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Projects Updates for Campus Bike Center

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  1. Weekly Update - Build-a-Bike, Bicycle Donations,

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Last week was comfortably busy. We had all-stands-full for a few days but no waiting patrons. A few build-a-bikes have been started, which is welcome. Shop builds are humming along, more or less. A new sign-in computer should be arriving this week. Donations are still coming in fairly regularly. We’ve got a stockpile of 10 or so kids bikes that I’ll aim to take to Salt & Light this week.

    We built up and donated a bike to Campus Recreation Intramurals last week.

    The students covered for me during my staff retreat on Friday. There was only one or two minor hiccups and they were my fault.

    This week I’ll game plan for more volunteer tasks, do some long-overdue sorting, organizing, and purging in the new-stock area, safety check shop builds, and set up a July staff meeting for my team.

     

    Numbers:

    Visitors: 78

    Sales: $683.50
    Bike (refurb): 2 for $290
    Build-a-Bike: 1 for $30

    Memberships: 5 for $150
    Tire/tube: 6 for $34

     

    Thanks!

    - Jake

  2. Weekly Update - New Staff interview, Staff Retreat

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Not a lot to report from last week. I interviewed another potential student employee. Had some iPad troubles but Omid was here and able to help. Thanks, Omid! There was a bike waiting for me on the outside rack when I pulled up this morning, so that’s continuing to be of service to us. Over the weekend, Todd grabbed the extremely large pile of scrap we had accumulated. Thanks, Todd!

    My staff and I also had an impromptu staff meeting on Friday which we’ll look to continue on a monthly basis from here on out.

    This week I have a Staff Retreat on Friday so I’ll be out of the shop until 4:30 or so and the students will cover for me.
    Numbers:

    Visitors: 74
    Sales: $1,027

    Bikes (refurb): 4 for $560
    Membership: 5 for $150

    Tire/tubes: 21 for $152

     

    Thanks!
    - jake

  3. Weekly Update - Bicycle Donations, wheel stripping, etc.

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Definitely getting busier! Got a sale in just as we were closing up on Friday. Two more bikes were waiting on the outside rack when I got in this morning. I passed the manager of Champaign Cycle on my ride in and he said they’ve got a couple bikes for us as well.  We’re pretty close to capacity on bikes here at the shop. But I guess it’s a good problem to have considering the business model.

    Last week we stripped 30 wheels out of the back of the shop. Still too crowded for my liking but definitely more manageable. We have about a dozen stripped frames ready for the scrapper as well, with another five or to be stripped this week. The front “sales floor” is opening up nicely, though, thanks to the sales we’ve made thus far.
    I also interviewed a potential new hire last week.

    Anecdote: Over the weekend I saw a woman riding her bike almost get hit twice in one intersection. She was crossing Lincoln and just inched her way through the intersection and both lanes of traffic had to stop short for her. It was a scary and clear reminder that we still have a ways to go on infrastructure and education on campus.

    Numbers:
    Visitors: 70
    Sales: $1,157.10
    Memberships: 4 for $120
    Bike (refurb): 5 for $830
    Tire/tubes: 6 for $26

    Thanks!

    - jake

  4. Weekly Update - Bike Donations, Wheel Collecion, CCB, etc.

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Last week was slow. Still in a lull before Summer II begins. We got three donations over the weekend here. Mostly junk but better than being abandoned somewhere. On Thursday I collected 5 bikes from the Parking warehouse.
    Last week Theo collected about 20 wheels out of the back of the shop that aren’t worth keeping. We’ll scrap those this week. I got in touch with FAA (Fine & Applied Arts) to see if they’ve got any interest in some of our throwaway junk for art/sculpture projects and that sort of thing. They said they’d pass the info along.

    Jeff, from CCB, stopped by and will likely be taking the kids bikes off our hands that we’ve accumulated. That’ll clear up some space. We lent out the big trailer for the University Y to use at Dump & Run next door at the Stock Pavilion to great success and will probably do it again this week. It was nice to see someone else use it!
    This week I’ve got an interview with a student worker today. Other than that, business as usual.

    Numbers:

    Visitors: 51
    Sales: $236.60
    Memberships: 3 for $90
    Tire/tube: 15 for $101

     

    Jake Benjamin

  5. Weekly Update - Collection of Abandoned Bikes

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Last week was on the slow side. We got busy in fits and starts. This week will likely be the same. I was out of the shop for most of Tuesday afternoon, so the students covered for me. No troubles there.

    We concluded our Bike Abandonment Program last week, as well. We collected 15 bikes total that were either donated at the Bike Rodeo, during open hours, or left after hours on the rack outside. Having the rack outside was super helpful, not only to collect bikes during off hours, but as additional storage during open shop time. Long term, having a donation drop off system in place for after-hours would be beneficial.

    This week I’ll dig into the pile of student-checked bike builds. I’ve got space for about 5 more bikes and then I’ll have to look at rearranging again. We can technically cram more bikes in the spaces we’ve got allotted for Sale Bikes but I’ve noticed it makes it a lot more difficult for people to try them out and thus, they don’t get sold. Limits of the space, I suppose. Of course, all the bikes will probably sell in the end.
    I’ll also coordinate with Parking about picking up some bikes they’ve got for us.


    Numbers:
    Visitors: 73
    Sales: $509.43

    Memberships: 10 for $300
    Bikes (refurb) 3 for $410
    Tire/tube: 18 for $117

     

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  6. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Shortened week for myself as I was out of town Thursday and Friday. The student staff operated hours in my absence. No incidents or troubles. Their chief issues were related to the Shop Builds, so that’s a win-win.
    This week I have the Student Employment Symposium on Tuesday that conflicts with hours so I will again have students cover. I’ll be back in time to close up shop. I also have a potential new hire coming in to volunteer this week and sort of try the job out for a bit.

    Thanks to Todd for grabbing scrap and whoever delivered new spoke wrenches, as they were sorely needed.
     

    Numbers:

    Visitors: 97

    Sales:  $751.30
    Bike (refurb): 1 for $150
    Bike (B-a-B): 1 for $125
    Memberships: 6 for $180
    Tire/tubes: 17 for $152

     

    Thanks!

    Jake Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  7. Weekly Update - Bike to Work Day, Bike Rodeo, etc.

    All, What a week! Last week (and weekend) was a TBP meeting, Bike To Work Day, the Bike Rodeo, and picking up donations from the Community Bike Sale. Lots of extracurricular activity! All of the events went well but not amazingly well. Attendance was on the low side for BTWD and BR but the weather is a major culprit there.

    Since 2pm on Friday we’ve gotten (rough count) 20 bike donations, so we’re pretty inundated right now. With bad weather in the forecast and the busyness of finals for most students, we’ll be able to process the donations this week—hopefully.

    Last Friday was the last Fix-a-Flat class and we had our first attendee! Maria and Jacob taught the course well and the gentleman seemed happy to have come. Also on Friday the student staff hosted an impromptu Friday ride of sorts for one of our graduating staffers. This upcoming Friday will be the last official one for the season.

    I’ll be out of town Thursday and Friday so Chris will open and run the shop in my absence.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 73
    Sales: $750.20
    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $295
    Memberships: 7 for $210
    Tire/tubes: 9 for $64

     

    Thanks!

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  8. Weekly Update - Bicycle Donations, Bike to Work Day, etc.

    All, Big but also kind of micro news is that there’s been a noticeable uptick in donations here at the Bike Center. While I’d love to attribute that to our awesome Bike Abandonment Prevention program, it’s really just been local community members who’re cleaning out their garages--most prominently two white bearded men, not the graduating seniors that we’re hoping to attract.

    But that’s a good segue into what our Bike Abandonment Prevention is trying to do: reduce and abate the number of abandoned bikes left by students leaving campus around this time of year. In turn we hope Parking will have to collect fewer bikes that’ll end up in our hands in the end anyway. We’ve got signage and a bike rack set up outside the Bike Center to allow students to donate their bikes and, to incentivize the donation,  in return they can get a water bottle (but the water bottles are only available during open hours). We’ll track how many students are donating and obviously won’t be turning away community donations. There’s already been a social media push and advertising done by Campus Rec to help promote and get the word out!
    We’ve got our Fix-a-Flat class this Friday and of course Bike To Work Day on Wednesday. The weather isn’t looking great but we’ll get the dedicated folks come through, I’m sure. Jeff Yockey dropped off the BTWD shirt last week and we’ve been hanging it by the register to showcase the event. Over the upcoming weekend we’ve got our Bike Rodeo event which will also double as a drop-off spot for the Bike Abandonment Prevention program. May is looking busy but it is Bike Month!

    Numbers:

    Visitors: 73
    Sales: $812.50
    Memberships: 6 for $180
    Bikes (refurb): 3 for $500

     

    Thanks!

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  9. Weekly Update

    All, The week previous wasn’t as busy as I anticipated. I keep thinking I’ve got a handle on when the shop will be busy and I keep being surprised by the reality: quiet and calm when it’s nice/sunny and then hustle/bustle when it’s cold and windy. Go figure.

    Working backwards:

    Saturday was the LCI training for the Bike Rodeo. I’m now certified to teach kid’s bike education courses with the League of American Bicyclists. Going forward I’ll probably sign up for the next level of certifications because it can only help the reach and scope of the Bike Center. Friday was a zero for Fix-a-Flat attendees, unfortunately. Thursday evening was a Bike Maintenance 101 class in the Winter Garden at the ARC. We had three engaged participants and a half dozen or so passersby that grabbed fliers and the sort.

    This week we’ve got another Bike Maintenance 101 info session/class at the ARC on Thursday evening. It’d go smoother with a second person so I’ll recruit a staffer for it this week. Friday is our Fix-a-Flat class and our Friday Ride. Projecting to be 70° roughly so hopefully a good turnout for both!
    Numbers:

    Visitors: 74
    Sales: $478.50
    Bikes (refurb): 1 for $150
    Memberships: 4 for $120
    Tire/tube: 8 for $48

     

    Sincerely,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  10. Weekly Update - Bike Maintenance info session, Full Moon ride, Fix-a-Flat and more

    All, Apologies for the delay. I was out of town Monday and Tuesday.

    Last week was busy. Hovered around 20 people in per day. Warm weather always helps. We had our third Fix-a-Flat class and again no attendees, unfortunately. The students hosted their Friday Ride and one person showed up (former employee). I tabled at the Health Fair last Tuesday and got to chat with the UIPD officer stationed next to me. He referred me to the METCAD phone # in the event of cyclists witnessing or experiencing unsafe car/truck drivers on campus.

    This week was obviously truncated with me being out of town. The student staff operated the shop in my absence. I’ll check in with them this week and see how that went. Tomorrow evening is the Bike Maintenance info session/class in the winter garden from 7 – 8pm. Friday is the first Full Moon Ride, a community bicycling event here in town, so I’ll talk that up. It is easily our most popular cycling-related event in the warmer months here in town.
    Numbers:

    Visitors: 96
    Sales: $717.50
    Memberships: 4 for $120
    Bike (refurb): 2 for $350
    Tire/tube: 11 for $55

    Thanks!

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  11. Weekly Update

    All, Last week we had the pleasure of welcoming Good Morning Illini to the Bike Center. I shot a segment with one of their people on patching a tube. Unfortunately, it didn’t make the air. It was still good outreach and nice to bring a few new people into the shop.

    We’ve yet to have any attendees for our fix-a-flat class, unfortunately. The students running it have done a great job of prepping for it, though. A silver lining of sorts.
    This week there is the Health Fair I’ll be tabling at tomorrow all morning, I’ll be coordinating with Parking to get some more bikes from the warehouse, and on Friday is the fix-a-flat class and the Friday Ride.

    Next Monday I’ll be in Minnesota for a training, so the weekly digest will be a bit late.
    Numbers:

    Visitors: 77
    Sales: $283.50
    Bike (refurb): 1 for $150
    Memberships: 2 for $60

     

    Thanks!

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  12. Weekly Update

    All, The doors were opened! I repeat: The doors were opened! It was finally warm enough. Turns out our coat rack is slightly too tall for the garage to be opened. We figured that out the hard way. Still very nice to get some fresh air in here.

    Last week we had our first Fix-a-Flat class. Unfortunately, no one showed up. It was pretty bad weather and a new program offering so for next week I’ll put up some signs and talk it up to people who come in to the Center.

    Our student staff also hosted their first Friday Ride. It was still raining at that point but most of the staff partook. As they left I think I saw one or two riders who weren’t staff—that’s a good sign! We’ll see how it goes from here. Warmer, nicer weather and a couple weeks more of promotion should only help!

    This week is our collaborative Bike@Illinois meeting to discuss strategic planning for implementation of broader bicycle-friendly efforts on campus! More on that next week.

     

    Numbers:

    Visitors: 85
    Sales: $591.50
    Bike (refurb): 1 for $120
    Memberships: 8 for $240
    Tire/tubes: 8 for $33

     

    Thanks!

    Jake Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  13. Weekly Update

    All, Last week we were closed for Spring Break. I worked Monday and Tuesday and made some good solitary progress on shop builds. All of the Reid MTN Sport bikes that Corey finagled for us are in saleable condition and all of the For Sale bikes are nicely displayed, ready to be purchased.

    Todd picked up scrap over the break, which is appreciated as always.

    This week we have two new offerings starting on Friday: Fix-a-Flat class and our bi-monthly Friday Rides. I’ll meet with the students running each event to make sure everything is in place for their respective endeavors.

    The prospect for trained student staffers around for the summer to help out isn’t looking great. I’ll get a final count on availability this week and proceed accordingly.

    No numbers since we were closed all week.

     

    Thanks!

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  14. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Tail end of last week really picked up, coinciding with the weather, I guess. The first couple weeks of helping people with their bikes is always a welcome change from just wrenching on bikes for sale. Feels more on mission or something.  

    I reorganized to display the For Sale bikes better, which will make test rides and purchasing of the bikes easier for patrons—at least that’s the hope.

    This week we are closed and I am working today and tomorrow then taking Wed – Fri off. I hope to make some headway in safety checking and finalizing another 10 bikes while we are closed. That should put the number of For Sale bikes in the 40+ range.

    Numbers:

    Visitors: 57

    Sales: $164.80

    Memberships: 5 for $150
    Tire/tubes: 4 for $35

     

    Thanks!

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  15. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, As the numbers will show: we had a very slow week. Not a lot of visitors in but the weather was pretty gnarly, too. Snow never helps.

    All told, we have 40 bikes as in-progress shop builds or for sale, organized about as well as they can be in the back of the shop. Had my staff work on that last week.

    This week I’ll get a handle on summer availability for my staff and make a dent in the bike pile. I was contacted last week by an F&S intern about reviewing the Campus Bike Plan, so I’ll dig into that a bit this week, too.


    Numbers:

    Visitors: 29
    Sales: $20

    Thanks!

    Jake Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  16. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Last week I counted 20 bikes for sale and 19 only in need of safety checks. That should put our number in the 40+ range by the time it gets warm. Maybe higher if the weather stays in the single digits like this.

    Friday was completely dead. Not a single person in to work on their bike. I trained up staff on headset installation and test rode some bikes. We also reorganized in the back of the shop, designating areas into “For Sale” bikes and in-progress shop builds. It looks a lot cleaner and will make it easier to point people in the right direction for bikes, which will be crucial when the warm weather comes.

    This week I will be organizing a staff meeting for my team as we approach Spring Break and, after that, the potential for the first big rush of people into the shop.

    Huge thanks to the guys in the shop next door as I think they’re the ones who plowed right in front of the door to the Bike Center this morning. Usually the plows just push snow into the door but this morning when I got to work, it was cleared with a little path from the sidewalk to the door.

     

    Numbers:

    Visitors: 49
    Sales:  $151.20
    Memberships: 2 for $60

    Rubber/consumables: 9 for $27.70

     

    Thanks!

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  17. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Last week was a little out of the ordinary: we hosted Agora Days classes at to the Bike Center in collaboration with University High School. 5 students came every morning Tuesday – Friday from 11 – 12:30pm. I taught basic bicycle repairs and provided some hands-on practice with them. Overall they seemed to enjoy themselves. A big thanks to Phillip for organizing the event!

    I’ve started a new employee, Maria, and in the process of hiring two more to help with the spring and summer as a few staff are leaving after this semester.

    Last week we took in six brand new bikes as donations here at the Bike Center and have been working to get those tuned up and ready for sale. It will be a little odd to have them on the sales floor as they are new, shiny, and not a “used” bike in the sense that we usually employ the term. Big thanks to Corey for orchestrating the logistics and transporting the bikes!

    Courtesy of F&S the Bike Center will take possession of a new bike trailer. It’s small but very much a cargo trailer (no kid seats). Will be great for hauling smaller boxes! I’ll go pick it up this week.

     

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 48

    Sales: $301

    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $260

    Tire/tube: 3 for $18

    Jake Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  18. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, This past week I interviewed another student worker and had a training with a couple others. Built bikes, test rode bikes, organized bikes, too.

    I pulled a bunch of bad wheels out of the back of the shop and had volunteers scrap those. Also had volunteers/staff overhaul wheels for future builds/sales. The idea is that once we get busy, having a used wheel that’s ready to go on a bike will hopefully significantly cut down on stand time for both patrons and shop builds.

    This week is Agora Days. Phillip, from the Bike Project/Uni will bring some University High School students over to the Bike Center Tuesday – Friday from 11am – 1pm and we’ll teach some bike skills! Should be a good time! 
    Numbers:

    Visitors: 49
    Sales: $114.32

    Memberships: 1 for $30
    Tires/tubes: 5 for $21

     

    Thanks!

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  19. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, As one student staffer pointed out, we got a taste of summer last week. We had a few swells of genuine busyness. Odd for this time of year—but very welcome!

    I had a training session last week with a new hire and will have an interview today and another training on Friday this week. I made some progress on the shop builds that the students have been building. I’ll tackle some more of the wheel pile this week in addition to working through the builds.

    I am working with my student staff to get Friday Rides revived in time for spring/summer. Student staff will also lead a Fix-a-Flat class in partnership with F&S Sustainability. More updates on both next week as I work through logistics and planning for each of those events.

     

    Thanks!

     

    Visitors: 54

    Sales: $384

    Memberships: 3 for $90
    Bikes (refurb): 1 for $200

     

    Jake Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  20. 18F Semesterly Report - Beginning bike maintenance classes

     

    Simon taught 15 sessions with around 100 attendants total, over the 15 weeks. The sessions were Mondays from at 6:30. The sessions began on 9/5/2017 and concluded at the end of the fall semester.

     

    The manager of the Campus Bike Center, Jake Benjamin, will help us seek another qualified student to teach the class this spring.

     

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