celebratory. You see, this week marks 20 years of being my own thing, Nielsen Studios, and this is my 90th American Faces story . But that’s enough of that…and now for the “rest of the story”...Amanda Dobb’s story to be exact.

I believe I heard it said somewhere, “Bicycles give freedom.” Well maybe that’s just in my head as I think of all the places my bike took me as a kid and as I tried to escape my tough teenage years. I think Amanda Dobbs and her North Minneapolis bike shop called Camden Cycles helps to provide that freedom. Amand’s bike shop is incredibly inviting, well outfitted and ready to help anyone take on any repair needed. Her purpose from the beginning was to create a shop that impacts the community she cares so much for. All are welcome. Camden Cycles is a place to learn to fix a bike and glean some life wisdom as well. But maybe more than that it is a place to meet new friends and become a part of the North Side tapestry that is so culturally diverse.

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Amanda and others in the shop warmly welcome everyone who steps through the door and the shop is quite baby proof or maybe better said baby-welcome. It’s all about people feeling welcome. I saw Amanda’s husband working alongside a young man who was learning how to tune his own bike while others mentored him through the process. You won’t find that kind of mentoring happening at shops with multiple locations. It can be found in a shop that is led by Amanda with the intent to impact the community. She’s not in it just for financial reasons. She’s in it because she cares for her fellow humans.

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I watched the thoughtfulness and deft repair abilities of the staff go into action as a person came in whose only mode of transportation is a bike. That person left the shop with a bicycle that was now rolling on the Minneapolis streets smooth and ready to provide transportation. Maybe better said to provide freedom.

Thank you Amanda Dobbs for making the world a better place on bike at a time.


Photos/Story by: Nielsen Studios

Editing by: Scott Whitman






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