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

Jesse Cooper jessecooper0 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 23 00:32:29 PDT 2020


At Our Community Bikes in Vancouver we have suspended all our public
programs and activities. We no longer have used parts browsing, youth club
programming, DIY stand use, instructional repairs, mentoring in life skills
and job skills training, or any other group activities, or services that
allow numbers to congregate.
We have a dozen or more full time and full time part- time staff that we
have to let go so they can collect unemployment insurance.

Our shop gets very crowded at this time of year and the risk to becoming a
vector is too great. We are also considering staff, volunteer, and client
safety in tandem, trying to balance a potential need to provide an
essential service to those more marginalized than ourselves. We have a
heavy demography of people in survival mode, and without an operational
bike, they would be badly off. In light of a pandemic, their need for
mobility is still great.

We have a one week trial with a small crew to do repairs on an appointment
basis. We've setup a bunch of safety protocols and measures to reduce
contamination incidents, but ultimately it's still a risk. And all in all,
our shop will become solvent beyond 2 months of revenues lost. So
yeah...     capitalism. But if we do this and we don't have a revenue
positive outcome, then we won't even last the 2 months closure.

Our governments on multiple levels haven't given us any concrete
instructions for relief, only just some numbers that may or may  not help
us keep our doors open after this is over. Everything is up in the air.

Currently sending of training resources for mechanics and maybe some useful
self help / self training online stuff, and drafting some operations
procedures that we could implement to stay operating under lock door /
appointment only scenario.

Our shop was hit hard by a forced move, a brain drain, a really bad winter,
and a governance shuffle, and now this all withing 5 years after sailing
for so long. It's been a 'one-two punch' kinda of time.
My immediate thoughts are staying healthy enough that community bike shops
in Vancouver flourish again after this pandemic.

On Sun, Mar 22, 2020 at 9:20 PM <veganboyjosh at gmail.com> wrote:

> This is so awesome.
>
> Would love to see closeups/details about how the crank/clamp arms work.
>
> On Sun, Mar 22, 2020 at 1:52 AM Kevin Dwyer <kevidwyer at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> That's super cool! Great work. The clamp detail is super cool and bikey.
>>
>>
>>
>> On Sat, Mar 21, 2020 at 11:29 PM Cyclista Nicholas <
>> cyclista at inventati.org> wrote:
>>
>>> I finally finished the outdoor workstation mentioned above a few days
>>> ago, so here are some pictures. I designed and built it over a binge
>>> work period of about 20 hours without sleep, food, water, or even a
>>> break X_X
>>>
>>> More pics are available if anyone wants better details on any of the
>>> components.
>>>
>>> Hope everyone is staying ok,
>>>
>>> ~cyclista Nicholas
>>>
>>>
>>> On 2020-03-16 21:57, Cyclista Nicholas wrote:
>>> > We have a lot of old bike lock cables we've salvaged from old cut
>>> > locks laying around. We'll be making a loop at each end and crimping
>>> > them with flattened nuts, one end will be fastened to the bike rack
>>> > outside the shop and the other will be attached to a pump. We have a
>>> > lot of old floor pumps laying around and I expect to replace the pump
>>> > a few times if they get stolen before giving up putting them out
>>> > alltogether. I'm only putting one out because that's all I think we'll
>>> > need, but I wonder if putting more out in this fashion might help
>>> > reduce the perception of scarcity, i.e. a mentality that could
>>> > encourage theft.
>>> >
>>> > We're also using this method for tools, also ones we can stand to lose
>>> > if they get stolen, but in the case of tools, old lock cables are
>>> > either too short or not flexible enough, and so I went to the hardware
>>> > store and bought 50ft of cable for about $20 total for the tools to be
>>> > leashed with.
>>> >
>>> > In all honesty, we've played with this idea for a long time before now
>>> > and it's kind of cool to have an excuse to experiment with it.
>>> >
>>> > ~cyclista Nicholas
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > On 2020-03-16 21:39, carlyn.arteaga at bicas.org wrote:
>>> >> We just suspended all public services at BICAS in Tucson AZ today
>>> >> through the end of the month at least. :(
>>> >>
>>> >> Does anyone have a brilliant design for a pump that can be left
>>> >> outside that is less likely to get stolen/mangled??
>>> >>
>>> >> Sending best wishes out to all our community bikes buddies in these
>>> >> uncertain times.
>>> >>
>>> >> ~Car
>>> >>
>>> >> 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 | Instagram
>>> >>
>>> >> Through advocacy and bicycle salvage, our mission is to participate in
>>> >> affordable bicycle transportation, education, and creative recycling
>>> >> with our greater Tucson community.
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >>> On Mar 15, 2020, at 8:19 PM, Cyclista Nicholas
>>> >>> <cyclista at inventati.org> wrote:
>>> >>>
>>> >>> Here's Recycle Ithaca's Bicycles decision/policy, posted last night.
>>> >>>
>>> >>> For reference, April 13 is when public schools will be closed until
>>> >>> here, and two of the projects mentioned below completed today and
>>> two
>>> >>> others the day before. We have one project left, a father and
>>> >>> daughter build project that is nearly done, but I doubt they will
>>> >>> come in during this time. Also, we only have one or two volunteers
>>> >>> and one person on staff (me) right now, though we were in the middle
>>> >>> of hiring and new staff training for up to four people may be
>>> >>> scheduled over this break, absent symptoms permitting. The number of
>>> >>> confirmed COVID-19 cases here currently is one, and this is a city
>>> >>> with three higher education institutions, one of them being Cornell,
>>> >>> so it's likely the actual current infections are higher.
>>> >>>
>>> >>> "Hi everyone,
>>> >>>
>>> >>> We're all shuffling our cards in an attempt  to come up with best
>>> >>> practices for moving forward through this pandemic, and RIBs is
>>> >>> committed to doing its best to make choices that help.
>>> >>>
>>> >>> Here are the changes Recycle Ithaca's Bicycles will be implementing
>>> >>> from Sunday, March 15, to Wednesday, April 13 in response to these
>>> >>> conditions:
>>> >>>
>>> >>> - Open shop will be closed. This means we will not be allowing any
>>> >>> use of the space for public work on bikes. Exceptions will be made
>>> >>> for the two or three people whose projects here are currently in
>>> >>> progress.
>>> >>>
>>> >>> - We will retain our normal hours, but for retail and volunteering
>>> >>> only.
>>> >>>
>>> >>> - Strict sanitary procedures will be enforced on the property and
>>> >>> posted throughout the premises.
>>> >>>
>>> >>> - Open shop on Saturday will be replaced with a weekly group ride
>>> >>> (look for more details coming soon).
>>> >>>
>>> >>> - Volunteer nights on Mondays are now closed.
>>> >>>
>>> >>> - Some basic tools will be leashed to the racks outside the front of
>>> >>> the shop for people to work on their own bikes.
>>> >>>
>>> >>> - We will reassess all measures for COVID-19 on an ongoing basis,
>>> >>> posting updates here and on the Tompkins County Human Services
>>> >>> Listserv.
>>> >>>
>>> >>> We greatly value all of our community and hope to resume open shop
>>> as
>>> >>> soon as safety permits.
>>> >>>
>>> >>> Please take care of yourselves."
>>> >>>
>>> >>> ~cyclista Nicholas
>>> >>>
>>> >>>
>>> >>>> On 2020-03-14 19:55, peter at BikeClarkCounty.org wrote:
>>> >>>> Free community volunteer delivery by car/bike for elderly/needy:
>>> >>>>
>>> https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfAMZHbn6md19Tb28SM53ayFAQK02xJv1NXVjL-J26tDZOQ-g/viewform
>>> >>>>
>>> https://bikeportland.org/2020/03/12/cycling-through-the-covid-19-outbreak-312378
>>> >>>>> On Mar 13, 2020, at 11:38 AM, Bob Giordano <mist at strans.org>
>>> wrote:
>>> >>>>> Just a quick thought on 'essential services':
>>> >>>>> I think that community bicycle shops are essential
>>> >>>>> for healthy, vibrant, socially just communities,
>>> >>>>> in today's 'modern' age.... especially as a long
>>> >>>>> term strategy to improve our cooperative systems.
>>> >>>>> Community bicycle shops are likely not essential
>>> >>>>> as far as absolute survival and in the context of
>>> >>>>> remaining open during this pandemic.
>>> >>>>> Hopefully we've all done enough community work
>>> >>>>> to help people learn skills to work together
>>> >>>>> and fix things, with our without a dedicated
>>> >>>>> space.
>>> >>>>> Just wanted to put this thought out there, as
>>> >>>>> many shops are deciding how to move forward.
>>> >>>>> Thanks, Bob Giordano, Free Cycles Missoula
>>> >>>>> ____________________________________
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>>
>> --
>> Kevin Dwyer
>> 801.647.0797
>>
>>
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