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Projects Updates for Topic: bikes

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  1. Weekly Update - First Visit Free still suspended, Fix-it Stations need repair,

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Still busy! I went over to the warehouse last week and picked up some of the nicer, minimally-broken bikes over there. One only needed air in the tires and a few minor tweaks to be roadworthy. It’s already on the sales floor. Will hopefully have a few more of those to churn out this week. I also returned 3 Chambana Bikes to Neutral Cycle.
    We’re still suspending the First Visit Free policy here. We’ve been less than at-capacity for the first hour or two every day which is a harder sell but haven’t had too much trouble. I frankly wouldn’t mind seeing the suspension extended well into the fall as it helps to weed out people who aren’t at all interested in doing the work in the first place. I often wonder how many people are in the shop to genuinely learn and how many are here because we’re cheaper than every bike shop in town… Just something to think about.

    Got more complaints about the broken fix-it pumps. One guy on the phone seemed especially frustrated since he’d been to 3 – 4 pumps across campus. I sent him over to Neutral Cycle since he was in that neighborhood already.
    I have a couple interviews for some new hires this week. I already got a couple questions about Light The Night, which was surprising and welcome. I guess after 10+ years people are beginning to expect it. I also spoke with a U of I alum who’s interested in starting some similar DIY/education programming over at a small school in Indiana where he teaches. I gave him my card and flyer for TBP in case he wants to pick our brains a little more on the subject.

     

    The numbers:
    Visitors: 102
    Sales: $933.60
    Memberships: 18 for $540
    Tires/tubes: 20 for $116

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  2. Weekly Update - Build-a-Bike, Quad Day, First Visit Free suspended

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Busy week, per this time of year. We’re down to two bikes for sale. We’ll be suspending the First Visit Free policy this week as we’re getting too busy to accommodate free repairs. We’ve got a few of the “You don’t have a bike, I guess I’ll build one!” B-a-Bs going. Fortunately the current crop of available bikes are in good shape and don’t need anything too intense and intensive done to get them road worthy. There may be a few crusty-bearing wheels walking out but this is not the time of year for perfection.
    Friday we were closed for Campus Recreation Student Staff Training, which went well. Saturday was our Illini Frenzy and Sunday was Quad Day, so it’s been busy to say the least. This week I’ve got a job recruiting opportunity this evening at the ARC from 8 – 9p. I’ll be attending that. Thursday after hours there’ll be a staff training for the Bike Center staff. So a fair bit of extracurricular activity this week!

     

    The numbers:
    Visitors: 123*
    Sales: $2,278.60
    Bikes (refurb): 10 for $1,475
    Memberships: 13 for $390
    Tires/tubes: 10 for $38

     

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  3. Weekly Update - Welcome Week, Registrations, Bike Sales

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Welcome Week technically might be this week but last week really felt like it here at the Bike Center. Our visitor numbers were higher, a lot of people in for registrations and lots of bike sales.
    If our refurb bike sales hold steady from last week, we’ll be out of bikes before the semester even starts. While not great, it’s also not our mission to just sell bikes. Where’s the education in that?

    This week it is business as usual with the exception of Friday when we will be closed for Staff Training for all Campus Recreation employees. Obviously we’ll try to crank out some builds. We’ve still got a large pile of wheel donations to get through. That’ll help with the constant storage issues.
     

    The numbers:
    Visitors: 75
    Sales: $2,349
    Memberships: 6 for $180
    Bikes (refurb): 12 for $1,835
    Tire/tubes: 6 for $45

     

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  4. Weekly Update - Bike Sales, Scrap bikes, Light the Night, Reorganizing the shop

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Monday and Friday of last week I was out of the shop. Student staff covered for me with minimal issues. We’ve been selling bikes pretty steadily now, and that number will likely only rise the closer we get to the school year starting.
    Big thanks to Todd for clearing out the huge pile of scrap bikes. More room is always good!
    This week we have a LTN discussion so we can get moving on that and a TBP-UIUC meeting. Additionally, I’ll be reorganizing the back of the shop since we have so much new space, setting up a staff meeting for my student staff in advance of the crazy semester rush, and processing the inventory that came in late last week.

    The numbers:
    Visitors: 45 (computer trouble kept that number lower than it actually was)
    Sales: $1,215.00
    Memberships: 3 for $90

    Bikes (refurb): 6 for $925

     

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  5. Weekly Update - Bike Sales, Rodeo on campus

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, I was out of town on Friday and Monday so this is a little belated.
    Last week was good. We’ve been selling bikes a little more steadily. Tally of For Sale bikes: 16. We’ve got a few more that need final safety checks to get going so I’ll hope to get that number a little higher, especially as we approach the beginning of the academic year. On Thursday morning I did a Rodeo on campus with Cynthia and a couple of the student staff. It went really well! Kids seemed jazzed, enjoyed riding the bikes, and the basketball court was perfect for the skills course.

    No issues having the students cover for me and thanks to Todd for grabbing the scrap.

    This week I’ll be out on Friday for a Campus Recreation Staff Retreat. I’ll have Chris or Theo cover for me. We’re short on some supplies so I’ll get an order in with one of our suppliers for consumables.

     

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 69
    Sales: $743
    Memberships: 8 for $240
    Bike (refurb): 3 for $320
    Tire/tubes: 14 for $81

     

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  6. Weekly Update - Bike collection, Scrap Bins, Outreach to Engineering students

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Things were slow-to-comfortably-busy last week. A new employee started. On Tuesday I picked up 30+ bikes from JSM. Only about 1/3 of the bikes were of any quality. The rest we have been steadily scrapping. Consequently we’re pretty maxed out on our scrap bins. One of the good bikes was built up in record time on Friday. A Structural Engineering PhD student rolled in around 2:30 – 3 and finished building the bike a little after 5:30. Most of the bike was in good condition. While he worked I spoke with him about getting engineering students into the Bike Center to try some physical, practical applications to their studies. While he couldn’t get students in to CBC himself, it was encouraging that he agreed it would be a good idea.

    I spoke with my Parking Dept contact. Abated bikes have been collected. There are significantly fewer collected than in prior years. Whether that is due to VeoRide, education/awareness, or simply a diminished area of collection (due to construction), it’s hard to say. Bottom line is less work for me and my staff!
    This week I’ll be taking Friday afternoon off. I’ll be out of the office on Monday and Tuesday of next week as well. Chris will cover hours. Next week’s report, accordingly, will happen on Wednesday.

     

    The numbers:
    Visitors: 75
    Sales: $1,282.90
    Bikes (refurb): 6 for $810
    Bikes (B-a-B): 2 for $50
    Memberships: 2 for $60
    Tires/tubes: 17 for $89

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  7. Weekly Update - New Hire, Heat, and JSM Haul

    Associated Project(s): 

    All,

    This past week was abbreviated due to the sweltering and oppressive heat. We closed Thursday and Friday. The rest of the week wasn’t too busy, either.

     

    I had a training with a new hire, purged some old parts, and worked on shop builds.

     

    This week I’ll pick up “quite a few” bikes from JSM that they have ready for us, keep purging some of the old junk, and safety check the student-built bikes.

     

    The numbers:
    Visitors: 42
    Sales: $724

    Memberships: 2 for $60
    Bikes (refurb): 3 for $475
    Bikes (B-a-B): 2 for $55

    Tires/tubes: 7 for $$43

     

    Thanks!

     

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  8. Weekly Update - Keeping it Cool and Returned Bike

    Associated Project(s): 

    All,

     

    The one day last week that it wasn’t blazing hot was the one day we were really busy. But we’re always at the whim of the weather. Other than the one busy day, it was business as usual.

     

    We got a new giant fan delivered by the maintenance crew which has been a great help. Keeps things manageably cool in here. Don, the guy we did a bike exchange with, brought us a case of bottled water from Meijer, which was also awesome.

     

    The real big news was the bike we were able to return to its rightful owner. A woman donated a bike that she said was abandoned in front of her apartment. With assistance from Durst, we were able to track down the original owner who came and picked it up on Friday. It was a good start to the weekend!

     

    Outside of the regular day-to-day I’ll be training a new hire and looking to rig up some weatherproofing for the garage doors to keep it a little cooler in here as we look towards the super-hot end of the week we’re expecting.


    Numbers:
    Visitors: 75
    Sales: $582.75
    Bikes (refurb): 3 for $301
    Membership: 3 for $90
    Tire/tubes: 11 for $60

     

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  9. Weekly Update - Collection of Abandoned Bikes

    Associated Project(s): 

    All,

     

    Last week was truncated a bit by the long holiday weekend. We were only open Mon – Wed.

    I trained a new employee last week and had her start. I was also informally notified that two current staffers will most likely step away from working here at CBC in the next few weeks. The timing worked out pretty well with the two new staffers coming on board. That should get me through the remaining summer months.

     

    Two bikes left on the bike rack outside when I got in this morning, so that’s still helping.

     

    This week I’ll be doing more training with the new staffers, schedule and hold a staff meeting for my team, and the regular schedule of organizing, cleaning, and building.

     

    Thanks!

     

    Numbers:
    Visitors: 51
    Sales: $371
    Bike (refurb): 1 for $200
    Membership: 3 for $90
    Tires/tubes: 6 for $28

     

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

     

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