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Projects Updates for Mechanics Classes at the Campus Bike Center

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  1. Weekly Update: Uni High Agora Days classes; Maintenance Class

    All, Last week we held our Uni High Agora Days classes from Tues – Fri. It went very well with all the students engaged in learning and tinkering on the bikes. One student even said they’d return to volunteer, which was great. All 3 of the bikes were mostly done by week’s end. We also received some quality donations from a local bike shop and started overhauling those bikes for sale. I’ve also hired a new Program Assistant to help me out off-hours.

    This week I’ll be meeting with the Urbana Parks District to discuss our Maintenance class we’re collaborating on next month and getting more bikes ready for the sales floor. We’ll see how busy we are today with the very warm weather.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 11
    Sales: $91
    Memberships: 2 for $60


    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Coordinator

  2. Weekly Update: Basic Maintenance 101, Friday Ride

    All, Still not steadily busy as the temps started to dip. We’ll see what this week brings.
    We had our Basic Maintenance 101 class on Wednesday night. Sam held the class and we had 5 people signed up but only 1 showed. Friday Ride was a no-show except for a DI reporter who wanted to cover the event.
    This week is business as usual and our Friday Ride again. I’ll scavenge some freewheels and tires/tubes off some of the junk bikes in storage at some point, too. We are desperately low on used freewheels and can’t really get any new ones due to the sustained supply shortages.

    The numbers:

    Visitors: 22
    Sales: $664.50

    Bikes (refurb): 3 for $410
    Tires/tubes: 7 for $26


    Jacob Benjamin
    WManager, Campus Bike Center

  3. Weekly Update: Bike Maintenance 101, Volunteer request, Cold and snow

    All, Last Wednesday we had our first  class of the semester: Bike Maintenance 101. We had one attendee, despite the bitter cold and snow, which was great. He seemed genuinely appreciative of the BC and our mission. We were able to use his bike as a tutorial of sorts for some of the basic repairs.
    We had a new-to-the-university student come in on Thursday who has a strong bike interest and background. He expressed interest in volunteering and becoming more involved—always a welcomed response!
    On Friday I grabbed 4 bikes from the warehouse and we will work those up this week. The cold and snow will keep things nice and quiet here, I’m sure.


    The numbers:

    Visitors: 5
    Sales: $262
    Bike (refurb): 1 for $200
    Membership: 1 for $30
    Misc: $31



    Jacob Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  4. Fix-a-Flat classes were done

    The Campus Bike Center held Fix-a-flat classes every week on Fridays from March 29, 2019 (from 11 am - 12 pm) till the end of semester (May 3, 2019).

    Description for the Fix-a-Flat class:
    “Tired of getting flat tires on your bike? Come to this 1 hour informational hands-on class to learn how to solve one of the most common bicycle repair problems! We’ll cover the basics of removing a wheel and tire, replacing the tube, and reinstalling the wheel on the bicycle. All tools and parts will be provided.”

  5. 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



    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  6. 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!


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



    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  7. 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!

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



    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  8. 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.

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


    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  9. 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.

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



    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  10. 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.



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



    Jake Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  11. 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.



    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  12. Weekly Update

    All, last week was fine. The student workers are getting into the swing of things. Those that were away for the summer are remembering how everything works and that in turn makes them a more helpful. Our suspension of “First Visit Free” has been received well; most people are amenable to the membership fee, even if they only have a very small repair. Only a couple instances of people complaining and they leave unhappy but on the whole I consider it a success. We’ve had a lot of people who’ve had to wait significantly for stand time even with the membership-required policy. It’s unfortunate, but also speaks to our success and the demand for the space. I’ll count it as a positive and a negative both.

    Visitors for the week: 154

    Last Friday we had a good-sized ride from the CBC totaling about 8 or so people. This time of year is especially well-suited for riding, which I hope translates to more interest.

    Last Tuesday was the first Fix-a-Flat class that Simon and Lily ran. From the both of them, it sounded like a success. This week 12-14 people have signed up, most appear to be grad students (not a bad thing).

    This week I will continue to publicize and talk up LTN as well as print off some basic text fliers for the event to hand out in advance. Funnily enough the younglings with their smartphones have been asking for fliers for the event! I’ll build bikes and organize, per usual, as well.

    Sales (overall): $1,533.10
    Bikes (refurb): 0 for $0 (we have two for sale!)
    Bikes (B-a-B): 2 for $143
    Memberships: 24 for $720
    Tire/Tubes: 47 for $283

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  13. Weekly Update

    All, last week was a blur! According to our sign-in data, we had 277 visitors. That seems high but numbers don’t lie. We were pretty much all-stands-full within the first half an hour. Unfortunately that means some members have had to wait for stands to work on their build-a-bikes. Nothing we can do about that, unfortunately.

    The numbers:
    Sales (overall): $1,867.60

    Bikes (refurbished): 1 for $180
    Bikes (B-a-B): 1 for $46
    Memberships: 26 for $780
    Tires/tubes: 47 for $244

    This week sees the beginning of the fix-a-flat class that Lily has shepherded into existence (Thanks, Lily!). I already have told people about that to much positive interest. There also is a community ride happening in the middle of the week that I will attend. I will also help with LTN preparations this week. A couple new student workers are starting this week, too, which will be good.

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  14. Funding Letter - Bike Maintenance Instructor

    Since 2010, The Bike Project has been collaborating with the University of Illinois to provide an educational space on campus. Bicycle education taught through that space encourages the campus community to ride bicycles for transportation because the bicycles sold and worked on at the Campus Bike Center are reliable and safe. While some people are willing to volunteer to teach advanced level bicycle repair classes at the Bike Center, few are willing to teach very basic entry-level classes addressing such issues as adjusting brakes, lubricating chains, and fixing flat tires. This project funds two semesters of stipend for an instructor to teach classes at the Bike Center covering these topics. Combined class capacity over the two semesters would exceed 200 new cyclists. This proposal directly funds: 1) Two semesters of labor for a beginner-level bicycle class.

  15. 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
  16. Weekly Update

    Hello all, this past week was steady which is normal for this time of year.  Between the weather and finals it's a mixed bag for people coming in, and bike sales.  We sold 3 bikes for $430, 1 membership for $25, and grossed $1128.  We hosted one bike to work station, and supported another.  It was a pleasant affair, but not effective as no new cyclist were encouraged to commute to work.  We built some bikes, organized and held the first of a three part wheel building series. 

    This week we will be working on summer scheduling, wheel building classes, bike building, and supporting advocacy events.  I will also be pushing to plan and setup LTN for success this year.

    From the Campus Outpost,
    James Roedl

  17. Weekly Update

    Hello all, this past week was very busy.  We had a good number come in, but events were the big thing.  We sold 2 bikes for $280, 1 build-a-bike for $50, 11 student memberships for $275, 2 community membership for $80, and grossed $978.  I participated in the Bike Census.  It was very well organized by Lily, and went well.  The BikeFace organized Ride with the Chancellor was a success.  I hosted an open house at the center before the ride.  The Chancellor seemed to enjoy the ride.  She mentioned not knowing the Bike Center existed until I explained what this strange garage filled with bicycles was.  I'm thinking about sending her a post card inviting her back.  I did a deep clean of the shop in anticipation of the visit and it keeps getting cleaner and better.  I made a informational document about cargo bikes for FAA.  Lily helped with some great improvements to the document that made it more friendly to non-cycling readers.

    This week I am going to work on classes, building bikes, and find out our commitment to Bike To Work Day.  It's been hard getting everything out of the warehouse, but I'm hoping to get this done this week. 

    From the Campus Bike Center,
    James Roedl

  18. Weekly Update

    Hello all, this past week we ramped up visitors slightly.  The weather really hurt attendance, which would have been much higher.  We still had people coming in and good attitudes abounded.  We sold 2 bikes for $300, 1 build-a-bike for $30, 2 memberships for $50, and grossed $1353.50.  We have been storing a lot of things we dont' need, and have lost a lot of space to idle items.  This week I realized how limiting this has been and how we need to change our work flow.  Also at the member meeting we discussed a front desk area with a host  and how many workspaces benefit from this.  Since we have a membership database promised to be coming soon I built a front desk area to capitalize on this. I reorganized the back and threw out a lot of useless junk.  The space is much more open now and we have more room to work and store useful items like tools and bikes.  We held a 3 speed hub class which was requested by at least 10 separate individuals, but no one attended.  I will be looking into a remedy.  I was able to update a good portion of the shops reports thanks to all the time freed up by Lily's hard work.  Lily and I continued our work on getting a sponsored donation site for the residents halls so normally abandoned bikes can be directly donated saving us all a lot of work and headaches.  We got a few bikes built, but were slow because of large donations and other projects. 

    This week I plan on continuing to update the shop's reports.  I will be working with Lily on presenting the cargo bike to FAA.  They had a change in leadership and some other set backs so we are restarting the relationship with a cool bike demo and presentation.  Lily's heading this up so I will be supporting her.  I will be trying to get some more bikes out of the warehouse and processed in anticipation of the spring cutting.  Lily is working with the residence halls on the donation event, and doing most of the planning work, but I may go to some of the meetings since I will be in charge of the implementation of the event.  I'm going to seek the assistance of Lily in ways to promote the Thursday afternoon classes.  I will also be sending out information on the wheel building class this week.

    From the Campus Bike Center,
    James Roedl

  19. update on classes

    Hello all,

    A quick update about classes, the Campus Bike Center is working on holding 2 classes a month on Thursday afternoons.  At avoid sending too many e-mails we will be posting them on facebook and our webpage. 

    Next week Thursday April 7th from 1 to 2 pm our staff member Marty Miller will be hosting a class on Sturmey Archer 3 spd hubs at the Campus Bike Center.

    Early May we will announce a wheel building class.  If you want to build wheels keep your eyes out for a sign up sheet.

    This Wednesday April 6th at 6:30 pm at the Urbana location we will be having a shop clean up night.  We have been working hard to organize and clean the space.  If everyone comes and helps out we can bring the shop to a whole new level of clean.

    James Roedl