[TheThinkTank] Shop Operations During Covid

Bob Giordano mist at strans.org
Tue Oct 20 16:28:11 PDT 2020

Hi all,

Here is a Free Cycles Missoula 'Covid' update:

We've had no one except staff (3) in our shop
since March 13th.

A lot of 'curb side' service tho, with free bikes,
sale bikes, parts, and tool loaning, all ordered
on our website (http://www.freecycles.org/), or by
phone, or a note put in our drop box.

It's often 'contact free' as we lock a sale bike
or free bike outside, and give people the code.

Sale bikes (about 200 since March) can be fully
refunded up to 2 weeks.... only a small handful
have been returned, due to lack of correct fit.

Free bikes have been great.. normally there is a
class and 4 hours of service for this earn a bike
program. The class and service have been waived
during Covid.  We've had to exchange and/or do
some follow up maintenance on some of those, not
much tho. Biggest change is we build the bike
instead of the recipient.

We follow up with people the best we can, to make
sure needs are being met.

We had a volunteer install a library style 'drop
box' that has been awesome- for small part donations,
tool return, and cash donations.

We affixed colored locks to a rack out front, which
makes it easy for anyone to donate a bike and lock it
(we have the universal key hanging inside).

We added a gate to a side yard, with a combo: we have
2-5 volunteers per week, and we give them that combo
so we do not have to let them in and out- they can do
that themselves. We change the combo once a week. We
meet them initially, and get them started on some kind
of outside task.

We have vols only work outside, and agree to covid protocols.

We've used this 'down time' to renovate, organize, clean
and deeply think about programs and projects...while also
making sale bikes, free bikes and filling parts orders.

One project was renovating a 1,000 sq ft 'shed' into an
outdoor bicycle classroom/ work space, so we'll be ready
for 2021 bike boom to continue and hopefuly gather once

BTW, Montana cases are rising, and we've been super
cautious this whole time, in it for the 'long game'.

We say 'no walk ups'.  Yet that has been the hardest
thing to 'enforce'.  So we are flexible and lenient
and help people as we can, sometimes taking in a
repair or giving advice, thru a chainlink fence often.
Not too friendly of a system, yet neither is Covid.

Been thinking how all us community bike shops are
a 'radical movement of inclusiveness' and how Covid
changes that completely upside down, more or less.

We are shifting the focus of free bikes, prioritizing
essential workers, low income and BIPOC.  Which still
includes a lot of people and thus requests. We got
a month behind at the end of summer, now about caught up
(about 200 of these free bikes out the door since March

The free bikes are lesser quality than the sale bikes,
yet sturdy none the less.

The parts requests are fun, cuz our parts room is fairly
organzied and we are well stocked. We put those- serveral
a day- on a table outside for pickup.

Hope this helps others, and looking forward to continued
collabaration thru this list!

-Bob Giordano, Free Cycles Missoula

Quoting wormsign at gmail.com:

> Hey Momoko
> BRW is open for curbside sales 3 days a week. We allow a max of 4  
> volunteers inside at a time. We have one day a week that is building  
> bikes and cleaning shop.
> Bike sales have skyrocketed and if it keeps pace it will keep our  
> lights on through this.
> The bicycle kitchen has a huge outdoor space and has been allowing  
> patrons to wrench by appointment if they follow the protocol. They  
> figure that when masked and keeping distance the transfer risk  
> outdoors is much smaller.
> I was considering looking into how tool lending libraries function  
> to see if we could offer a similar service so patrons can put on the  
> parts they purchase.
> Loconte
>> On Oct 19, 2020, at 19:21, barts at drcrankys.com.au wrote:
>> At Dr Cranky’s we usually support Bicycle Hospitals run by parent  
>> volunteers at schools.
>> We can’t do that in Victoria, Australia so have tried shifting to  
>> remote/contactless operations.
>> We’ve managed to recycle over 50 bikes during CoVid and log the  
>> results online without any contact.
>> We send basic tool kits and parts to volunteers to use in their homes.
>> See  
>> https://www.drcrankys.com.au/uploads/8/6/0/2/86023530/remote_operations_under_covid-19_a4_flyer_vfa_print.pdf
>> Bart Sbeghen
>> Founder/CEO, Dr Cranky’s
>> M 0418 231 686
>> <image001.jpg>
>>    www.drcrankys.com.au
>> From: Thethinktank <thethinktank-bounces at lists.bikecollectives.org>  
>> On Behalf Of momoko saunders
>> Sent: Tuesday, 20 October 2020 12:24 PM
>> To: The Think Tank <thethinktank at lists.bikecollectives.org>
>> Subject: [TheThinkTank] Shop Operations During Covid
>> Hey all,
>> I'd love to get a quick update on what shops are doing for shop  
>> operations during covid. There was an awesome virtual workshop put  
>> on a few months ago. What are shops up to now?
>> At Bike Farm, we're still far from being open in our usual way. We  
>> have a parts selling shift for one day of the week. We meet people  
>> outside and get a list of items they want to purchase, then  
>> volunteers rummage around and find the parts and bring them out for  
>> the patron to choose from. We do not allow use of tools which is  
>> really hard but most people understand. We do have a selection of  
>> tools which we have available for sale for real cheap. This  
>> includes random loose allen wrenches, other wrenches, multi tools.  
>> Here are the guidelines for this shift.
>> We also have a shift where volunteers work on bikes in the shop for  
>> sale or for our community partnerships. We limit all volunteer  
>> groups to 5 people at a time, and we try to keep people in germ  
>> bubbles so that if someone does get sick, we've limited the  
>> exposure. Everyone wears masks at all times and keeps distant.
>> We have a 3rd night which we just added called our infrastructure  
>> night. On this night we work on cleaning the shop and making it  
>> more functional.
>> We have a document outlining our covid protocols. I've made a copy  
>> of it for the thinktank to view. Everyone in the shop must read and  
>> agree to these guidelines before being able to volunteer.
>> ---
>> With a vaccine looking like it will not be here and widely  
>> available till summer or even fall of 2021, we're looking for more  
>> creative ways to provide resources to the community, stay safe, and  
>> maybe make some money to pay rent. I'd love to hear if others have  
>> come up with creative ways to continue operations during this time.
>> Hope you all are well,
>> -Momoko
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