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Projects Updates for Campus Bike Center

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  1. Weekly Update: Kids' Bike Giveaway update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Finished last week strong as the relative warmth of Friday resulted in a busy afternoon for early December.

    We’re in the home stretch for the KBG. That’ll be this upcoming Saturday. At last count we’ve got ~60 bikes between both CBC and Urbana TBP so we’re on pace to do better than last year, assuming we get as many folks showing up.

    We’re also in the home stretch of the semester with only two weeks to go.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 26
    Sales: $285.80
    Bikes (refurb): 1 for $180
    Memberships: 2 for $60

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  2. 2021 Annual Kids' and Teen Bike Giveaway

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Campus Bike Center, in collaboration with the Urbana Bike Project, is hosting a free Kids’ and Teen Bike Giveaway this holiday season. Bikes are first come, first served; one bike per kid, and they must be present to pick out their bike. Be sure to get to the event early, as bikes will go quickly! Email contact@thebikeproject.org or call (217) 469-5126 to arrange a donation for the event.

    The event will be held on December 11th, 2021 from 1:00-3:00 PM. In addition, the event will take place at Urbana Bike Project (202 S. Broadway Ave., Urbana.)

  3. Weekly Update: Kids' Bike Giveaway event; Happy Thanksgiving!

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Things are definitely slowing down and our visitor numbers/sales reflect that. We’re closed this week for Thanksgiving Break but I’ll be working a couple days to catch up on the Kids Bike donations. Over the weekend, we got mention in one of the campus email newsletters, so that’s good. I’ve also arranged for the event to be mentioned in some other newsletters/email blasts going out in the interim between now and the day of the event. I’ll also be getting in touch with some local news stations, since I think that boosted last year’s donation/turn out.

    The official details for the Kids Bike event are:

    The Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign, in partnership with the U of I Campus Bike Center, is hosting a Kids’ Bike Giveaway this holiday season.

    We are currently accepting donations of all kids’ and teen bikes, regardless of condition, and then refurbishing them to give back to young folks in the community!

    Donations can be made at the Urbana Bike Project (202 S. Broadway Ave., Urbana) or at the Campus Bike Center (51 E. Gregory Dr., Champaign). Please call (217) 469-5126 or email contact@thebikeproject.org to arrange a donation.

    *Giveaway Event*

    Date: Saturday, December 11th, 2021
    Time: 1 pm – 3pm or until we run out of bikes
    Location: Urbana Bike Project (202 S. Broadway Ave., Urbana)
    Details: first come, first served; one bike per kid, and they must be present to pick out their bike.

    This week I’m only here Mon/Tues but will wrench on the kids bikes we have—we got three more donated on Friday—then it’s off for the holiday.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 20
    Sales: $179.50
    Memberships: 4 for $120

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  4. Weekly Update: Winter is coming; Kids' bikes donations

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Slowing down a little now that it’s getting legit colder. Visitor numbers held a little longer than expected—maybe hinting at a tectonic shift in our community’s biking habits? I hope so!

    Last week I got a count on all the Kids’ Bikes we have at both spaces and started my staff (and volunteers) in on rehabbing the ones we have here at CBC. Once we’re done with those, I’ll move what’s at Urbana over here. We already have around 40 bikes and we haven’t done an honest push for donations yet. I’ll meet with Campus Rec marketing this week to work up a plan for how best to publicize the event.

    We’ve got a couple staffers moving on at the end of this week but have 3 new staffers in the hiring process. Coupled with less demand, we’ll be able to train up and onboard our new hires nicely. Winter is always my preferred season for onboarding.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 31
    Sales: $845.50
    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $600
    Memberships: 3 for $90
    Tires/tubes: 4 for $22


    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  5. Weekly Update: Uncommonly busy; Visit from Ride Illinois; Kids Bike Giveaway

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, We were, again, uncommonly busy for this time of year. Beginning of this week looks bike-friendly, too (as in: warm). A couple people finished up their B-a-Bs last week. I picked up parts from Urbana so we’re well-stocked on 26” wheels, which we’d run out of, mostly—surprisingly.

    We’re still ironing out dates for our Kids Bike Giveaway event and the specifics therein. Will work more on this in the coming week.

    Last week I was visited by the Executive Director of Ride Illinois, the statewide bike advocacy group. It was a brief chat but a good one and nice to have our operation on their radar. Relatedly, our new space continues to impress.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 39
    Sales: $967
    Memberships: 9 for $270
    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $380
    Bikes (B-a-B): 2 for $90

    Tires/tubes: 10 for $56

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  6. Weekly Update: Busier than expected; Kids' Bikes Giveaway

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, I jinxed it. I said we’d be slower last week sine it rained a lot but then people kept showing up. Finished up a bike for Wednesday or Friday and it didn’t sell immediately, so looks like demand is waning a little.

    This week I’ll work on doing preliminary checks/sorting of Kids’ Bikes for our giveaway. I also ordered a rebuild kit for each of our truing stands, which’ll help get those back in good working order. I’ll get those installed this week as well.

    I’ll also poke around on the LGL database as to why it is not registering new membership forms.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 31
    Sales: $281
    Tires/tubes: 6 for $35

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  7. Weekly Update: Slow week; Outside event with Urbana Parks District; Kid's Bike Giveaway

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Slower week as per usual with the coming of fall. We’re still mostly sold out of bikes as the ones we have been getting in are finicky and in need of uncommon parts.

    Last week, I tentatively set up an outside event for the spring with the Urbana Parks District. More details as that event develops.

    This week we’ll also get to planning for our participation/role in this winter’s Kid’s Bike Giveaway. We’ve certainly got the bikes for it!

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 32
    Sales: $366
    Memberships: 6 for $180
    Tires/tubes: 8 for $35

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  8. Weekly Update: Fixing bike pump; fixing bicycles; student employment

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Last Tuesday we had our Green Quad Day event. We had a few people stop by later in the week after talking with them and one potential student application for employment. We were also generously resupplied with clothes for making into rags. (Thanks, Morgan!) The beautiful weather was certainly an added perk.

    On Thursday I picked up the remaining bikes from the warehouse that are worth our time. We’ll get to rehabbing those bikes this week. There are a good 20 – 30 bikes left there that are destined for the scrap heap. Unfortunately, 3 of the 10 bikes didn’t pass even a basic inspection so they’ll be fodder for parts.

    We’re currently very low on used 26” tires. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.

    This week I’ll also get the ball moving on fixing the outdoor pump, which is broken again.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 40
    Sales: $586.50
    Bike (refurb): 1 for $190
    Memberships: 7 for $210
    Tires/tubes: 8 for $32

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  9. Weekly Update: Green Quad Day; Abandoned bicycles

    All, Slower week, which was welcome. Sold a couple bikes and were able to get a handle on the influx of drop off repairs. The Green Quad Day event that was supposed to happen on Thursday was rescheduled to Tuesday, so we’ll staff for that event and hobnob with the larger sustainability community.

    I’ll make a run out to the abandoned bike emporium this week, too, and see if there’s anything worth our time. Was planning that for last week but it didn’t happen.

    We’ve got a couple bikes in the shop build queue, but I’ll grab a few from Urbana unless we get more donations this week.

    The numbers:


    Visitors: 35
    Sales: $850.50
    Bike (refurb): 3 for $490
    Memberships: 5 for $150
    Tires/tubes: 5 for $20

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  10. Weekly Update: Bike Center tours; Green Quad Day

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Starting to slow down a bit. This week’ll be absolutely perfect riding weather: cool but not cold. Still get folks asking for bikes every day—yet to get any 4’ 11” folks or 6’ 3” racing folks for the tall and small bikes we have, though. We’ve got 3 more that should be for sale this week sometime. Soon, we’ll be having the “it’s too cold to ride” conversation with people. No bad weather, just bad gear and so on.

    Had a class come by on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to tour the Bike Center and I talked about our operations, history of CBC, and the like. Always nice to get people into our space who might not otherwise have reason to visit.

    Last week I talked with Parking about the remainder of the bikes at the warehouse. I’ll make a trip out there this week to see if there’s anything worth our trouble.

    A gentleman came in looking for a small pin for his vintage brake levers and was able to find a workable solution in our used parts bins. He generously donated $10 for his 10 minutes of digging while bemoaning that regular bike shops could only offer to replace the brake levers outright. A happy customer who understands and appreciates our value and services—always a good interaction!

    This Thursday is the Green Quad Day event, from 10  - 4p. Will be good to get our name out there with other environmental/sustainability efforts on campus.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 64
    Sales: $1,052.60
    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $440
    Memberships: 8 for $240
    Tires/tubes: 10 for $76

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  11. Weekly Update: Bike to Work Day; Light the Night; Grand Re-opening

    All, Heck of a week we just had. Tuesday was Bike To Work Day and Light The Night; both events went well. CBC as a LTN location was not as popular as the other two spots but we are still only in our second year of offering this location; the other two spots have been there for over 10 years and have a lot more passers-by. I do appreciate the convenience of not having to go anywhere for the event, though!

    BTWD was a decent turn out. We had around 30 people stop by to pick up their shirts. iSEE shot some footage for a promo video. I also talked with a few profs/pro staff folks who said this was their first bike commute, which was great. Hopefully they’ll stick with it! It also reminded me I need to brush up on my beginning commuter tips…

    Our Grand Opening event was a success. We got to show off our space to quite a few people who’d never been by before and a handful of regulars that were duly impressed with the upgrade from our old space.

    This week I’ve got a new student worker starting, so that will be a welcomed addition to the team. I’ll also pick up some bikes from TBP for rebuild as we’re flush out of decent Shop Builds. Demand has waned a bit or word is spreading that we’re out of bikes so fewer folks are coming by—either way, we’ll get a few more fixed up this week.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: TBD
    Sales: $513.50
    Bikes (refurb): 1 for $180
    Memberships: 5 for $150
    Tire/tubes: 6 for $19.50

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  12. Weekly Update: Grand Re-opening on Sept. 16; New hires!

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Another busy week. Only managed to replenish our stock of For Sale Bikes by a few this week but sold them all within an hour of being open each day. Demand for bikes is still sky-high. Accordingly, most—if not all—of the Build-a-Bikes have been claimed. We did receive a couple of viable donations we’ll fix up this week.

    This week, I’ll also be promoting our Grand Re-Opening that’s happening Thursday, 9/16 from 4 – 7p. We’ve got flyers we’re handing out and talking it up to everyone who comes into the Bike Center. Here’s a blurb we can share out to relevant contacts:


    On Thursday, September 16th, from 4-7, Campus Bike Center is celebrating their Grand Re-Opening at their new location on 51 E. Gregory Dr., Champaign, IL 61820. Come enjoy fun activities, games, and a chance to win a free bike! UIPD will be doing an escorted ride around the block at 5:00 for riders who would like to join. There will be tabling from campus and community organizations, and on the basketball court side you will get a chance to make a basket and be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a refurbished bicycle. We plan to give away an adult bike and a child one. See you there!

    We’ve got a couple new hires in the pipeline that should be onboard in the next week or so—fingers crossed.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 105
    Sales: $1,732
    Bikes (refurb): 3 for $675
    Build-a-Bike: 3 for $120
    Memberships: 17 for $510
    Tires/tubes: 17 for $82

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  13. Weekly Update: Sold out most bikes; Short-staffed; LCI training in September!

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, No mistaking it now. We’re busy, busy, busy. We’ve sold out of all our regular-sized bikes and only have 3 left that fill out the extreme ends of the size-spectrum:  two very small and one very large bike.

    We’ve been very vocal about hiring here while we’re open and have had some verbal interest but nothing that has actually translated to applications—yet. I did interview and am in the hiring process for one new employee, so that’s a start.

    On Friday, Jeff Yockey stopped by and grabbed a handful of Grand Opening flyers to hand out at the Habitat Bicycle Sale. Habitat sells some of their bikes in As Is condition meaning folks might need somewhere or some parts to get their bikes rolling a little better and we’d be just the place. Always nice to get our name out to the larger community.

    On Saturday,  I participated in LAB’s Traffic Skills 101 course. Despite 13 years of regular commuting, not all of the maneuvers and handling came naturally to me. Always more to learn. Up next is the official LCI training seminar in September.

    This week I’ll be fielding more applications and building bikes to attempt to meet demand.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 141
    Sales: $2,100.50

    Memberships: 17 for $510
    Bikes: 8 for $1,190
    Tires/tubes: 12 for $39
    U-locks: 6 for $136

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  14. Weekly Update: Very busy; Short Staffed

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Last week was absolutely bonkers busy. We sold out of most of our bikes, handed out bike registration stickers, and taken in some drop-off repairs. We were closed on Friday for a staff training so we did all that in two days. We’re really getting to see how our new space handles the crush of people this time of year. Only downside is we’re only able to be open M/W/F since we’re critically low on staffing. Once we hire and onboard more folks, we’ll be able to bump up our hours some more.

    Over the weekend we had the Illini Frenzy event which was a great outreach opportunity. We handed out lots of Bike Center stickers, slap bracelets and flyers.

    This week will likely be as busy or busier than last. Buckle up!

    The numbers:

    Sales: $1,848
    Bikes: 9 for $1,410
    Memberships: 6 for $180
    Tire/tubes: 17 for $66

    U-locks: 10 for $215

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  15. Weekly Update: Increased bicycle registration; Getting very busy!

    All, We’re getting legitimately busy nowadays! We’ll be keeping an eye on overall capacity and having to limit some visitors soon.

    I’m scrambling to finish more bikes to capitalize on the surging demand but we’ll likely sell out this week or next.

    Over the weekend we’ve gotten over 50 bike registration notifications so it’s likely we’ll see an uptick in registration pick-ups here.

    We had a patron come in on Friday who’s an RA at LAR and took all of our rack card flyers to hand out to his students—hopefully that’ll bump up our applications.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 41
    Sales: $1,362.60
    Bikes (refurb): 6 for $940
    Memberships: 6 for $180
    Tires/tubes: 8 for $42
    U-locks: 6 or $126

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  16. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, This update is a day late as I was out of the office on Monday.
    Last week I was out on Thursday and Friday as well. Student staff covered Bike Center hours in my absence. On Monday last week we received a bike from Housing which we were able to quickly fix up and put out for sale.  
    This week we have a couple drop off repairs to catch up on, a few more bikes to fix up for sale, and some donations to process.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 26
    Sales: $1,167

    Memberships: 6 for $180
    Bikes (refurb): 3 for $500
    U-locks: 5 for $105

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  17. Weekly Update: Busy week!

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Busy week! Sold bikes, stripped bikes, helped people fix bikes. We had especially good volunteer turnout on Friday. One frequent visitor even donated his neighbor’s old bike that was headed for the dumpster before he intercepted. Another person said they’ll be here to volunteer on Monday.

    Donations, thankfully, have hit a little bit of a lull, so we’ll be able to spend this week catching up on that. On Friday alone—see aforementioned volunteer levels—we started 4 new shop builds that will be finished this week.

    We also sold a bike to someone from Housing who works specifically in promoting healthy and environmental lifestyles in the dorms. He seemed really jazzed about our programming and operations. Hopefully that’ll be a future partnership.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 28
    Sales: $1,307.10
    Memberships: 2 for $60
    Bikes (refurb): 6 for $1,040
    Tires/tubes: 5 for $26
    U locks: 3 for $63

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  18. Weekly Update: Refurbished bikes

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Continuing in our lucky streak of donations, we got a few bikes donated last week that we’ve already fixed up and sold. It is really an ideal situation when donations need minimal work like that and then the ideal person shows up the next day to purchase the bike. On the flipside, I counted 16 bikes that we moved out to the racks just to clear enough space for the bike center to be functional.

    Big thanks to Todd who picked up our heaping pile of scrap. I’ll spend some time this week starting a new heaping pile.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 16
    Sales: $1,386.50
    Bikes (refurb): 6 for $905
    Memberships: 6 for $180
    U locks: 4 for $84
    Tire/tubes: 2 for $9

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  19. Weekly Update: Slow week; Bike sales; Employment at CBC; Bike registration

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Slow-ish week on the whole. Some rainy weather kept it quiet for a day or two. We’re holding steady with 20 – 25 bikes for sale as we’ve been able to keep up with the pace of sales. We got two donations late on Friday, one of which had nearly nothing wrong with it, and thusly was fixed up and on the sales floor within an hour.

    We had a few visitors express interest in employment at the Bike Center so I will follow up with them this week to help bolster our roster.

    Sarthak came by on Friday and explained a great time-saver for doing on-the-spot 529 bike registrations. This will be a great help in about a month when we’re deluged with incoming students.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 20
    Sales: $450.50
    Bikes (refurb): 2 for $280
    Tires/tubes: 5 for $21

    Thanks!

    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

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