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Projects Updates for Topic: Campus Bike Center

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  1. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, last week was oddly slow at times. We had 110 visitors.  We grossed $956.60. We sold eight memberships for $275; one refurbished bike for $70; one build-a-bike for $96;  and $144 in tires/tubes.

    Last week I prepped for Bike To Work Day, attended a Bike Project Meeting, built bikes and helped organize an end-of-semester lunch get-together for CBC staffers and the TDM team. I spoke with a Parking employee and he expressed a great interest and appreciation for the Housing bike rack program and as of last week we’ve got one donated bike, but again, it’s still well before graduation.  

    I have been getting a lot of questions about summer hours at the Campus Bike Center, which is a little disconcerting for our publicity and visibility on campus. But then again, can’t fault people for being on the academic calendar at a University.

    On this week’s agenda is Bike To Work Day, which promises to be a great day for sustainability and healthfulness! This week will also be the last official BikeFace-operated Friday Ride. While hopefully they will continue in some fashion, they will no longer be organized and put on by BikeFace UIUC.

    Sincerely,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  2. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, last week was feast or famine, visitors-wise. We had all-stands-full for most of Friday—even with the bad weather--and hardly a visitor in the first two hours on Wednesday. We didn’t do a lot of large sales and the numbers reflect that; most visitors were just tuning up their bikes with small consumables. Our visitor total for last week was 91.

    We grossed $617.25 for the week. Sold six memberships for $180; 18 tires for $85; eight tubes for $36; and three locks for $69.

    Last week—with Lily’s help--I was able to streamline the stolen bike reports that come in through bike@illinois so I can disseminate that info on to bike shops, advocacy orgs, and businesses and thereby increase the chances (in theory) of recovering the thieved property.

    This week I will continue to build bikes, search for and field job applicants for the summer months and begin coordinating and organizing for next month’s Bike to Work Day and the May 10th Moonlight Bike Drive event.

    Sincerely,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  3. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, the shop was closed for Spring Break, so going back two weeks to 3/13 – 3/17: Visitors totaled 60. We grossed $839.20. We sold 4 memberships for $120; one refurbished bike for $180; and one build-a-bike for $134.

    This week I will be prepping for summer staff, building bikes, organizing/cleaning, getting in touch with the new supply representative, and attempting to streamline the reporting of stolen bikes.

    Additionally, the Bike Project is hosting a bike light giveaway at Douglass Park in Champaign on Sunday (April 2nd;  2 - 5pm) that I will promote this week.

    Sincerely,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  4. Weekly Update

    All, Happy Monday! Last week was a steady busy one. We routinely had peaks of busyness and fallow valleys. We had 97 visitors through the doors, including staff. We grossed $951.50. We sold two bikes for $335; one build-a-bike for $61; and 4 memberships for $120.

    Overall, last week I was met with a little more enthusiasm for the space than I regularly receive upon explaining the cost structure and mission of the CBC to new visitors. That was nice. Our for-sale bike count after last week sits at 14 for-sale bikes. I keep trying to grow that number up into the 20s but people keep buying them. That’s not a bad thing, I suppose.

    Additionally, the two Departmental Share bikes need parts that are on-order so that project will be delayed, unfortunately.

    Our numbers for B-a-Bs last year was quite low and as such I will begin photographing—with permission—all those who complete build-a-bikes and posting them on social media, which will serve two important functions: advertising for CBC and its most education-intensive program; and having a picture of owner and bicycle in the event of a stolen or lost bike.

    This week I am going to cull a few more unbuiildable bikes from the pile and concentrate heavily on ramping up the for-sale numbers since this week of cold, snowy weather should keep the shoppers at bay. I will additionally focus on drop-bar bicycles, since I’ve noticed people requesting and looking for those more than the about-town cruisers and flat-bar bikes we have for sale, irrespective of how well-suited they are to campus riding.

    Sincerely,

    Jake Benjamin

    Campus Bike Center Manager

  5. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, last week we had 114 visitors. We grossed $997.25. We sold two bikes for $210 and six memberships for $180. The new hires are coming along, with only minor hiccups here and there.

    Last week Lily and I assisted with the University High School Agora Days class that a Bike Project member was leading.  For Four days last week we went over various bike repair basics, focusing on tires/tubes, minor brake adjustments, chains, and a how-to on bike fitting. The kids were genuinely interested and engaged, and no one minded getting a little dirty. The only downside was the one-hour limit on each day’s class.

    Lily and I also met to discuss the implementation of some bike classes for which she so adeptly secured funding.

    This week I will get a job posting up for more student workers, as one new hire is MIA and a few others are graduating. I will continue to work on the departmental bike share bikes for F&S as well as bikes for sale here, as our stock isn’t quite as robust as I would like pre-spring rush.

    Sincerely,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  6. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, last week we grossed $506.80. We sold one build-a-bike for $35 and two memberships for $60. We had 60 visitors to the shop.

    We were inundated this past week with volunteers, which isn’t a bad thing but is difficult to come up with enough unskilled jobs in a very skill-demanding environment. Thankfully, the organizing never ends! I made some good progress on the wheel storage rack in the back corner of the CBC and it will be completed by the end of the day today. While not the best built thing out there, it will get the job done and allow us to store more wheels safely out of the way and off the ground.

    This week will be truncated since I was sick over the weekend and did not work on Monday or Tuesday. But good news: Lily has secured funding for some basic maintenance classes for the spring! Way to go Lily! I will meet with her next week and discuss the details. This week I will start recruiting again for more hires since four of the current CBC staff are graduating in May and at least one more will not be around to help in the summer.

    Sincerely,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  7. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello, this past week saw 57 visitors come to the Campus Bike Center. We grossed $381 even. We sold one build-a-bike for $87, zero refurbished bikes, and one membership ($30).

    This past week also saw two new staffers start: Leah and Angelica. They are both capable, helpful, and welcome additions to the staff. This week David (and hopefully Zack) will start, rounding out this semesters’ staffers. I reconfigured the cone wrench station, which is now much easier to use and keep clean and efficient.

    For the upcoming week I will be contacting surplus about some furnishings, ramping up the for-sale bike quota, training new staff, and beginning to construct the wheel storage rack that I could not get to last week.

    Sincerely,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  8. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello! This past week we had 74 visitors. We grossed 1,068.50. We sold 4 bikes for $630, one build-a-bike for $40, and 8 memberships to the tune of $240.

    As the numbers bear out, bike sales are ticking up, which has been a pleasant surprise. I figured it would be real quiet here until March or April but there has been a steady stream of visitors and people interested in the space. This past week a TBP volunteer debuted a new spreadsheet  that already vastly improved the efficiency of processing shipping and receiving here at CBC, as well as clears up the vagaries surrounding POS transactions on unmarked merchandise—all very good things! It will be even nicer as the shop gets busier and busier.

    This week Leah starts staffing and the rest of the new hires are coming along with their hiring process. This week I plan to build an extra wheel storage rack and reconfigure the cone wrench station to make it safer and easier to use. I will continue to build bikes, organize, and prioritize accessible inventory and parts based on their usage and demand.

    Sincerely,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  9. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, surprise! When the semester nears, students return! We had 26 visitors in last week. Grossed $388.75. Sold one membership ($30) and one bike ($225). One member was achingly close to finishing his Build-a-Bike but alas, it was not meant to be.

    This past week I interviewed a student for staff help here at CBC. I also spoke with another student and set up an interview for him this week. On Tuesday and Wednesday a TBP volunteer came by and we reconstructed the tire rack storage shelf to accommodate more tires as well as make them more accessible. It will greatly help the effectiveness and ease by which members can utilize the space—especially once it gets hectic and busy.

     

    This week I will be interviewing more potential student staffers, ironing out the schedule for the staff semester, prepping for the incumbent staffers to return, and of course the general clean, organize, and building of bikes.

     

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  10. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, predictably slow first week back at the Campus Bike Center. Hope everyone had a nice holiday! We totaled 10 visitors for last week. Grossed $63 for the week. Didn’t sell any bikes or even have anyone in working on a build-a-bike.

     

    Lily and I picked out three bikes for the Departmental Bike Share. The last of the new fix-it station pumps were installed. John, a Bike Project volunteer, came by to lend his architectural expertise in redesigning the bike tire storage space to be a little more efficient. I did a general inventory of wheels and was able to pull a bunch out for scrapping and reorganized the ones I am going to keep. I also found a dozen or so bikes that were beyond repair and needed to be stripped for parts.

     

    This week I will continue to parse out bikes and parts that are not salvageable which will in turn make the space a lot more useful and navigable for everyone. On Thursday I will be interviewing a student worker for the upcoming semester. I will install the new signage for the fix-it pumps this week as well.

    Sincerely,

     

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager

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