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Projects Updates for Campus Bike Center

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  1. Weekly Update - Bicycle Safety, Social Hack

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Truncated week for me as I was out of the shop on Wed – Fri recuperating. On Tuesday night I was hit by a car on my bike ride home. No injuries beyond some scrapes and sore muscles. I was very lucky it wasn’t much worse.
    Ultimately, we  have a long way to go when someone who rides as defensively and as safely as I do can get hit by a car on a quiet residential street.
    This week I’ll be meeting with my newly-hired Program Assistant to work out his schedule and responsibilities. I’ll be picking up more bikes from the warehouse, meeting with a student design group for transportation/climate issues (Design For America’s “Social Hack”), and building/scrapping bikes as needed.

    The numbers:
    Visitors: 63
    Sales: $32

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  2. Weekly Update - Happy March!, Fix-a-Flat

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Happy March! Looks like it’s coming in like a lamb for a change.
    Still slow around here as far as visitors are concerned. On Friday of last week we got 7 bikes donated, all of which will be junked or passed along to Salt & Light (3 kids’ bikes). That’ll give the student staff something easy to do this week. Elsewhere: Our grinder wheel bit the dust so we’ll be all analog on filing housing and cleaning parts until that is replaced. Less electricity use = more sustainable!
    This week I’ve got an interview for a student worker, our Fix-a-Flat class on Thursday and on I’ll be setting up some of my staff to have key-access when I’m away.

    The numbers:
    Visitors: 45
    Sales: $132
    Membership: 1 for $30
    Tires/tubes: 4 for $49

     

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  3. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, I only worked Monday and Tuesday last week as I had a family emergency out of town. Those two days were slow. I picked up some bikes from the warehouse to keep everyone busy. Those bikes are coming along.
    This week is business as usual. I’ll look to reschedule some of the meetings I missed in my absence, pick up a couple more bikes, and box some more stuff up for our move.

    The numbers:
    Visitors: 27
    Sales: $106
    Membership: 1 for $30
    Tires/tubes: 4 for $23

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  4. Weekly Update - Build-a-Bike

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Business as usual last week. The Scottish dude finished his build-a-bike. He only came in, too, because his German friend did a B-a-B as well and talked it up. Nothing beats good word of mouth. He was positively giddy about the whole thing and never got discouraged or frustrated by the process. The highlight for me was bending back a canti brake boss using the hole in the end of a crescent wrench. It’s not perfect but it’s functional enough. That’d make a good motto for us.
    I’ll head to the warehouse this week to grab a few more bikes. I’ll also schedule a couple training sessions with my staff to refresh on some repair basics .

    The numbers:
    Sales: $428.50
    Bike (refurb): 1 for $180
    Bike (B-a-B): 1 for $30
    Memberships: 3 for $90
    Tires/tubes: 4 for $17

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  5. Weekly Update - Fix-a-flat, B-a-B

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Really slow last week as the weather got rainy and snowy—sure fire ways to keep people off their bikes. Although a nice Scottish gentleman studying here came by to claim one of the remaining bikes as a B-a-B. He repeatedly mentioned wishing there was something like this back home in Scotland, so we’re basically cooler than Scotland.

    We had our first Fix-a-Flat class on Friday but that was a no-show, sadly.
    I picked up some bikes from the warehouse to keep my staff busy while we wait for the real moving to commence. We’ve built up just about every bike in the shop, save some old 3 speeds. A good amount of inventory has been boxed up and moved to the Urbana shop or stored here for use at our new space.
    This week I’ll be meeting with marketing and IT folks to discuss how the new bike center will look from those respective areas.

    The numbers:
    Visitors: 46
    Sales: $261
    Bikes (B-a-B): 1 for $50
    Memberships: 3 for $90
    Tires/tubes: 4 for $26

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  6. Weekly Update - Fix-a-Flat

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Slow and steady for the week on the whole. Anecdotally busy again for this time of year. Still gearing up and/or down for moving shop, depending on how you think of it.
    We’ve got our first fix-a-flat class of the semester coming up this Friday from 11am – 12p.  Today’s warm weather projects a busy shop this afternoon but I’ve given up trying to predict how busy it’ll be. I’ll also be hiring two new student staffers this week with a third interview to schedule.
    The numbers:
    Visitors: 61
    Sales: $651
    Bikes (refurb): 3 for $430
    Memberships: 3 for $90
    Tires/tubes: 8 for $31

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  7. Weekly Update - New semester, B-a-B

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, First week of the semester is in the books! We were busy at times, and characteristically slow for the majority of the week. Sold a few bikes.

    This week I’ve got another interview and hopefully it’ll work out so we can get our staff numbers back up. I’ll probably make a run to the warehouse to pick up a few more bikes since we’re out of B-a-B candidates/shop builds and a run to Urbana to drop off excess stock in advance of moving.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 56

    Sales: $478.50

    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $305

    Memberships: 1 for $30

    Tire/tubes: 3 for $11

     

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  8. Weekly Update - Reopened for 2020, shop clean up, Build-a-bike

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Last week we reopened for 2020! Although, by the count of visitors and sales, you’d hardly know it. The junky weather never helps. This week projects to be a little warmer today and tomorrow, at least. We’ll see what happens next week when school starts back up.
    We currently have 2 – 3 bikes left in the shop that are not either for sale, being built up, earmarked for other projects, or junk not worth keeping.

    This week I’ll be working on scheduling my student staff for open hours shifts as well as our extracurricular events/programs like our fix-a-flat classes, etc. I’ll also be coordinating with Parking to get at least a few potential Build-a-Bikes in here for next week in case anybody wants to give that a whirl. And, of course, throwing old junk out.

    Numbers:
    Visitors: 17
    Sales: $12

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  9. Weekly Update - Winter break, testing Refurbished bikes

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, This report is for the week of December 16 – 20.

    Not much to report as this time of year is always slow. Still had a decent number of visitors. We are not reopening until the 6th, so today and tomorrow I’ll just work solo in the shop. The weather will be nice today so I’ll be able to concentrate on test riding and final tune ups on our collection of refurbed bikes. As it stands, most of our stock of bikes are ready and for sale or in-progress builds.
    The numbers:
    Visitors: 36
    Sales: $324.90
    Bike (B-a-B): 2 for $60
    Tires/tubes: 5 for $33

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  10. Weekly Update - Winter break, Sales

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, It felt surprisingly busy in the shop at times last week. Our staff is dwindling with the end of the semester. We’ve reached the time of year where people bring their bikes in to the shop simply to thaw out. This week will be worse yet with the snow today.

    This week’ll be more of the regular: building bikes, piling stuff up to throw away or donate to the Urbana shop. We’re closing this Friday, the 20th and will reopen on the 6th of January.
    Thanks to Todd for picking up scrap over the weekend.

    Numbers:
    Visitors: 49
    Sales: $231.50
    Memberships: 2 for $60

    Tires/tubes: 9 for $63

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  11. Weekly Update - BFU celebration meeting, CBC visitis

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Pretty slow over here as per usual for this time of year. On Thursday and Friday of last week we had a few CBC alums stop in so that was a welcomed surprise. Always nice to see former student staff.

    We’re on the radar and a regular contact for the UI claims office when they’ve got damaged bicycles. Diversifying our donation stream is always welcome—especially when it’s in-house here with the University.
    This week we’ve got a BFU celebration at 2p on Wednesday at F&S. I’ll notify staff to cover open hours while I attend that. I like our BFU silver status and cupcakes, too. Win-win! We’ll continue building bikes and culling parts this week. I’ll be getting the final count on staff availability for next week as it’s nearing finals. Our team will be leaner and meaner, as the expression goes, as we approach the holiday break.
    The numbers:

    Visitors: 57
    Sales: $231.50
    Memberships: 2 for $60
    Tires/tubes: 9 for $63

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  12. Weekly Update - Thanksgiving break, Fix-a-flat

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Looking back to the week before Thanksgiving break, it was about average for this time of year. Not a whole lot to report. Still throwing stuff away as we see fit. Bikes are getting built. One of the student staff put in her resignation as she’s received an internship with iSEE. Always nice to see success for the students here!

    This week we’ll host our Fix-a-Flat class on Friday, Dec 6th at 11am here at the Bike Center. Likely to be poorly attended since it’s December. Otherwise, it’s more of the same: building bikes, cleaning shop, throwing stuff away.
    The numbers:


    Visitors: 66

    Sales: $231.50
    Memberships: 2 for $60
    Tires/tubes: 9 for $75

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  13. Weekly Update - Daily Illini news article, Working Bikes, WCIA,

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Last week was a big press week. We landed on the cover of the Daily Illini on Thursday and then when we did our shipping event on Friday with Working Bikes WCIA showed up!  https://www.wcia.com/news/bike-project-helps-people-in-need/

    Good press all around!

    The shipping event went just about as well as it’s ever gone in my tenure. To start we had 200 fewer bikes to deal with, then Working Bikes provided twice as many staff as they have before, and to cap it off we had good turnout between my staff and volunteers. Unfortunately, volunteer and staff availability isn’t something I can count on every year.  

    For this week, today and tomorrow we’ll have LAS students in to volunteer. Other than that, it’s business as usual. We’re getting into finer and finer details of culling and organizing, getting into some deep cleaning, which I regret isn’t my strong suit but man does it make a difference. Next week we’ll be closed for Thanksgiving break.
    Also, a big thanks to Todd for grabbing scrap over the weekend.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 40
    Sales: $527
    Bike (refurb): 1 or $150
    Bike (B-a-B): 1 for $80
    Memberships: 2 for $60
    Tires/tubes: 10 for $53
    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  14. Weekly Update - Bike Month discussion, Fix-a-Flat, Working Bikes

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Last week was uneventful. Without traffic during hours we were afforded a lot of quality sorting/scrapping time.
    On Wednesday I met with F&S, Urbana/Champaign, and CCB to discuss Bike Month/BTWD planning and to reflect on this year’s Light The Night. We’ve set the date for Bike To Work Day as Friday, May 1st.
    Thursday was our Fix-a-Flat class that was a no-show unfortunately. However, it’s pretty much winter so attendance was expected to be low.
    Big news for this week is that we’ll be hosting Working Bikes again this year to help us alleviate our abandoned bikes problem. They’ll be down this Friday from about 11am – 2pm packing up bikes to take back with them to Chicago. TBP and I will be there on Wednesday to clear out the good ones. I’ve got a couple staffers who said they’re available to help but I’ll put the word out with TBP to see if we can stir up some more volunteers. The more the merrier!
    The numbers:
    Visitors: 67
    Sales: 171.50
    Bike (B-a-B): 2 for $65
    Memberships: 2 for $60
    Tire/tubes: 1 for $5

     

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  15. Weekly Update - Working Bikes, Fix-a-Flat. Bicycle Food Drive

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Last week was productive! We continued counting everything and made some real progress cleaning up here at the shop. I’ll be doing a walk-through this week with TBP on what to keep and not keep. I went to the bike barn and counted bikes: We’ve got 277 to donate to Working Bikes and 56 to keep. Those numbers are rough counts and not exact. Things are relatively organized over there now. Once we set a date for them coming down I’ll move all the bikes we want to keep out of there. Fingers crossed for an easier go of it this time around!
    This Thursday we have our Fix-a-Flat class at 11am. Doubtful turnout will be great. It is November, after all.
    On Saturday the Bike Project is hosting a bicycle food drive. All donations go to Eastern Illinois Foodbank, and we’ll be promoting that over here at the Bike Center. It’s a fun event I’ve participated in for years. 

    This week we’ll keep paring down our stock and keep cleaning up in advance of our TBD move!
    The numbers:
    Visitors: 61
    Sales: $527
    Bike (refurb): 1 for $170
    Memberships: 2 for $60
    Tires/tubes: 10 for $53

     

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  16. Weekly Update - Working Bikes

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Steady week, surprisingly. We even had a waiting list one day. Generally, though, things have slowed down. We’re still getting our inventory tallied up. We’ve got 6 bikes for sale with a few more to come.

    Last week I counted and moved bikes around at the warehouse. I’ll be doing more of that this week with the help of some of my student staff. I have reached out to Working Bikes about coming down to collect our unusable bikes. I’ll have a better idea of just how many bikes that’ll be after this week.
    This week we’ll be keeping on with the inventory/pitching junk, organizing the parts we keep, building up the good bikes, and the aforementioned warehouse bike fun.

    The numbers:

    Sales: $318
    Memberships: 5 for $150
    Tires/tubes:  8 for $30

     

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

  17. Weekly Update - BFU status, What to Wear, Build-a-Bike

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Despite the cooler weather the shop was still relatively busy all week. On Thursday or Friday we even had a waiting list.
    In other news, we achieved Silver status for our Bicycle Friendly University! Congrats to all those involved.

    Last Thursday night we had our What To Wear class at ARC. It went well. 3 people stopped by and we covered all there is to riding in colder weather. Thankfully the people who came already had well-equipped bikes for the muck and suck of the winter elements so it was mostly talking details of clothing choice and how much salt/snow/ice can impair the function of your bike. Fun times!
    Also of note was our 3(!) Build-a-Bikes completed last week, two of which were done on Thursday. When that program works, it is empowering like none other. Unfortunately, it’s a big hill to climb.

    Elsewhere, I’ve been having Staff and volunteers count our used and new parts to compile a master list of inventory. It’s tedious but important to be able to figure how much stuff we’ll be moving the new CBC.

    Thanks to Todd for grabbing scrap over the weekend.

    This week we’ll continue to purge and pare down our inventory, build bikes, and keep plugging away at prep for our move.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 96
    Sales: $616.25
    Memberships: 8 for $240
    Bikes (refurb): 0
    Bikes (B-a-B):  3 for $266
    Tires/tubes: 17 for $76


    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Manager, Campus Bike Center

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