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Projects Updates for Campus Bike Center

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  1. Weekly Update: Less abandoned bikes, Kids' Bikes

    All, Slow visitor-wise, but busy otherwise. Moved almost all the bikes out of the round barn, and the very last of them I’ll get this week. Sounds like we’ll have less bikes from the round up than in years’ past, something I am happy for. Hopefully, it means more people are caring about and actually riding their bikes—a guy can dream!  Irrespective of the reason, less bikes means less grunt work, and that’s a huge plus in my book.

    We are still up to our ears in kids’ bikes, as the ones we have are not coming together as I’d like. Lots of short-supply parts are needed. I’ll need to dedicate some off-hours time to this as these kinds of projects are not well-suited to student staff/volunteers, apparently.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 25
    Sales: $890.34
    Bikes (refurb): 3 for $535
    Memberships: 2 for $60
    Tires/tubes: 5 for $50

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  2. Weekly Update: Abandoned Bikes, potential new hire

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Calm and slow week. All the abandoned bikes out front of the Bike Center were removed. We had a few people in wondering where their bikes had gone, so there’s some “educational” opportunities around the process still.

    As the abandoned bike removal process is underway, we still have around 30 bikes to get out of the round barn, which we’ll tackle this week with the help of Bike Project volunteers.

    I’ll be interviewing a potential hire this week who’s a PhD student from the Netherlands. I’m eager to get their perspective on ways we can improve our community—or ways we’re already doing well!

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 32
    Sales: $569.45
    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $325
    Bikes (B-a-B): 1 for $50
    Memberships: 2 for $60
    Tires/tubes: 5 for $ 50

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  3. Weekly Update: e-bike questions

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, I’m having more and more conversations with folks about e-bikes. One older woman I spoke with last week said the nearest place able to service her e-bike is in Springfield, IL. Anecdotally, folks don’t seem aware of just how big and dangerous e-bike batteries are from an insurance perspective and thus why bike shops can’t work on them. I see myself having a lot of similar conversations over the next few months…

    We’re hovering around 20 bikes on the sales floor, but we’ve got almost 20 kids’ bikes taking up real estate, too. Plan this week is to fix a dozen or so of those and move them along, hopefully to some of the groups/orgs we’ve worked with in the past.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 21
    Sales: $711.65
    Bikes (refurb): 1 for $400
    Bikes (B-a-B): 1 for $60
    Memberships: 3 for $90
    Tires/tubes: 7 for $98

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  4. Meeting with Jake

    Sarthak and Hrushikesh had a meeting with Jake about improvements in the resources available on campus for bicycle and pedestrian friendly access.

    Notes from Meeting:

    - Total 9 Bike Repair Stations, including 5 new Locations namely Grainger Library, Foellinger Auditorium, Smith Hall, Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), and  Loomis Laboratory Of Physics

    - Giveaways/Incentives for students that visit the Campus Bike Center or during any event related to Bicycles.

    - Events such as Learn to Ride, Light the Night, Bike Classes (Fix a Flat), 

    - October can have a few events as it is the month of Sustainability.

    Discussion on Bike Plan 2024

    - Bike Audit (can be held in Fall): 

    The Audit will cover: 1) Connection of Bike Network within the Campus and the Community

                                     2) Condition Assessment of Bike paths and lanes

                                     3) Bike Racks (Only with Campus Limit)

     

  5. Weekly Update: Bike Repair Stations, Parade for 4th of July

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Last week was the TBP member meeting, which I attended. A new bike fix-it station/pump was installed here at the Bike Center, as well. It is much more compact than the previous iteration and the pump is much more robust; hopefully, it’ll provide years of trouble-free service.

    Tomorrow is the 4th of July and Champaign County Bikes will be riding bikes in the parade, so I’ll mention that to folks today. Otherwise, looks to be a slow week.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 23
    Sales: $798.50
    Bikes (refurb): 1 for $140
    Bikes (B-a-B): 1 for $60
    Memberships: 6 for $180
    Tires/tubes: 6 for $54

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  6. Weekly update: Donations, Illini4K

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Pretty chill week overall. Great weather but not very busy. Got some donations from Champaign Cycle last Tuesday.

    One student worker that just graduated did a bike trip down the western border of Illinois last week and is headed to Iceland for another biking trip tomorrow. He bike-commutes and also did I4K. Great to see folks explore all the different ways to have fun with a bike.

    Another student worker is scaling back here as they were offered more hours at Champaign Cycle. Always good to see staff move on to bigger and better things.

    Thanks to Todd for grabbing scrap over the long weekend.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 28
    Sales: $904.42
    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $360
    Memberships: 9 for $270
    Tire/tubes: 7 for $44

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  7. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Feast or famine over here last week. Beginning of the week we were slammed but slow n’ steady by Friday. TBP held their Members’ Meeting last Monday and I attended. Got a unicycle donated as well as a handful of bikes, including some kids bikes.

    Spent 15 minutes on the phone with a gentleman from a rural town outside Bloomington, IL looking for a bike. Really speaks to the need that we’re getting interest from an hour plus drive away. Or maybe my hyper-local bike-only travel mindset makes that distance seem more unreasonable than it is…

    I was a bit more diligent this past week about tracking non-university visits to better reflect how many folks we’re helping.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 33
    Sales: $1,285.17
    Bikes: 3 for $540
    Membership: 7 for $210
    Tires/tubes: 16 for $166.00

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  8. Weekly Update: Emptying the Round Barn, New staffers

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, We were closed yesterday for the Memorial Day holiday.

    Last week I moved bikes out of the barn. We’re not 100% done but only have 25 or so bikes left.

    This week I’ll move the rest of the bikes out of the barn and do some reorganizing to accommodate the influx. We also have a new staffer starting this week, so we’ll host a training session or two with them.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 13
    Sales: $1,069.50
    Bikes (refurb): 3 for $530
    Bikes (B-a-B): 2 for $110

    Memberships: 6 for $180
    Tires/tubes: 11 for $86.75

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  9. Weekly Update: Updated hours, Moving bikes

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Last week we started our Summer Hours of M/W/F 2 – 6p. No complaints so far and if visit numbers are any indication, it’s the correct move. A lot fewer folks through the doors this time of year.

    On Wednesday, with the help of a TBP volunteer we moved 10 or so bikes over to the Urbana space. A good small step, but still more bikes to clear. That’ll continue this week as well.

    We’ve been selling bikes at a marginal clip but can’t have enough bikes ready come August so we’ll wrench on a few more this week during the down times.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 22
    Sales: $834.25
    Bikes (refurb): 4 for $672
    Memberships: 3 for $90
    Tires/tubes: 1 for $8

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  10. Weekly Update: Bike donations, Updated working hours

    All, We received 8 bike donations directly from graduating students last week—easily a record during my tenure so far. Not sure how the word got out, but it was effective! Of course, I forgot to ask for a few photos for future marketing use, but one person did request a photo with her bike before she donated it.

    I also worked with TBP volunteers to move a chunk of bikes out of storage, so we’re making headway on that. But still a good number of bikes left, too, which I’ll continue to work on going forward.

    This week we start our summer hours of M/W/F 2 – 6p.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 49
    Sales: $868.25
    Bikes: 3 for $570
    Memberships: 4 for $120
    Tires/tubes: 5 for $36

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  11. Weekly Update: Schedule update, bikes for sale

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, The past work week was full of last shifts for a lot of the student staff, as well as a lot of talk of finals schedules. Ended on a bright note as a couple rented a tandem from us as practice as they didn’t want their “Just Married” post-nuptial ride on a tandem to be their absolute first one. Fun!

    This is our last week of being open M – F. Next Monday we start M/W/F hours.

    This week I’ve got a meeting to hash out some Tue/Thurs appointment hours to still help folks in need of bike repair.  I’ll also move some bikes out of the warehouse with the help of TBP folk.

    The lobby is currently packed full with sale bikes, so we’ll have to rearrange in the back to accommodate moving some sale stock back there. A good problem to have.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 33
    Sales: $233*
    Memberships: 3 for $90*
    Tires/tubes: 8 for $73*

    Thanks!

    *Due to technical difficulties, these numbers may not be 100% accurate.

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  12. Weekly Update: TBP equity membership policy change, Bike Moving Party

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Last week was a TBP members’ meeting where it was decided to reduce TBP work equity memberships from 8 to 4 hours, as well as no longer offer First Visit Free at either space. Staff can still help with small on-the-spot repairs as they see fit. Both changes are good for the Bike Center and the campus community.

    I also participated in the Bike Census and Campus Transportation Advisory Committee meeting last week.

    Thanks to TBP volunteers we were able to progress nicely on clearing out the abandoned bikes, per the request of Parking. TBD on hosting a Bike Moving Party on a weekend in May.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 38
    Sales: $782
    Bikes (refurb): 3 for $525
    Memberships: 3 for $90
    Tires/tubes: 2 for $23

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  13. Weekly update: Green Quad Day, Donations

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, On the whole, an uneventful week. We tabled at Green Quad Day last Friday, but other than that it was business as usual. A local bike shop is scaling back their operations, and we got a lot of donations as a result, including NOS handlebars, fenders, and tires. Always welcome! There is, too, the potential for more demand with one less option locally for folks to fix their bike. We’ll see how that plays out over time.

    Tonight is the Bike Project Member Meeting, which I’ll attend.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 42
    Sales: $362
    Bikes (refurb): 1 for $170
    Memberships: 1 for $30
    Tires/Tubes:  9 for $72

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  14. Weekly Update: Bike sales, Bike Fix-it day, Stripping junk bikes

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Business as usual over here. We’ve almost fully occupied the front lobby space with for sale bikes—which will likely diminish a bit this week with the warm weather. Fingers crossed.

    This upcoming Saturday we have a partnering event with the Urbana Parks District to help with a bike fix-it day from 10  - 12p in Urbana at the Phillips Recreation Center. Will be nice to get off campus and help folks where they are—or maybe closer to where they are. The event was successful last year and will hopefully be so again this year. Although, offsite repairs always mean you can’t bring every tool for every possible repair, which is a strong impulse.

    We’ve hit a bit of a stride with some volunteers and staff stripping junk bikes. This, of course, has the added bonus of creating a surplus of used 26” tires. We’ll have no trouble working through those in due time. Accordingly, I’ll be grabbing a few more from the warehouse this week.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 44
    Sales: $529
    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $240
    Memberships: 1 for $30
    Tires/tubes: 8 for $31

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  15. Weekly Update: Earth Month, Nice weather

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Happy Earth Month! Weather is picking up in the next week or two, so we’ll see how that impacts visit numbers. Still working our way through the warehouse bikes and our for sale bikes are hovering around 20. Other than that, business as usual.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 36

    Sales: $612.75
    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $360
    Membership: 3 for $90

    Tires/tubes: 6 for $35.75

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  16. Weekly update: No First Visit Free policy, weekend and summer programming

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Pretty chill this last week. Weather was iffy but we were a little busier than expected considering that. I moved some bikes over from the warehouse as we have a volunteer who’s on a take-apart-a-bike-every-Friday schedule, so I’ll do my best to accommodate him going forward.

    We have been piloting our No First Visit Free policy without too much push back. We’ve had a few people turn and leave, but that’s fine.

    This week I’ll work on planning/R&D for some weekend programming and take stock of summer staffing.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 41
    Sales: $552
    Bikes (refurb): 1 for $180
    Memberships: 5 for $150
    Tires/tubes:  4 for $36

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  17. Weekly Update: Closed for Spring Break

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Bike Center is closed this week for Spring Break and I’ll be working an abbreviated week myself. We’ve got a dozen plus bikes for sale and I’ll safety check a few more before I bow out for the week.

    On Friday, we got maybe the oddest donation yet: an iPod mini, complete with charging cord…

    We reorganized and moved one of our storage racks from the backside of the space up front to the lobby so we can hold more bikes for sale up there. In the storage area, we’re pulling pedals/turning handlebars and so can fit more bikes without the rack.

    In more sobering news, a patron who’d finished a Build-a-Bike a couple weeks ago was hit while riding the bike he’d fixed here and ended up in the ER needing stitches. He is fine, otherwise, and told me the news in person, so he is ok. The number of people I know who’ve been hit by a car is quickly approaching double digits.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 37

    Sales: $1,234.50

    Bikes (refurb): 3 for $825
    Membership: 2 for $60
    Tires/tubes: 7 for $115

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  18. Weekly Update: Open M-F, Closed for Spring Break

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Notable item of the week was running out entirely of used 700c tires—popular size, I guess! I was able to run over to the warehouse and grab enough wheels off junk bikes that we’re able to live another week. I used the long bike trailer on Wednesday morning and yet another person called out “nice bike!” as I pedaled by. I always get looks or comments when piloting that thing around.

    This week we’ll be opening back up to 5 days a week, M – F 2 to 6p. We’ll see how our Tues/Thurs numbers look but I doubt we’ll be swamped yet as folks adjust to our new hours.

    We’ll be closed next week for Spring Break and reopen Monday, March 20th.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 18

    Sales: $174.50
    Memberships: 1 for $30
    Tires/tubes: 6 for $43

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  19. Weekly Update: Close to M-F hours

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Another abbreviated week for me, but the staff held down the fort. We’re working up bikes and our staff is peer-to-peer training during slow times to get the new folks up to speed.

    This week I’ll schedule some off-hours staff trainings and a staff meeting to help bring folks along. We’re close to being able to open back up M – F, still have a few more things to iron out. I even found the same open hours poster we used to have for our M-F hours, so we don’t have to order a new sign. Reduce, reuse, recycle!

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 17
    Sales: $299.30
    Bikes (refurb): 1 for $160
    Memberships: 1 for $30
    Tires/tubes: 3 for $45

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  20. Weekly Update: Build-a-bikes completed, increasing number of bikes on the floor

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Abbreviated week for me as I took a half day on Thursday and all of Friday off. Staff handled things admirably and I’ll check in with them today for a full shift report.

    Got a couple Build-a-Bikes completed and a bike sold last week. We’ve got a dozen or so bikes on the floor and working to bump that number. I’ll likely grab a few more bikes from the warehouse, too.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 29
    Sales: $429.25
    Bikes (refurb): 1 for $90

    Bikes (B-a-B): 2 for $100
    Memberships: 1 for $30

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

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