Saturday, April 29, 2006

Wallingford BIkes donation program

I was drinking coffee, trolling about the net bike links, and stopped by Wallingford Cycle stuff ( . They have the coolest touring bags and stuff (tho they have a sale page too). Right on their front page was a call out to non-profit bike groups that they might donate to (a percentage of their Brooks Saddle sales... ahh... I LOVE Brooks saddles).

I went ahead and sent them a little spiel plus our web page link. Here is the post quoted:
Hello Wallingford

I stopped by your lovely page to look at some tour bags and such and saw your call out to non-profit cycle concerns.

I am on the board of Wheels for Winners here in Madison, Wisconsin. We've been working with youth in the community since 1992, providing free, refurbished bikes after they complete 15 hours of community volunteer service. We provide opportunities for volunteer mechanics, who work in our shop (with 3 work benches, fully equipped with donated tools), and we do outreach to commuity organizations to provide the volunteer opportunites as well as encourage kids to join the program. We also work with local bike vendors and businesses to assist us with funding, helmets, locks, bike parts... even bike storage. And of course we work with the community to provide us with bikes to refurbish (which also keeps them OUT OF THE LANDFILL!)

Here's a humble web page with some background info on who we are:

we'd be honored to be included in your donation program.


Mark Evans


Ya never know what will become of these things, eh?
I put the wheelsforwinners gmail address as the reply to.

Our latest volunteer replyer, Mike Teff, got to the shop late (after 8 pm) on thursday, but e-mailed me and will drop off or send in the volunteer app and come back next thursday. I will stop in briefly to try to connect with him (I have a regular thursday eve gig at 7PM)

Friday, April 28, 2006

Open blog; flyer; next Board Mtg....

My inclination is to at least open the W4W blog for others to read. I am guessing not many would bother to do so, but those who are interested enough would be able to see what's up.

Jessica has updated the one-page, mailable flyer. Both Gail and I have seen it. I wanted it for REI to hand out and for the Monona Community Yard Sale and other things. It has updated e-mail address, updated website address, new map, etc. I think we were originally going to put it forward next board meeting, but this particular cat is getting out of the bag. I am not sure my file copy is the most recent, so if anybody wants a copy e-mailed I guess let Jessica know....(okay Jessica?) Otherwise, it will be unveiled at the next Board Meeting for your comments/corrections. Once we have consensus, we can stick it out on the website as a downloadable form or ....?

Next Board Meeting is Wed., May 10th

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Checking the Blog Temperature

As Julie joins the chatter (Gail, where oh where are you?) I am reflecting on how the blog is going. I think it goes well. Should we make the volunteers aware of the blog's existence?

There are three options:
1. Don't tell them it exists
2. Tell them it exists...but don't give them posting priveledges (or only give certain volunteers posting priveledges)
3. Let them all read AND post

Are there thoughts? I think it would be nice for them to see what we are doing...and for us to see what is on their minds.


Product Liability Insurance

File this one under: future ideas and issues:

Willing purveyors of product liability insurance for programs that work with kids and bikes:
Adam Wolfson/Nancy Western of Wolfson Insurance Brokerage at or 212-683-2622

REI; Storage at Ironworks; Staffing; etc.


Okay...W4W has been nominated for an REI grant and I received the paperwork. I am turning the paperwork over to Gail (thanks Gail) to be filled in.

W4W will be highlighted as REI's non-profit of the month (May)

REI is also hosting a 'bike drive' from May 1 to June 10th. One June 10th they are going to do a 'presentation'. I don't know what the presentation is about really. I'll get more details.

Charlotte mentioned that we received a check for $250 from Budget Bikes. Not sure what that is apropos of, but it is a good thing.

On Friday (4/28) I am going to run through the procedure to open the Ironworks for storage. I mean how to turn off the security alarm and whatever else.

We've got a bunch of trashy bikes sitting outside the W4W shop right now. They need to be stripped or stowed or something.

Clarey Willard has started working at the shop on Mon and Wed. afternoons under the Cap Times mentor program. Not much experience but she's got a good attitude. She worked with me on Monday and Walt on Wed.

The W4W shop may be closed next Wed. (5/3) Fred A. is in Holland (?) and Walt B. will be gone, so Charlotte may not even bother to come it. I am dropping Clarey's mom an e-mail letting her know not to come in.

Sean Jindrich offered to sell bikes/bike components at a Monona Community Yard Sale...we're trying to get some stuff ready for that.

More later....


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bike Bike

I've also neglected to properly promote the fact that there is a national Community Bike Program conference coming to Milwaukee in May.
May 26-29 in Milwaukee. I plan to try to attend...but not sure yet if I can.

Organizing contact:Shea Schachameyer, Milwaukee Bicycle Collective, 3006 N. Booth St. Milwaukee, WI 53212, 414-372-8345

Shea also works for Bike Fed part time...I took her by the shop on Tuesday night. She was really impressed. She said that we have way more space and store bikes much more efficiently than they do at the Milwaukee Bicycle Collective. They are the folks that hauled away 30-50 last winter, fyi.


I've been neglecting my promise to look into helmets. I learned today of this site:

HELMETS R US PROVIDES HELMETS AT COSTHelmets R Us - we're a non-profit company out of the State ofWashington. We provide bike helmets, multisport helmets, ski helmetsetc... to non-profit groups all over the USA and Canada at cost. Ourhelmets start at $3.95 and are an excellent resource for people tryingto help in this endeavor."CindyLu Webber, Sales Manager, Helmets R Us, 2705 Pacific Ave, Tacoma,WA 98023; phone: (253) 627-2121; fax: (253) 572-4225; email:

Do we know how many helmets we need and in what sizes? If someone let's me know I will order some.

Volunteer Mechanic update (and some true bloggin')

Just want to update the crew on Volunteer-action that is going on

Wed. Night Bike Rides and Bombay Bike Club agreed to add link on their information pages. Bombay told me I could come by before one of their Sunday rides and spiel the Wheels-4-Winners story to the ready riders. I would have to contact the ride leader for that day and clear it with them. I'd bring along some mini-raisin boxes to hand out along with a small info-hand out or card (if we had one with current info); the fastest way to a volunteer's heart is thru their stomach. I am busy this week, but may look at the following Sunday.

I was also instructed to check out the Mad_Bikers yahoo group and post a volunteer call out on the forum there. I did get one solid inquiry, followed up, and am waiting to hear back.

We have gotten a couple bites for new volunteers. Thanks to Jessica for passing Mike Teff's message along. Mike will be stopping by the shop on Thursday to check out the digs and fill out a form. Mike sounds enthusiastic.

My 15-year-old daughter, Berit, was in the shop again on Tuesday, continuing her quest to become a COASTER BRAKE specialist. She managed to disassemble, clean, grease, and reassemble a coaster brake wheel from a bitty kids bike... and when it was done.. IT WORKED! You go girl! More on this as it develops.

Saturday in the Shop:
Started out quiet with me all alone with the bag full of Greenbush Bakery donuts. Kim stopped by to say hi, and then Jim Reynolds, a now-and-then volunteer from Waterloo arrived (he biked all the way in on his Longbike recumbent!); JIm picked right up with a bike he started some long time ago. Richard stopped by later, with a fixed bike in tow and started right in on a small BMX type bike. Jim is an old school sorta mechanic, always working the grinding wheel over some mishapen part (gave Richard a chuckle or two). It was a lively old time.

Spring time with the door wide open... makes the shop a nice place to be.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Monona Garage Sale

Sean J. e-mailed me. He is willing to handle W4W stuff at the Monona community garage sale. I would like to take a few likely-looking bikes and some components to him to see if they can be sold. Let me know if anyone objects. Otherwise, if you are in the shop, feel free to set stuff aside for this. There is one bike that I tagged for the 'Swap' and another one, the one with the front and rear derailleurs operated off off a single grip shifter...I thought these might be likely candidates. I am thinking of taking just what will fit in the back of my truck. -Kim

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bike Community Pages on DaneNet

Maybe you already knew this, but I think the BCP pages are back up on DaneNet.

And good news, there is a redirect from to .

Not sure who is responsible, but a tip of the helmet to them.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Volunteer connections

I sent some feelers out to Bombay Bike Club and WNBR (wed nite bike ride)
The idea being to do a presentation before a ride, spiel the riders, maybe pass out some W4W cards with contact info... try to encourage riders to volunteer in the shop. I included web address to W4W web page.

I heard back from two folks and they said they'd put the web link up on their pages (community bike links). The fellow from WNBR also suggested I join the Mad-Bike group, which has over 250 members, and put posts up there. I joined the group and am awaiting the verification thru my e-mail.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Create LIve Bookmark for W4W blog

This is sort of on blog topic/off W4W topic

If you are using Firefox or Safari (for mac) or some browser OTHER than Micro-Sloth's Internet Exploder... you can create an RSS or Live Bookmark feed of the W4W blog and add it to the bookmark toolbar that is available on these browsers

(here is a link to the how to for Firefox)

this creates a bookmark or shortcut link on my bookmark toolbar; if I click on it, a list of entries drops down and I can quickly see if anything is new (hey, there is a new entry... from Mark. Hey, that's me!)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Blog Settings

I've fixed the problem that Kim mentioned about the posts/comments emailing to the gmail address. If it is still doing it...let me know and I'll dig deeper for another setting.

Any of us can change the settings by loggin in as wheelsforwinners and using the password earnabike

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Blog question...

Seems like everytime someone posts a comment to the blog, e-mail is sent to This results in unnecessary mail in that mailbox. Anyway to change that? - Kim

Online Volunteer posting

I dropped a couple notices on Craigslist (under the BIKES section and the VOLUNTEER section)
I took the liberty and put a small pic of one of our mechanics working on a bike to make one of the posts a little more interesting. (in deference to HIPPA and all that rot the pic I used does not clearly show the worker's face)

under the Bikes section

Under the Volunteer section

pretty simple
to complete the post, Craigslist sends a verification to an e-mail address, in this case mine.
It will be interesting to see what kind of response we get. I can go back to the posts and edit them. Should I insert the Wheels e-mail address? What is that address? let me know


Storage at Ironworks

I signed a 'facility use agreement' with Margo Tiedt at Atwood Comm Ctr yesterday. She gave me a key and the security code. We can move bikes over there whenever we can get that organized. The agreement is for 6 months, but we can renew it...up until they start construction which'll be like a year and a half from now. - Kim

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Reply to Jessica

I should have typed this in a comment on your post (see how these things work), but I'm having trouble with the internet connection (I'm in Minneapolis...ain't technology grand?).

To answer your questions:
1. My intention (perhaps our collective intention is different) was for this blog to be a way for the board (and if it goes well, other volunteers) to communicate. So appearance was not all that important. That said...we can post one photo at the top...I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
2. As for document postings...I've wondered about that too...but don't see any way to do it. Do not dispair, however...that's what the main page is for.
3. As for photo gallery...also not what this blog is really good for...but I think that there are ways to get around that. Again...I would recommend that the photo gallery be posted at www. we'll need to chat with Kim about how much space he has available for the site, since he is hosting it.
4. I think that this blog is mostly for internal communication...and if we find it goes well...we can link to it from the main page and let the public in on reading the chatter. In the meantime...the next step would be telling the volunteers about it. I would recommend that we let the volunteers read...but not post...until we get control on this thing. Eventually we could let folks post too if it seems like a good idea.

Monday, April 10, 2006

appearance and usefullness

can we put a wheels graphic and pics across the top of our blog?

can we store docs on the site (ie. brochure to be downloaded)

can we have a picture gallery?

Allied Drive

Mark: Great idea about SW path would be great to get that neighborhood to take ownership of and pride in the path.

Our friend Steve Mierers aside...the Boys and Girls club has a grand sponsor in Mary Burke (Secretary of Commerce and brother of John Burke who runs Trek). If, in the future, we would like to get funding for programs...partnerships with Boys and Girls club could work to our favor...and we may eventually want to make a proposal to Mary Burke (far in future...I mean).

The FIrst of Many Organizational Posts (soon to be located elsewhere too)


Mission: The Earn a Bike Program: Enriching the Community with Bikes and Happy Kids.
Elevator Statement: (From the Articles of Incorporation)Wheels for Winners is a volunteer program that uses refurbished bicycles as a vehicle for personal and community development of at-risk or disadvantaged youth and families.

Specific Objectives and Purposes
(from Bylaws)
To provide youth an opportunity to warn bicycles while becoming responsible and active members of the community
To provide bicycles for youth and adults who could not normally afford tham and to insist on a commitment to community service to earn these bicycles
To encourage greater community and family involvement in youth cycling.
To promote an increased awareness of safety among youth
To educate youth in the repair, maintenance and safe use of bicycles
To recycle used bicycles back into the community in a way that promotes positive community values

Our standard spiel for grants:
Wheels for Winners is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Madison, Wisconsin working for fundamental social change and demonstrating practical alternatives to economic and social injustice through our Earn-A-Bike Program. Wheels for Winners provides recycled bicycles to children who perform 15 hours of community service work. Typically, these bikes are awarded to children who fall into poor, disenfranchised, and racial minority segments of the Madison community.

Wheels for Winners seeks to promote and strengthen local community control through the more equitable distribution of wealth and resources by refurbishing discarded bicycles and redistributing them.

Wheels also promotes a cooperative society through its connection to community service and builds coalitions through our connections to the organizations who receive this community service. Wheels coordinates with over 12 community organizations in the Madison area. The community organizations receive volunteer labor from the children in the program and Wheels for Winners provides the incentive for volunteering: a free bicycle, lock, and helmet. Though Wheels for Winners provides bicycles to children while encouraging them to assist other community organizations, Wheels also provides an opportunity for many adult community members to learn bicycle mechanic skills and to volunteer. Many of our best volunteers are retired individuals or those who are differently-abled, bringing together many different types of members of the community.

Brief history of the organization and how it is governed.
Wheels for Winners began in 1992. The organization is governed by a volunteer 7 member board of directors. At this time, there is no paid staff at Wheels for Winners. In 2004 23 Wheels for Winners teen, adult, senior, and challenged volunteers donated over 2,230.5 hours on projects such as bicycle repairs, shop maintenance, bicycle maintenance, training, and promoting the Earn-a-Bike program. The volunteers include Charlotte Marshall, who has managed our office since we began and contributes over 8 hours per week to the program. Wheels for Winners is a member of Community Chip.

Past programs that have helped to serve our community at a grass-roots level.
Wheels for Winners’ primary program has always been the Earn a Bike Program. We have run community based bicycle repair programs in the past, notably in the Vera Court neighborhood. In 2005 Wheels successfully mentored seven student mechanics and also facilitated a neighborhood bicycle mechanic training at the Boys and Girls Club at Allied Drive. Wheels for Winners regularly works with community organizations at a grass roots level. In 2004 children associated with Bayview, Southside, East Community, Lincoln School, Northport, Prairie View Girl Scouts, Cross Plains Library, Monona Library, Neighborhood House, Allied Drive, Baptist Church, Small Wonder School, Lake Point volunteered over 2,025 hours of community service time. These community organizations assisted and supervised the children with their commitments and we provided the bicycles as their reward.

Wheels for Winners Earn a Bike Program
2310 Pennsylvania Avenue
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 249-2418
Shop Hours:
MW 12:30-4 PM
T,TH 6-8 PM
Please call ahead.

Mark Evans, Director,;
Jessica Gammey, Director,
Chuck McFarland,Vice President,
Gail Pizarro, Secretary,
Kim Slava, President,
Julie Smith, Director,
Dar Ward, Treasurer,
Charlotte Marshall, Volunteer Office Manager

the world of high technology (on the wheels!)

hey... this is cool! And here I am with a day off to check it out.
Just got back from a ride to Paoli (after a ride thru Oregon yesterday... the training run up to Bikenorthwoods has begun!)

I am going to compose a brief post for Craigslist (in the bikes forum and the volunteer forum) with a pointer to the W4W web site. Lots of folks troll the Bikes forum for buy-sell, so I will put a bug there about W4W and volunteer mechanics ops. I will also check to see how graphic saavy I am; perhaps we can come up with a simple, trademark flyer to hang in shops. Will need to dig up a list of volunteer e-mails.

AN IDEA for Comm outreach:

while getting out of town on the SW path, I noticed the sad litter mess from Just beyond Cub foods to the end of the path (where it T intersects). Cleaning this up would be a PRIME volunteer op for kids in that neighborhood. Do we have a contact at Allied Drive Comm org? This task covers lots of issues: the volunteer hours; cleaning the path; concern for neighborhood beauty and safety, etc. If we could plant this out there now, kids could get bikes before summer.

Just brainstorming

Organized Chaos...?

or chaotically organized? Does that even make sense?


Yo...I'm signed in and ready to roll. Thanks for posting, Jessica!

Perhaps Kim already emailed about this and I missed it over my vacation...but he took a broken xerox machine that Bike Fed donated and fixed it. So Wheels now has a nice newish copy machine valued at about $2,000 for the cost of a $75 part and Kim's time. Thanks Kim!

Crew of the Ship

What a great group. There's nowhere for wheels to go except for up!

Give me a week...

how new and exciting, I bet in a week, I'll be hooked on these things and have one of my own! Thanks Dar, for keeping me up-to-date in the e-communication world! and thanks for the delicious breakfast on saturday!

Gail, great facilitation of the process!

Wonderful brownies, Kim...hope your back is better, Julie! How are those volunteers coming, Mark?

See you all in the net!!


Welcome to the Wheels for Winners blog!

This blog is a means for the board of directors and other Wheels for Winners volunteers to communicate.