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Projects Updates for Campus Bike Center

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  1. 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
  2. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, we had 33 visitors last week to the CBC. Our gross sales were $267.20. We sold 3 memberships for $90. Two pairs of bar mitts sold (one to Lily—she might have mentioned it) for $60. No B-a-Bs nor refurbished bikes.

    Last week Lily and I posted the job offer for more help at the CBC for next semester. As of today, I’ve already gotten almost a dozen responses! Unfortunately, most of them didn’t read the job description and are woefully and impressively both under- and overqualified for the position.

    Today is the only day I am working and then the CBC will be closed until the New Year.

    Happy holidays and a happy new year to all!

    Sincerely,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  3. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, we had 34 visitors total for last week. We grossed $260.50. We didn’t sell any memberships, nor any bikes (refurbished or B-a-Bs). We did sell $40 worth of tubes, so we’re still keeping people rolling.

    Last week I had two very dedicated volunteers who worked almost all five days during open hours. They were a tremendous help in organizing small parts and culling some of the worn and old parts that really have no value to us and are simply taking up space. We scrapped almost a dozen bad and/or broken bikes, which will nicely clear up space for more usable projects and builds.

    This week I will continue cleaning and building bikes. On Thursday a Bike Project volunteer and I will go to Champaign Public Works to retrieve some bikes they are giving away. I will work on a handout for student workers’ guidelines. But most importantly, on Tuesday we are having a CBC holiday get-together where the student workers will be able to learn about how the CBC fits into TDM/F&S and the larger university plan for sustainability!

     

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  4. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, this past week we did not see a lot of visitors. We totaled 50 visitors for the entire week. We grossed 311.70; we sold one bike; we sold 2 memberships for $60; we sold 6 tubes; and we had one nice volunteer, Jeremy, just stop by to say hello and hang out for a minute.

    Looking at the numbers, we had only a single sale all week at non-member prices. It would appear that those that are still coming to the CBC are familiar and invested in the space. I take that as a good thing.

    This past week I have also cut back on hours for student workers. This happened organically, as a lot of staffers were sick or busy with school, but I plan to retain one staffer per day for the winter and then ramp back up to 2-3 for the warmer months. Winter is a good time for one-on-one training for those staffers who will be returning for the spring.

    Last week I attended the Campus Master Plan public forum on Wednesday.

    This week I plan to build more bikes, organize the shop, attend the Monthly Members’ Meeting for The Bike Project and start the initial work on a Winter Maintenance class, now that it has snowed.

    Sincerely,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  5. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, we were closed this past week for the Thanksgiving break. The week prior to that was slow; we only had 46 visitors. Gross sales were $403.50. We sold three memberships for a total of $90. We didn’t sell any build-a-bikes nor any shop builds.

    On Friday (18th) Working Bikes came down and took all of the scrap bikes that they did not want for their earlier shipment. The warehouse is now completely empty and ready for next year’s crop of abandoned bikes.

    This week I plan to continue shop builds and move some bikes to the Urbana shop as this space is beyond its bike-capacity. I will work on bettering the staff manual/list of guidelines in advance of next semester’s student workers. I will be attending the public forum for the Campus Master Plan on Wednesday evening.

    Sincerely,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  6. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, this past week was comfortably  slow. We totaled 49 visitors and were closed on Tuesday due to staff illness. We grossed $319; sold one membership for $30; sold zero build-a-bikes and zero for-sale bikes. Of note is the sale of winter biking gloves: I sold 3 pairs already and it hasn’t even gotten that  cold.

    With the shop closed on Tuesday I made about six trips back and forth to the warehouse on the trailer bike, filling up the shop with as many bikes as I can comfortably stuff in here. On Friday afternoon I noticed a slow leak in a water pipe and alerted the service office. They assessed it before I arrived this morning and will return later, according to an employee in the adjacent garage.

    This week I will be coordinating with Working Bikes to deal with the scrap bikes from the warehouse that were deemed untenable for that specific shipment. I will continue to build bikes and strategize for streamlining some more of the organization and layout of the space, specifically the accessibility of the tool wall. As is, it is very difficult to find things if you are unfamiliar with what the tools look like or what they are used for.

    Regards,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  7. Weekly Update

    All, last week was a big one! We had the shipping event on Friday wherein we loaded 363 bikes and a whole bunch of spare parts, wheels, cables, etc. into a giant steel box to be shipping off to  Tanzania to help doctors get to remote villages and students get to class. Very good stuff, indeed!

    Due to the event on Friday the shop was closed, limiting our visitors to 68 for the week. We grossed a mere $362.50. We sold 5 memberships for $150; not a single bike nor any build-a-bikes. We did sell $62 in tubes, so we’re helping keep people on the road, even as visits dwindle.

    This week I will finish clearing out the bike warehouse of the remaining bikes. Working Bikes is coming down to take 40 or so of the bikes we have no need for as well as to help move the bikes we do want back to the CBC, which will be tremendously helpful. I will also coordinate with a new TBP member who has interest in leading a basic maintenance class. And of course building bikes and the Sisyphean task of organizing inventory and parts.

     

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  8. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, last week we had 76 visitors, maybe one of the lowest totals for a full week this semester. It did coincide with cooler weather, so that helps to explain it. As far as the numbers go, we grossed 824.03; we sold 4 memberships for $120; one refurbished bike for $190; and one Build-a-Bike for $145.

    Last week I prepped for the bike shipment that will happen this Friday at 10am. Jim Sims dropped by, which was cool. The new outdoor fix-it station pumps arrived, another very cool thing. We got a great deal on some winter riding gear from our supplier, which should help get more people riding once it gets really chilly. I spoke with Simon Pokorny who is still interested in teaching a basic maintenance class, so when his schedule opens up a little, we will coordinate on that.

    This coming week I plan on prepping more for the bike shipment as well as ramping up publicity for it. The APO volunteer core is having trouble generating more interest due to transportation constraints so I will discuss options with them in advance of the event.

    Sincerely,

     

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager

     

  9. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, last week was a good one and ended on a high note—Friday was beginning-of-the-semester level busy. We had 95 visitors. Our gross sales were $1,268.60; we sold 10 memberships for $300, one bike for $150, and one build-a-bike for $140.

    The major goings-on last week was the bike census on Wednesday. It went well! We collected a lot of useful and important data. I was interviewed about the event by the Daily Illini. Lily did a tremendous job organizing and executing the event. The service manager at Champaign Cycle stopped by and introduced himself; it’s always nice to have a face-to-face with other bike shops in town.

    This week I will be prepping bikes and pulling the good ones at the warehouse, scrapping the pile of junker bikes that Neutral kindly donated, building more for-sale bikes as well as some new storage shelves for the shop.

     

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  10. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, this past week was a short one; I was out of town Thursday and Friday. We had 45 visitors. Our gross sales were $625; we sold one bike for $103; and 10 memberships for $300.

    This past week the date for moving bikes out of the warehouse was finalized for Friday, November 4th. A very nice volunteer-oriented fraternity has pledged help with the event, which is awesome and will really make a one-day event like this possible. Lily also contacted me about F&S potentially purchasing some bike-share bikes—great news!

    With the weather cooling down, the staff and I have the time now to dedicate ourselves to walking people through—and teaching the skill and reasons for-- repairs and fixes.

    This coming week I plan to coordinate with the parking department on a few days each week between now and the 4th of November when I can prep and organize the bikes in the warehouse as well as having their assistance on the 4th. I will be helping count bikes on Wednesday for the bike census. And, of course the day-to-day bike building and organizing will happen.
     

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  11. Weekly Update

    All, this past week we had 107 visitors. We grossed $1,185.60. We sold 11 memberships; 1 bike for $120; 1 build-a-bike for $75.

    This past week I also reinstated the First Visit Free policy that The Bike Project had kindly let me suspend for the new school year rush. Traffic to CBC has slowed enough that I can accommodate small and easy repairs. I don’t have numbers on that but it was only a few people that had minor enough problems to warrant a free visit; most who think they have a small repair in truth have many, many small repairs equaling large amounts of time/resources and we have them become members.

    On Monday of last week our cargo bike Bluebird was loaned to the Psychology Department for a day.  Lily delivered and retrieved it from them and I believe it was a successful endeavor.

    This coming week will be a short one. I will be out of town Thursday and Friday. During this abbreviated week I plan to work on storage ideas for the surplus of wheels we have in the shop, strip the half a dozen or so bikes that are taking up dead space, as well as the standard operations of building bikes and managing new-parts inventory.

    Jake Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  12. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, for the week of 9/26/16 – 9/30/16 we had 101 visitors into the shop. We had $998.50 in gross sales; 14 memberships for $420; sold one build-a-bike for $40; and one refurbished bike for $100. Things are definitely slowing with the weather cooling down.

    This past week I spoke to a University of Illinois police officer--Aaaron, I believe—who is interested in getting one of his officers in here to work on bikes. Apparently the U of I police force has about six bikes that they routinely maintain at Durst cycle and they’d like to know how to do those repairs themselves and save time and money.

    I also continued to coordinate with the parking department and working bikes to send approximately 400 bikes to Tanzania. Apparently, as the working bikes representative put it, we are “too good at collecting bicycles” and we have to reschedule for a larger shipment.

    One of my student workers, Jose, had to resign. I will begin the hunt for his replacement.

    This coming week I will continue to coordinate the bike shipment. I will build bikes, price our nicer inventory of used parts, and look for a new employee.

    Have a pleasant week!

    - Jake Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  13. Weekly Update

    All, we had 88 visitors last week—and that includes being closed on Monday and Thursday! We grossed $1,145.30; sold 19 memberships for $570; one bike for $120; and one build-a-bike for $40.

    Last week was eventful. We had The Illinois Bike Summit, Light The Night, and on Friday I counted all the bikes in the warehouse: 517! Light the Night was very successful, installing 1188 lights (or 594 sets) at Alma Mater; numbers on the Illinois/Lincoln location are to-be-determined.


    In tandem with Working Bikes, we’ve set the date for the Bike Warehouse to be emptied: October 7th. I will coordinate with Parking to insure we have access on that date.

    I also set up a Facebook account to promote events and better connect with the cycling community.

    This week I will work on building new bikes that I acquired from the warehouse, continue to organize for the Bike Warehouse event, and persist on the Sisyphean task of organizing inventory and streamlining volunteer tasks to make better use of everyone’s time.

    Sincerely,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  14. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello all, last week we had a gross sales total of 2,049.50. We sold 31 memberships for a total of $930. We sold 3 refurbished bikes for $360 and one build-a-bike for $80.

    We’ve had a decent stream of volunteers at the campus bike center this past week, which has been welcome. Lily and I also attended the Illinois Bike Summit on Monday. It was an informative and empowering event to see so many like-minded people working for better biking in Illinois. We are continuing to prep and promote for Light The Night on Thursday.

    This coming week we will host LTN, Lily is hosting Bicycling 101 and attending Urbana BPAC, which was eventful. I will continue inventory and the building of bikes as well continue to work on arranging for the bike warehouse exodus.
     

    Sincerely,

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  15. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello all, first, the numbers: We had 78 visitors last week that signed our digital guestbook. We had $1,062.83 in gross sales; 15 memberships totaling $450; and a single build-a-bike for $120.

    Things of note: The Bike Project voted at the last meeting to implement a two week trial policy of no-free-visits for the Campus Bike Center, which netted us a lot more memberships than we otherwise would’ve had. But it also served to quickly inform people that the CBC is a cooperative, investable space not a free university-provided service.

    This past week I began reorganizing the shop, built up for-sale bikes, and organized a staff orientation meeting set for this evening.

    This week I will build more bikes, continue to arrange and organize the space, finalize a student workers’ schedule for this semester, and begin to coordinate with Parking and Working Bikes on a shipment of bikes bound for Lesotho and Botswana.

    Jake Benjamin

    Campus Bike Center Manager

  16. Call out for Volunteers at Light the Night 2016

    This years Light the Night has 1,090 bicycle light sets for installation on bicycles in the span of four hours. We need all the volunteers we can get! Sign up on the facebook page of the wiki!

    http://thebikeproject.wikispaces.com/light-the-night-2016

    https://www.facebook.com/events/247904592263343/

    Any questions or other ways to help the event, contact Lily Wilcock, lwilco2@illinois.edu .

  17. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello all, this past week was busy, we had a lot of people in.  We sold 7 bikes for $860, 4 build-a-bikes for $190, 5 memberships for $150, and grossed $1855.70.  We got a lot done, I meet with Stacy and Jim and discussed problems and solutions on the University side of things in regards to the Bike Center.  Phil held a conflict resolution meeting with Barry and I and went very well.  I setup posts for closings and made a temporary schedule for keeping the shop open with Lily and Jake running the shop.

    This coming week I'm heading to Colorado.  Jake and everyone else will have to write the next chapter.

    From the Campus Outpost,
    James Roedl

  18. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello all, this past week was a mixed bag.  The patrons were in a good mood and we got a lot done.  We sold 7 bikes for $810, 1 build-a-bike for $65, and grossed $1914.10.  I built several bike and got about 90% of the reports done.

    This coming week I will be organizing the shop, building bikes, and Jake will be job shadowing me. 

    This is my last week at the shop, and I will close it at 5:30 on Friday.

    From the Campus Outpost,
    James Roedl

  19. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello all, this past week was good.  We were slower than normal, and the 4th of July shaved a day off the week.  We had several people building bikes, and some cool projects came in.  We sold 3 bikes for $280, 1 build-a-bike for $60, and grossed $871.  We are doing particularly well on bike sales this year.  I'm wrapping up reports and YTD bike sales should be about 101.  This gets some cash, but the real benefit is the community service that gets more people on reliable bikes.  It lowers our work load because considerably less people leave without a bike only to come back with a broken down craigslist find that needs far more work than it is worth.  We have also seen a reduction in build-a-bikes, but the completion rate of build-a-bikes has gone from 5%-10% up to 90%.  The mood at the shop is much more relaxed because those coming in have small repairs like flats and brake adjustments rather than complete rebuilds.  I have been working on yearly and quarterly reports quite a bit as well as getting the shop clean and organized.  I have hosted several tours for different student groups who are new to campus and are looking for sustainable transportation.  This past week the tours of note were a class of freshman football players, and a group of freshman engineering students.  Lily came to the football tour and helped with the talk.  She will most likely be in charge of future advocacy events with the athletic dept.

    This coming week I will bring all reports up to date with the end of FY16.  We will be building bike and cleaning the shop.  I will also be taking some time to write down procedures and things only I know to be pass to my successor.

    From the Campus Outpost,
    James Roedl

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