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

Bob Giordano mist at strans.org
Thu Mar 26 15:09:30 PDT 2020

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

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
> 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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