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

BICAS bicas at bicas.org
Thu Apr 2 15:47:52 PDT 2020


Thanks everybody. I know many of us have had to make a new decision every
two days with the changing world around us so quickly.

BICAS has 14 hourly wage staff, all of whom can still be paid by coming in
to refurbish bikes at the shop that will eventually be for sale after all
this is over, as long as they work far away from each other and clean and
disinfect everything after. Our Community Tools, classes, and retails
spaces have been shut down since mid-March, which is a heavy financial
burden. We are applying for local emergency grants and probably also for
the CARES Act loan.

We have also decided to re-open mid-April for extremely limited services -
no members of the public will be allowed into the building, but staff will
provide sliding scale repairs to make bikes safe and rideable (no needless
changes and upgrades), prioritizing frontliners whose bike is their main
mode of transportation and/or people who cannot afford repairs at retail
shops (many of which never closed here in Arizona because our governor has
declared almost everything "essential" *eye roll emoji*.)

I am still concerned about the prospect of people congregating outside the
building, but we have said if it becomes an issue, we will have to close
the shop completely again and disband everyone.

Can anyone else who is staying open/providing some services respond about
your safety protocols? How do you space folks apart? Do you wipe down bikes
that come in? Do you cover the handlebars with something? Do you use DIY
masks? We would love to benefit from everyone's collective creativity on
"risk management."  Thank you.

~Carlyn

On Wed, Apr 1, 2020 at 11:26 AM Audrey Wiedemeier <audrey at bikelibrary.org>
wrote:

> Pardon, but that last link is not the correct one.
> Here is the link to the folder with all our covid 19 docs:
>
>
> https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1hPWES96NDNkez7TsgonqkklEzwQ6mTCV?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 Wed, Apr 1, 2020 at 1:23 PM Audrey Wiedemeier <audrey at bikelibrary.org>
> wrote:
>
>> 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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-- 

*BICAS*

2001 N 7th Ave | Tucson, AZ 85705 | Shop: 520-628-7950

bicas 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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