Get your camera and grab your bike

(I’m about 95% this photo was taken by Sheldon Brown — I’m 100% sure that I didn’t ask for permission to post it.)

The folks at The Scoop are doing a cool thing. In December and January, they’ll be putting up a bunch of bike photos in their in-shop gallery. Proceeds from sales of the bike photos go to Pedals2People. That’s cool as is. But what makes this event really neat is that the bike photos will come from the community.

The event is called “Viewed by Bike.” There are still some details to work out, but basically, the idea is that folks (like you) go and take photos of bikes, from a bike, or anything bike-related and then give them to The Scoop. We’ll go print them (thinking 8×10’s here) and hang them at The Scoop. Hopefully there will be a bunch of submissions and hopefully there will be a bunch of folks buying them. For now, let’s limit the submissions to two per person.

Thinking on this more, I think we should do a calendar. Get a panel of judges, have them choose their favorite 12 photos, then we make a Pedals2People calendar for 2008. Any graphic designers out there looking to donate some time to build up a sweet calendar? If we can find a great design, I’ll spring for the printing as long as we can cover that cost with initial calendar sales; the rest goes to P2P.

So that’s the plan. Stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, if you have a photo send it to me at john@pedals2people.org.

The First Pile of Bikes Has Been Transferred to Mountain Gear

As with every project we’ve tried, we learned a few things on our first transfer of bikes. Our first transfer was last Monday.

For context: we are partnering with Village Bike Project to ship the surplus bikes in Spokane to Ghana. In a nutshell: this means we gather 500 bikes, stuff them in a container, and ship them to Ghana, Africa. At the moment, we work out of a donated garage on the south hill. When we get more than 40 bikes in there, it’s nearly impossible to do anything but squeeze through the stacks. Enter Paul. Paul owns Mountain Gear and has a big warehouse in Spokane Valley. He’s donating space for us to stack bikes.

Anyway, we learned that it takes a fair bit of coordination to move a stack of bikes. Dan Treecraft is helping us by donating his time and truck. Then we’ve got a few folks we need to get to our space and help load up. Then we need to make sure Paul and his folks at Mountain Gear are ready for us. Aside from the coordination, the actual transfer took 2.5 hours: from pick up to end of delivery. Because Mountain Gear is a business we try to get in there during business hours so we can minimize our disruption to folks there. In the end, we moved 30 bikes.

So, there is a fair bit of overhead here.

Some ideas to streamline this:

  • Paul’s idea is the best: we would find a shipping container, drop it at the Mountain Gear warehouse site and then pack as we go. Paul has lots of space,but it’s sort of dynamic,we may need to move stuff around periodically. We want to minimize how much we move bikes around. Paul also suggested stacking bikes on pallets, strapping them down, and then we can move them around in bulk much easier. I like this idea, but studying how the VBP folks pack the containers, we’ll have to unstack the pallets and restack them when it comes time to load. So: the “find a shipping container” idea is perfect. This would also make it easier for us to load during non-business hours. It’s hard to get volunteers during weekday biz hours.

So: if you have a container or have any ideas on someone who may donate/loan one to P2P, please contact us. It may not even be a donate thing. Normally at ship time the VBP folks have to go buy a container — so it maybe more of a loan deal.

  • Do bigger runs. The actual loading time is pretty short when you have 3 or 4 people. So the process would scale easily if we had another truck and we could do runs of 60 bikes. My guess is that this would add about 40 minutes and we’d be moving twice the number of bikes. Of course there’s the issue of stacking 60 bikes in our garage, but there are a couple creative things we could do to squeeze more in.
  • Do smaller runs. In this model, we’d just have a trailer at the garage that holds about 15 bikes. Then we round-robin. Once the trailer fills, we have one volunteer make the run when they can make it and during the warehouse business hours. It takes that one person longer, but it’s less of an impact on the organization.

Got any ideas? We’re all ears.

Regardless: this is an exciting project. People really respond to it and we’re getting a nice boost in donated bikes. We’ll get these details figured out. We’re still targeting next Summer as our goal for shipping the container.

Picture-perfect day

soooooo nice today. it was a perfect fall day: 60 degrees, vivid orange and red bursts of color, busy squirrels scurrying about. i didn’t go for a long ride, just downtown for lunch and back up the hill, but i’ll take what i can get. 2 or 20-miler, doesn’t really matter. i had to stop at cannon hill park on my way home to take this picture.

speaking of pictures…patrick sullivan is putting together a photography show at his shop. patrick is the owner of The Scoop, where they serve the best ice cream in town. he’ll be accepting submissions of bike-related photos for his december-january show. sales and proceeds will benefit pedals2people. thanks patrick for the generous offer! more details to follow.

also, we have a date and a time for our Karma Yoga class at City Yoga:

  • Friday, November 2nd, 5:30 pm
  • 505 E 24th Ave
  • Bicycle donations happily accepted for the Village Bicycle Project
  • Join us in “promoting positive change within our community”

Good Karma

katie gehn at City Yoga has invited pedals2people to take part in her Karma Yoga series. we’re psyched! think yoga, think bikes, think “positive change within our community.”

city yoga devotes one evening a month to this community-building program, where the studio is open to local non-profit organizations and spreading their missions. yoga students partake in the friday night class, and city yoga donates their space, time, and fees to the charitable organization. P2P will also be collecting bikes for the Village Bicycle Project at this event.

thanks katie for thinking of us! we are so honored!

check back to find the November date and time for this Karma Yoga class at 505 E. 24th St. and YES, they have a bike rack!

Diverse not Splintered

the Bicycle Alliance of Washington (BAW) was in spokane for a reception last month. this is a picture of louise mcgrody from the BAW and a happy supporter.

we spent a few minutes at the start of the evening introducing ourselves and saying how we’re connected with bicycling. we heard from local BAW folks, Bicycle Advisory Board members, an REI outreach represenative, INW Trails Coalition members, and other bike folks. it was great to see so many of us out on a cold thursday night, talking about biking in spokane.

one topic that came up was if our city needs a full or part-time BAW representative. we were all excited about that prospect. someone to help organize events around bike-to-work month? someone to help get a bike boulevard or two in our city? someone to possibly work with the city on other bike-related issues? oh, hell yeah!!!

later, there was another question. there we were, a diverse bunch of biker/hikers, roadies, mtn bikers, commuters,educators,advocates, etc. as a rapidly growing city, how do we work together to maximize our influence? how do we stay connected and in touch with what we’re all trying to do?

diversity is fantastic. it’s evident in nature when you have a more diverse populations (bugs, plants, animals, trees species), the whole ecosystem benefits. the system is stronger, more resistant to destructive influences, more productive, more better : )

diversity is a strength when it comes to our budding bike culture and our city as well. we have several bike shops, bike clubs, trails, trail supporters, and cyclists. what we don’t want to do is become splintered. maybe the BAW can be the group that brings us all together. i love the idea of an annual reception. let’s have more pizza, more drinks, more bike rides, more meet-and-greets. bring it on bicycle alliance of washington! i think we’re ready.