[TheThinkTank] Rubbing alcohol substitutes, spraying grips with bleach, etc.

Kevin Dwyer kevidwyer at gmail.com
Fri Mar 20 23:23:50 PDT 2020


Hi Emily, All- 

I think everyone should do their best. From my observations of bike shop protocols, the better ones have shut down or stayed open and eliminated people from entering the shop. In order to provide basic service, this can involve posting a person outside (under a canopy) or locking the door and posting a phone number on it to call for someone to serve them at the door. Some are offering pick up and delivery. Maybe it is appropriate to go to a drop off/pickup and fee for service model?

My research suggests that the current ”stay at home” order, in effect in all of California,  would not allow bike shops to stay open, though enforcement seems difficult. Nonetheless, I don’t believe that bike shops should be pushing this boundary. If someone gets sick while working in your shop, in order to protect your community, you will have to undergo a massive decontamination and would be best advised to contact your local health department to accomplish that, who might require significant steps prior to reopening. They might even shut it completely for you. Bathrooms are a significant area of concern.

If you can eliminate all people in the shop except for a single person at a time, with protocols in place,  it would seem the risk of transmission is very low. That’s why outside self-services and homework for mechanics seem like good ideas. Again, I would contact your county health department, which is what we did, and shut down the operation until you have a clear plan with them. Our group, a bicycle trail maintenance and advocacy group, was advised to discontinue field operations and all of our board and other meetings are now virtual.

I’m not sure that there is a way that bike shops, restaurants, clothing stores and other places of non-essential services and public interaction can remain open for much longer. It certainly seems that closure is the policy CA, IL and NY. I wish I had better options for you and others facing this.

Kevin Dwyer


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> On Mar 20, 2020, at 11:44 PM, Emily Summerhays <emily at boisebicycleproject.org> wrote:
> 
> 
> Hi Kevin, 
> 
> Last week you were very vocal about your opinion that all of us shutter down. Can you share your insights about how we can and should continue to operate?
> 
> Thank you, 
> 
> Emily - Boise Bicycle Project 
> 
>>> On Mar 20, 2020, at 11:18 PM, Kevin Dwyer <kevidwyer at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> 
>> 
>> Thanks, I agree it attacks some plastics, though it does come in a plastic bottle which seems to hold it well without deterioration for more than a year. Citrus should always be rinsed off with water and diluted for economy and protection of plastics (up to 10:1). Simple Green attacks metal and causes hydrogen embrittlement which can cause cracking and catastrophic failure. This is a known problem for chains soaked in Simple Green. I have also seen SG destroy bearing retainers. I've never had a problem in 12 years using citrus dilution on all kinds of bike parts and accessories, followed by rinsing with water.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> On Fri, Mar 20, 2020 at 10:59 PM General Manager <3rdwardbikes at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Citrus attacks plastics.
>>> 
>>>> On Fri, Mar 20, 2020, 11:39 PM Kevin Dwyer <kevidwyer at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> You should contact your county health department with your questions, including inquiring about the shared use of helmets. Our group had questions regarding our operations and they were very helpful.
>>>> 
>>>> Citrus solvent, available by the gallon at Home Depot for about $8, can be diluted up to 25/75 while still making a great solvent. Don't use Simple Green. 
>>>> 
>>>>> On Fri, Mar 20, 2020 at 9:56 PM Andrew Shaw-Kitch <andrew at b4hpdx.org> wrote:
>>>>> Thanks for the lively conversation on how to ride the line between serving our community and doing our part not to spread covid-19. This is an unprecedented situation from all angles, so it's nice to have this group of like-minded folks from all over looking at things from this one.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Here at Bikes for Humanity PDX we have postponed all classes, in-person programs, and open hours. We are doing bike adoptions on an appointment basis: (1) bikes are posted online for folks to browse, folks referred to us from partner organizations describe what they are looking for (2) a time is set 30 mins+ away from another appointment, and the adopter is asked if they'll need helmet, light, and/or lock. (3) We meet in the parking lot behind our space with a couple bike options, and any other items they might need. We feel this is a satisfactory means toward meeting the needs of people trying to access bikes as either a diversion or way to get to work, as well as our own needs of revenue and the fulfillment of our mission.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Does anyone have insight on how to maximize social distancing and minimize shared contact of surfaces? I am also interested from a mechanical perspective, what the effect of watered down bleach is on grips, saddles, bar wrap. Since we only have so much rubbing alcohol, and it won't be easier to acquire anytime soon, we are looking for a way to ensure contact points are sterilized going forward. Spray bleach-water on grips and wipe with rag designated as the touch-points sanitizing rag?
>>>>> 
>>>>> And since rubbing alcohol is now prioritized for non-bike purposes, what is another means of cleaning bearing systems, rims and disc rotors? I will be taking the crisis/opportunity ("crisitunity" in the phrasing of Homer Simpson) of having the doors closed to catch up refurbishment of the 100 bikes in our basement...
>>>>> 
>>>>> -- 
>>>>> 
>>>>> -- 
>>>>> Andrew Shaw-Kitch (pronouns: he/him/his)
>>>>> Executive Director
>>>>> andrew at b4hpdx.org
>>>>> 
>>>>> Our mission is to increase access to safe and affordable bikes while empowering self-sufficiency in bike maintenance and commuting.
>>>>> ____________________________________
>>>>> 
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>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> -- 
>>>> Kevin Dwyer
>>>> 801.647.0797
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>> 
>> 
>> -- 
>> Kevin Dwyer
>> 801.647.0797
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