Archive for July 2007

A list of things to do tonight:

  1. give bikes to their new owners! have them sign waivers, record info on the bike that’s given away. help them load bikes if needed.
  2. receive bikes. give people receipts, if they want them, for their donated bikes.
  3. clean the Rollfast. talk to Josh about the 5 bikes we would like to sell at his shop. figure out details on how to do this.
  4. talk to Noah, Seth and Mark from Cup of Cool Water or other new volunteers.
  5. work, work, work on bikes to give away.
  6. load the truck with the remaining trash for a dump run tomorrow.
  7. tag bikes and make a list of TO DO items for next time.
  8. take several deep breaths, relax, enjoy.
  9. clean the shop, put things in order.
  10. prepare to beat Joe’s current record of 37.46 seconds from last week’s time-trial.

WOW–the results are amazing! our new workshop is clean, organized, and well lit. we’ve got shelves, a woodstove, and some supplies to get us started. three weeks ago we hauled away a couple couches, broken dressers, and rotted mattresses. last monday night, we moved out the remaining pallets, a busted futon frame, one moldy armchair, a dozen car parts and forgotten blankets. we hung the 20 bikes that we need to fix, and scoped out the work areas.

i love that kind of work…

  • take one giant mess of a place
  • connect an energetic bunch of people
  • add tools,sweat,muscle power, common sense
  • mix in some music, beer, lots of cool water and iced tea
  • work your butt off for 3 hours straight
  • and presto–one helluva workshop. don’t forget to stand back and admire the greatness of all your hardwork : )

we have our regular crew that john blogged about last week. plus, we may have brian, a bike commuter named john, and a co-worker of mine and master mechanic, jason, joining us. shioban is ready to learn bike mechanics, and johanna will be around to lend a hand. i also have a hunch that ann may catch the wrenching bug.

john wants to end each monday night with time-trials on the Rollfast. just one timed lap around the block on this 24″ wheeled beauty

PS: never toss out old refrigerators; they make great storage cabinets

Jenny 2

Jenny 2 Jenny 3

My husband,Mike and I went to pick up a donation bike in the Valley on Monday. We expected the usual quick transaction – a quick hello, load up the bike, a quick goodbye. Then we met “Jenny”. She is a lean, flirtatious Jeunet Franche-Comte racing bicycle donated from an incredibly loving home. Her donor, Lewis, acquired her in the early 70′s and he was her second owner. Jenny was his main form of transportation for quite some time. With upcoming changes and moves, he realized he had to part with her. He said he found P2P online and felt that our intentions were genuine enough to donate – this is when we realized that this was not just our average pick-up – we were going to be moving very precious cargo. With much nostalgia and a hesitant heart, he said his goodbyes and watched us carefully pack her up to take to the shop. Lewis hopes that her next home will provide the same amount of care that she has had her whole lifetime.

It dawned on me then, that this will be the first bike of many donated, that have incredible stories and loving owners. Meeting Lewis and Jenny made me think of how important my bike is to me. I hate to get to sappy here – but – its true! There are all these great qualities that come with a bike – it isn’t just transportation. People talk about riding with words like liberating, meditative, free-ing, mobility, connectedness. When I talk about driving my car – at least on a day to day basis – I use words like – angry, furious, irritable, murder, inferno, among others…. An interesting difference in descriptors. It is easy to see how people and bikes become close friends. I suppose that we anthropomorphize many of our possessions – cars included – and some argue this is an immature quality. I have no intention of treating my bike like a piece of metal, however, and feel quite confident in naming her and describing her personality to others. And after meeting Jenny, I feel like my bike is due for some serious pampering!

(photos by BikeDevil)

It was 103F today for our South Perry Free Bike Tune-up. I was dripping, as was Charlie, the whole time. We tuned up 15 bikes. It was good. It was damn hot.

Here’s Charlie.

The careful observer will notice a drip of sweat on the tip of his nose. This is the second event Charlie has volunteered for us. He rules. He’s one of these guys that can fix anything. It doesn’t matter if we have the “right” tools or not. Charlie gets all the weird and hard fixes. And the owners always ride away on the bikes.

We were in the parking lot of The Shop. On black top. Mark, one of the owners of The Shop, set up some umbrellas for us, which helped a lot. But it was still hot.

I love that we’re getting a crew going here; we’ve got this basic set of volunteers that just do stuff — in addition to Charlie, we have:

Ken:

Ken spends a bunch of time dialing in the bikes. There’s no “good enough” for Ken. It’s got to work and it’s got to work right. The Roadmaster he’s working on there ended up getting a full bottom bracket overhaul. I think that smirk there is his realization that he’s going to have to dig into the bottom bracket and take care of it. It’s one of those “oh f’ing hell” smirks.

Mike:

Mike is the guy that just does stuff. He wants to learn a bunch more, but he knows more than he thinks. If there’s no one to tell him what to do, he’ll just start cleaning up the chain or changing a flat. Today, his sister showed up and they worked on a cantilever brake on a walmart bike for a while. The classic crap-bike brake/rim issue: how do you adjust a brake on a steel rim that’s got a wobble so that it brakes effectively, but not rubbing too much? They kept at it and took care of it.

Liza:

She’s all about turning and burning. Get the bike safe and ridable and get to the next person in the queue. Liza wants to make sure we’re getting as many folks as possible on the road and riding.

Beth:

Traffic control and telling our story. Beth is just a big ball of energy that needs a target. She ran all over tarnation this week making sure we had recycled T-shirts with our logo ready to sell for this event. Then she sold $80 worth of shirts today, while keeping the queue of folks waiting happily and even recruiting a new mechanic,Nick — who ran home,changed into grubbies, and came with a stand and tools. Nick ended up fixing a kid’s Giant with a disassembled rear derailleur. I hope he comes back. Lest we forget, this paragraph is about Beth, and she rules.

Joe: had to work today. But he’s another mechanic that just does stuff and is reliable and steadfast as a swiss watch.

Ben and Kathleen — both gone for the weekend, but must be mentioned as they are both very into the growth and vision of P2P.

Me:

Sweaty bastard trying to keep up. My challenge today was finding a replacement crankset for a guy with a walmart bmx where the pedal threads on the cranks were stripped. These two guys showed up in a cab and had to ride home, so we had to get this bike going. I tried a one-piece crank from an old Schwinn Varsity but it was too narrow. Turns out, Ken’s clients had two Roadmasters — one for parts and one to ride. They left one there and the cranks fit. It was very satisfying to see that kid do his BMX hopping/tricking on the fixed up bike that came out of the trunk of cab an hour or so previous.

We’re building something here and I’m excited about it. It’s great to fix up bikes for folks. People are so grateful. I read somewhere recently that some researchers somewhere have shown that there is some kind of receptor/neurological chemical thing that happens when you do something selfless for people. The resulting feeling is similar to sex or good drugs. It sounded like hooey to me when I read it, but I think I’m becoming a convert. There have been a couple moments over the last month or so where I was able to give to folks for no reason other than because I had something to give. There was a strong and lasting something there that happened — and it was good. I say this only to inform, not to sound my own drum or whatever. If you are bummin, go do something nice for someone. Do it because you can. I bet you’ll be surprised.

Lastly, I’m psyched about our next goal: fixing up 22 bikes for the folks that are waiting in our queue. Our goal is to do this by the end of August. We really really need little kid bikes. We have adult bikes and we’re set there, but we need kid bikes: think 12″, 16″, and 20″ wheels. If you have one to donate, let us know and we’ll come and get it.

jamis bike

the Pedal Pals bike donation on June 30th was a huge success, especially in bringing the community together! P2P fixed 83 bikes which were donated to children and adults in Spokane County. SCOPE gave new helmets to the folks who received bikes. KHQ promoted the Pedal Pals event, provided the storage containers for the bikes, and bought new supplies. Dishman Dodge provided a space to store the bikes and a place for the actual event. and Wheelsport East donated tires, tubes, lube, cables, and brake pads at cost.

thanks to everyone who participatged and got behind this cool project. you gotta love bikes, bringing folks together and spreading joy in the world :,,)

Our last event with KHQ/Dishman Dodge was a great success. We fixed up over 80 bikes and even gave away the ones that we couldn’t/didn’t fix up. We were still about 20 bikes short of meeting demand.

Ben made a list of the people (mostly kids) that showed up and didn’t go home with a bike. Now we have a goal: get bikes to these 20 or so folks by the end of August. That will put our total to over 100 bikes that we’ve fixed up for folks that would otherwise not have a bike. We have purpose!

Right now, we have about a dozen bikes that we need to go and pick up. We still need at least 10 more, but due to sizing and part-stealing-to-get-bikes-going, we’d be a lot happier with about 15 more bikes. See our Bike Donation web page for more info if you can donate a bike.

And tires. We really need to find a source for cheap new tires; we’re getting killed on shipping for the tires and it’s costing us a fortune for otherwise really cheap tires. Got a line on cheap tires? Especially 16″ 20″ and 26″ tires — drop us a line.

Want to be involved in fixing up bikes? Send us an email: pedals2people@gmail.com