Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Another breezy Tuesday in the Shop

It rained lightly as I biked in after work... but not hard enough to dampen any spirits.

The Shop is looking pretty crowded with lots of bike donations and bikes needing inspection. Looks like we will need to shift some bikes to the Atwood storage facility.

I got a couple calls from bike donors, and then a call from Paul, a contact at Bayview, who was bringing some Earn a Bike folks. Sure enough, they came about 20 minutes later, and then the circus was on! There were 5 earrners, plus forms that entitled a couple much younger kids to a bike. Phew! Just prior to their arrival, Sean J. called, indicating that he had a Bike Earner to bring in as well, and he'd pitch in with processing the other group. (Thanks and a tip of the hat to him!) Between the two of us, we got the papers filled out and helmets fitted. Plus I managed to almost put the finishing touch on a small bike I have been refurbishing.

I had a couple thoughts:
I spent some time looking for kickstands for two of the Earn-a-Bike bikes (not sure why they did not have stands already). Sean produced a box with NEW black stands -- the more appropriate for that vintage bike. I had spent some minutes pawing thru a crate of REALLY OLD kickstands. Got me thinking: Maybe we need to go thru some of the crates of stuff and decide if we need to keep it all. Some of the 'stands' for example, look like they came off bikes that were 20-30 years old. None fit the new bikes. It's getting touch to walk thru that middle room anymore. So an assessment of 'stock' parts is in order to make space.

Maybe a group of us should make spot decisions about which bikes have NO potential for restoration (especially ones hanging on hooks). I hate to ditch donations, but we need space.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Bike Bike

I only stayed for the first day of the conference, but Bike Bike seemed to be going well. I gave a presentation on Safe Routes to School...but all people wanted to know about was how we run Wheels for Winners.

There was a fellow there...I think from Bickas in Arizona...and he was saying that they run 8 week mechanics classes that they charge $80 for...all ages. I think each session was 2 hours long and had two instuctors. During the 8 weeks each participant rebuilds a bike for their Earn a Bike program....and at the end of the class they can pick a bike to rebuild for themselves. It was an interesting idea for future ways to generate income.

There were about 80 attendees at the conference.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Monona Garage Sale - Part II

We all owe Sean a hearty "Thank You!"

Through Sean's efforts, Wheels for Winners made $243 and got rid of stuff.

Sean returned the unsold stuff to the shop Sunday, unloaded it and put the recycling back in the trailer. He mentioned he may not have gotten everything put away quite where it originally was. I say, not to worry....

Sean says thanks to everyone at Wheels that helped get the word out.

The wiring for the trailer lights came undone while Sean was hauling stuff. I'll take a look at it.

Sean also raised over $800 for

He said that he "never imagined collecting over $1,000 at a garage sale :- ) What an exciting event!"

Friday, May 19, 2006

Monona Garage Sale

Sean J. picked up a trailer load of stuff last night (Thurs., May 18) for the Monona Community Yard Sale. If you've got time swing by (601 W. Dean Ave.) and tell others to do so also.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

TV Coverage this morning

Colleen Hayes from Sherman Middle School did an interview on NBC 15 at 6:30am this morning to promote Bike to School Day (part of Bike to Work Week) and in the interview she mentioned Wheels for Winners, the requirements to earn a bike, and showed the web address. Randol White made a big deal out of what a great program it was and asked for the website to be shown a second time. She did a great job...the only rough spot was when Randol asked her where Wheels got its funding and she didn't know...but she did say that it was run by all volunteers and Randol said "well I hope that they continue be funded where ever the money comes from"

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Followup from last night's meeting

1. I have sent thank yous to Roger Charley at Budget, Jeff at Revolution, Ambra at REI, and Habush, Habush, and Rotier. I think that gets us up to date on thank you notes...turns out the ones I thought I was backed up on I did a few months ago. I sent Charolette file copies of the thank yous.

2. I also contacted Ellison Bentley (Chuck Strawser's wife) about doing some regular hours...she can't do anything until after June 25th. I asked Chuck to pester his mechanic friends too

W4W Listing in 'The Isthmus'

Wheels for Winners is in the online edition of the Isthmus' 'The Daily Page'. I think I have linked this blog entry to the correct webpage, it is under the 'Good Works' category. Or you can try,
Evidently these things are printed in the actual paper only on a space available basis unless we choose to pay for a listing. Looks like it will stay in the webpage until the end of the year.


New on-line calendar

Today is my day to catch up on Wheels stuff from the last 6 months that I've you'll hear from me alot today.

First order of the board meeting last night I was charged with creating an on-line interactive calendar for the purposes of "to-do" list stuff and events. I've started one and we'll see if we like the application or not.

You can go there and enter anything you like...

I will get a permanent link up soon here on the blog so it is easy for everyone to find. I am busy entering the information from the to-do spreadsheet I created right by the end of the day it should be more full

More soon

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Reminder: Community Bike Conference

Just a reminder:National conference for community bike programs May 26-29 in Milwaukee

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Tuesday Night At the Wheels Shop

Time for another Shop BLOG (from the blog-o-sphere)

Tuesday Night at the W4W shop...

Berit and I opened up, and she set to work tearing down one of the surplus bikes (have we got bikes... and a few klunkers too). I was helping her get a rusty brake lever off when a group of 6 walked in to get bikes. Yee-ha!
We ran the garage door up seeing as it was nice enough out, and the earners looked over the stock from both ends of the aisle. I extracted the bikes, adjusted seats, and set them off test riding and then answered questions. They were thrilled!
As I finished off the waivers and passed out stickers and licenses, Ryan, a potential volunteer that I have been conversing with thru e-mail, strolled in. Yee-Ha!! I rifled thru the file drawer, found a volunteer app, and sat him down to fill it out as the five bikes went out the door.... and just as two more earners walked in. Yee-ha!!

They picked out a couple bikes, took them for test rides, and then we fitted helmets. Ryan hung out a bit and we chatted about what he did and when he might be interested in pitching in (he is a carpenter by trade). We'll let Charlotte do her magic and then give him a call.

And then Richard shows up. Yee-ha!! With a box of 800 1/4" ball bearings that he got a huge deal on! Yee-ha!! Berit spent a few minutes on homework while Richard straightened out a wheel on the truing stand. Steve Miller, The Rolling Stones, and The Moody Blues played on the radio. A light rain fell outside.

Richard stayed on after 8 PM. As Berit and I left, I picked up a few rims that had been scattered on the ground by the door. Hmm... what's this? A-ha! 4 sets of French 'sew up' rims (Fiamme and others) Yee-ha!! Now I don't want these crazy things, but they are worth upwards of 30 bucks a pair to purists that collect and use 'tubular' tire-wheels. Set them aside for the swap or for a special sale. They would fetch many 'helmets and locks.'

Nuff for now.... nuthin' like hangin' at the shop.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Repair Supplies, Chris Taballerio leaving...

Finally, finally, finally....I got an order of bike supply parts through. Brake cables, shifter cables, cable housing, cable end crimps, and ball bearings. And at a great price! This was a process that has taken almost 6 months!!! If you are ever at Revolution Cycle and/or otherwise see Jeff, be sure to thank him. It was kind of a pain for him to set up the account. He did it to support us and bicycling in the community. It would be nice to send him some sort of acknowledgement.

We will be needing other stuff soon or now....more blue grease, orange hand cleaner, paper towels/shop towels. Anybody going to Farm & Fleet and want to buy this stuff and be re-imbursed? I will get together a firm list.

I dropped by last Sat. (May 6) Chris Taballerio (sp?) is leaving town for New York City. He has been our first Sat. of the month guy for opening the shop and a good mechanic. What to do, what to do? It would be a pretty low-key committment to open the shop one Sat. a month.

FYI - Nick Birch at High Impact next door to the shop says that High Impact would do signage or stickers or t-shirts or other promotional stuff at a 'significant discount'...whatever that means.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Speaking of bikes to sell: Peugeot

I guess this goes to the 'save for the swap' thread or do we post it?

I hung a Peugeot frame on a peg in the first room (w/the stool)
White with some nice chrome on the forks
Medium size
Peugeot brakes intact
Looks like an early-mid 70's frame, light for a steel frame

these types of steel frames are lusted after by those single/fixed gear 'I-hang-out-at-Revolution-cycles' bombers and might fetch a few bucks (err... pay for a few helmets).
so I did not toss it on the recycle heap

Thursday, May 04, 2006

50 helmets from Habush; outside of Madison; 3-wheel bike

I unpacked and put away 50 helmets from Habush, Habush & Rotier this evening.
They are very nice, Bell brand helmets. They have cool grafix on them, half with flames and half with a more floral design. The are for older/larger kids.

Ricardo Perez was the name on the packing slip...not sure if he is a lawyer or a shipping clerk.

Dar, do you have a contact name at H H & R? We really gotta give them a big thanks.


One message was left by Jeni Lujan, a Dane Co. Health Nurse (242-6533). She wanted to know if the Earn-A-Bike program was open to kids outside of Madison. As far as I know, the answer is yes. Comments?


Marge 845-7102 has a son who has, umm, Cerebral Palsy or something like that. They are replacing his old 3-wheel bike with a new one, want to know if we want the old one to fix up. It may take up a lot of space and I am not sure where or to whom we would give it away. Nonetheless, my inclination is to tell her yes, please. What do you think?


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

i'm in!

hey board...i'm finally in--i've been out a lot...but the last couple of days i've gotten refocused on w4w--as you can see by the rei application...i thought we had until may 31 to get it in--but yesterday audra was like, "hurry up and do it asap..." so i hope what i submitted gets us some $$$

i'll be in slc and jackson wyoming may 10-14 visiting with my son and daughter-in-law, so i'll miss the bike fiesta and our board meeting...sorry! drink a beer for me:-))))

Sell a Bike?

Chuck Strawser would like to buy the little green Schwinn with the banana seat that was for sale at the Swap...anyone know what we asked for it?

Possible fundraiser

In the future...when a big bike sale or show is coming up, we may want to consider asking if qualified folks can help out with assembling bikes (for instance...for BikeORama)...then those folks could donate what they get paid to Wheels. We could even promote this as a way for folks who aren't as good of mechanics to learn more.

Monday, May 01, 2006

W4W is REI Non-Profit of the Month (May)

W4W is REI Non-Profit of the Month for the month of May.
I have added a link on the W4W website to REI's website where they talk about this.
Gail is trying to get the REI grant proposal in.
Ambra of REI wants to do a "Grant Presentation" on June 10th. I originally thought they wanted us to present a proposal, but it looks like she wants to present us with the grant! Anybody's guess how this will all work out, but keep your fingers crossed.