[TheThinkTank] the virus and community bike shops, essential services thought

Audrey Wiedemeier audrey at bikelibrary.org
Wed Apr 1 11:23:42 PDT 2020


Carlyn: I appreciate you asking for folks to respond kindly. I'll be asking
this of our volunteers and patrons who've been somewhat gruff.

Bob: Opening stronger than ever is right!

As of right now the Bike Library is closed, however, pending approval from
our board, we would like to start offering a "curbside bike checkout" that
is by appointment only.

Here is the link to those documents. Check out the one titled: Proposal for
Curbside Checkout.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rZFtSJlY01X9gPCc_jT5vf8ayk5i2oeTJXuBlhayCTw/edit?usp=sharing


Peace & grease,

*Audrey Wiedemeier* (She/her/hers)
Iowa City Bike Library, Director

700 S. Dubuque St, Iowa City
*Hours: *Sat. 10-3, Mon. 5-7, Tues. 6-8,
Wed. 6-8, Thurs. 6-8, Fri. 4:30-6:30

BikeLibrary.org
C: (515) 450-1651


On Thu, Mar 26, 2020 at 5:49 PM Cyclista Nicholas <cyclista at inventati.org>
wrote:

> I've been worried about our workstation becoming a contamination depot,
> of course. All public surfaces, even if they are decontaminated
> regularly, will be to some extent.
>
> However, there is a significant percentage of our target demographic
> that relies on us for daily survival, and mainly I refer to the
> homeless. These are people who, if they didn't have our workstation,
> would just be doing some other sketchy thing contamination-wise to stay
> operational.
>
> The other sectors of our demographic don't need this kind of help, and
> probably have their own air pumps and remedial tools at home. I'm at the
> shop alone several times a week, and have a good idea who uses the
> station and when. Honestly, I don't think it's really being used except
> by a handful of solitary people, and they're mostly using the air pump.
>
> As for other public-facing activities, we're open for retail, and
> customers are instructed not to touch anything except bikes that are
> being testridden. This is another area that we don't face significant
> traffic, we get possibly one or two customers per day at most in these
> times.
>
> As for decontaminating bikes, I wipe down the seat, controls, grips, and
> top tube after each test ride, and when doing intake on a customer bike.
>
> Speaking of customer bikes, we are not a shop that does repair for
> people, we only teach people how to do repairs themselves. However,
> recently we got a typical misguided question via Facebook about how much
> we charged for a given repair, and it occurred to me that since we
> weren't allowing people to repair the bikes themselves, and had a
> decrease in things to do as a result of closing open shop, we might as
> well accept bikes for repair during this period. This is not something
> we advertise anywhere other than in direct response to a spontaneous
> request, and we make it clear to each customer that this is not a
> regular thing. We've had three customers of this type thus far. I feel
> that this transactional dynamic is one that's very easy create as a
> controlled process, and decontaminating bikes under this circumstance is
> trivial. Just another technical thing to do to a bike among the usual
> array of procedures.
>
> As for classification as an essential service, automobile repair garages
> are typically classified as essential services. We are a transportation
> provider and as assist to people who use their bikes to buy groceries
> and keep medical appointments. Bicycles are not a luxury and they are
> not primarily a recreational toy, they are a fundamental life utility
> and in some cases people rely on them to survive.
>
> I queried Claire from Vélorution Paris deliberately here to provide an
> example to the list of recognition that bicycles are an essential
> service - the city of Paris recognizes this. As of a few days ago, New
> York City does now as well.
>
> Of course, this means that if we *are* an essential service, this makes
> it even more imperative that we create and adhere to strict protocols to
> protect the community we serve even as we struggle to empower them.
>
> Stay strong, healthy and hopeful cyclistas!
>
> ~cyclista Nicholas
>
>
> On 2020-03-26 22:09, Bob Giordano wrote:
> > Hi Carlyn,
> >
> > at Free Cycles Missoula we've closed completely,
> > not even doing emergency bikes/repairs/drop offs,
> > anything. we'll have a good crop of sale bikes when
> > we reopen, and a clean, organized shop.
> >
> > Not doing outside public repair stands for the
> > reasons you've mentioned.
> >
> > We aim to reopen june 1st- could be earlier or
> > later- we just wanted a date in our staff of 4's
> > head.
> >
> > Our staff of 4 are working safely and responsibly
> > together, altho we've taken zones. We even have
> > 4 separate doors, 3 separate bathrooms, each have
> > a tool kit, etc. We're also mentally and physically
> > prepared to stay away from the shop completely, if
> > needed, which it looks more and more like.
> >
> > Our staff have been making these nimble and quick
> > decisions, keeping our small board up to date as
> > needed, and they are supportive of what we need to do.
> >
> > As we clean up around here, we're not doing 'free piles'
> > outside (too much public handling of stuff). We're staging
> > trash, thrift store, recycling piles.  However we've had
> > a couple trusted folks take scrap steel away.
> >
> > We plan to reopen stronger than ever, and ultimately
> > we feel that is best for us and the community. Missoula
> > has been very supportive and understanding.
> >
> > 2 of us are also focusing on grants, all 4 of us are
> > taking time to think deeply, to share writings, and
> > slow down.
> >
> > Bob Giordano, Free Cycles Missoula
> >
> >
> > Quoting Carlyn Arteaga <carlyn.arteaga at bicas.org>:
> >
> >> I appreciate you sharing all your thoughts and ideas.
> >>
> >> At BICAS in Tucson we had to dismantle our outdoor fix a flat station.
> >> Staff working alone inside the shop witnessed clumps of people
> >> congregating
> >> very close to each other and at least one individual who was there for
> >> 3
> >> hours coughing on everything. As much was we wanted to help people
> >> out, we
> >> couldn't justify the germ spreading station we had created.
> >>
> >> We have approved a skeleton plan for opening for limited repair
> >> services in
> >> a couple weeks. How are others handling this? How do you do intakes?
> >> By
> >> appointment only or do you take walk ins?  How are you protecting your
> >> people and the public? How are you sanitizing bikes you work on? And
> >> in
> >> what ways do you see your services as an "essential service," keeping
> >> in
> >> mind that any interfacing with the public right now involves some
> >> amount of
> >> risk, for which the ultimate potential consequence is death? Or if you
> >> have
> >> decided to remain closed, how did you arrive at that decision, knowing
> >> that
> >> there are people who need bike help and are not going to be able to
> >> access
> >> it?
> >>
> >> I know these are the Big Questions (esp the last couple) we're all
> >> grappling with right now, I just wanted to have some frank
> >> conversations
> >> about why doing what we're doing right now so we can all chew it over.
> >>
> >> Please be kind with one another as we respond. None of us has the
> >> playbook
> >> for this crisis or truly even enough data yet to know which decisions
> >> will
> >> end of being the right ones in the end.
> >> Thank you all in advance,
> >> ~Carlyn
> >>
> >> --
> >>
> >> *Carlyn Arteaga*
> >>
> >> *pronouns: they/them/theirs*
> >>
> >> Youth Program Coordinator
> >>
> >> *BICAS*
> >>
> >> 2001 N. 7th Ave. | Tucson, AZ 85701 | Shop: 520-628-7950
> >>
> >> carlyn.arteaga at bicas.org | www.bicas.org | Facebook
> >> <http://www.facebook.com/bicascollective/> | Instagram
> >> <http://www.instagram.com/bicastucson/>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> *Through advocacy and bicycle salvage, our mission is to participate
> >> in
> >> affordable bicycle transportation, education, and creative recycling
> >> with
> >> our greater Tucson community.*
> >
> >
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