Thursday, September 28, 2006

W4W featured in RSVP Newsletter

Wheels for Winners is featured in the most recent RSVP newsletter. We are on the back cover, and the article was continued inside. The newsletter is not yet online (I think you can click on the title of this blog entry to go to RSVP website), but I assume they will eventually post it there.

There is a picture of yours truly working with Clarey, and a picture of bikes and a W4W graphic on the inside.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Saturday, in the shop... definitely not the 4th of July

Another nice Saturday in the Wheels Shop.

The Crew was the awesome father-son combo of Jay and Erick, plus the old timer, yours truly, Mark E. (gee... I think I'm coming up on my first anniversary in the joint!)

Here we are perusing the acres of bikes (kidding)

Weather was pleasant enough to raise the garage door. No crowds around the stadium to battle on my way in... and I brough a few carrot muffins we made... hope they aren't drawing flies on Charlotte's desktop!.

Erick, who is part of the Mentor program, is a cracker-jack mechanic. He has a sharp eye, and did a great job on the bike that I saw him working on. There were a few odd-ball issues (like a bent brake arm and non-original bearings, front and back, that weren't quite the right size to start with), and he tweaked them out just fine. He even figured out out how to tighten bearing sets while the wheel was Still mounted on the bike (hats off to Chuck Strawser for that trick!). I won't be surprised if he shows up in the back of Budget bike's repair shop someday.

Jay was hard at work, cleaning up some of the crate mess in one of the closets. He carved out a path to walk, and then sorted the helmets into sizes. Organization is key to keeping things under control.

Since our inventory is up (thanks in large part to the retrieval of some nice looking bikes from the barn in Marshall), organizing and breaking down bikes is a logical task. We broke down some of the rusty, gas-pipe road bikes that are accumulating in the racks. Jay is really a bull dog when it comes to getting the aluminum apart from the steel (going at it with hacksaws and everything). The trailer is ready to go with what looks like a well sorted mess-o-steel. We also have a large pile of trash tires. Is it Tuesday that is garbage night??

No bike earners this saturday. The season is definitely turning. On tuesday, I'll definietly need a headlight heading home.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Repaired Bikes Retrieved from Marshall!!

Sat., 9/16, 8 a.m. - Fred and Mark and I rendezvoused at W4W repair shop, emptied the trailer of scrap, hitched it up, drove to Marshall, WI, and retrieved 30 'repaired' bikes.

Half the bikes were taken to W4W where Mark and Don started cleaning them up and checking them over. 17 of the bikes were taken to to storage at the Ironworks.

So...if kids are looking for bikes, we should have 'em!

Ryan, a new volunteer showed up around 11 a.m.

So...Thanks to Fred and Mark and Don and Ryan. This has been hanging over our heads for many moons

Thanks too to Vance McCaw for storing the bikes for lo these many months. Bet he won't do that again soon.

A Note In Regard To Storage at Ironworks -

I talked to a woman named Megan. There is going to be some sort of art installation at the Ironworks and they want to use our space there. They are willing to move our bikes to a different, less-accessible area of the Ironworks from October 6th through October 29th. The bikes wouldn't be totally inaccessible, just harder to get to.
I don't see a problem with about anyone else? Megan's ph. number is 852-3280, email is
The bikes are kinda sorted out. If anybody wants to see the bikes and the space, contact me and we can go over and maybe tag the bikes to keep the groups cohesive.


- Kim

Friday, September 08, 2006

Richard opening this Sat., Sept. 9th

I forgot to give a public 'Thank You' to Richard Castelnuovo for opening the W4W shop this Sat. , 9/9. Hooray!

I assume Don Schantz will open the third Sat. of the month, 9/16.

I will open Sept. 30.

Can anyone open the shop Sept. 23rd?

Thurs., Sept. 7 at the Shop...

The mosquitoes were fierce in the shop! What's up with that? I wanted to light the citronella candles that Dar left, but no-one had any matches. These bikers are such health-nuts.

Jay Fruehling and Richard Castelnuovo and I were in attendance. Jay is now a keyholder to the shop.

Jay suggested that if anyone wants to tag bikes to be stripped, it would help him and others.

- Kim

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tuesday Night: Moving into Maintenance Mode

Tuesday night in the shop... alas, Jay decided to take the week off... so i was running solo.

We're seeing lots of donations, but most of them are larger, adult bikes -- some marginal, some useable. We'll have to make decision about them (if we can afford to store them), or move 'em on out! We just are short of "peg space" to hang stuff like that (I need to ditch that old Dunnelt over the truing stand... a cool bike but just a wee bit too beat up).

I spent my shift going thru the PILES, looking for junk bikes and moved them to the JUNK/RECYCLE pile outside (small, totally beat single speed/bmx/barbie bikes with pretzelled wheels, lots of rust, rusty chains... OR just unattractive, larger rusty bikes). I was alone in the shop last night, but the next time there is a crew of us, I will take on the back 'aisle' and clear out what looks like a lot of ignored inventory, stray rims, and other junk that is back there because... it might be not worth repairing (perhaps that is why they have been hanging back there for years?) . PLUS, if we do have decent inventory elsewhere (Ironworks, Marshall) that may be in better shape, we could shift those bikes into spots cleared in the back row.

Made some room in front of the 'pet cage' pile to park potential projects. We are sorely short of repaired, medium sized bikes, so I extracted a couple geared bikes in that size and set them out for the day shift to take on. Had to turn away a young Earner last week because there was not a bike in her size (dats a tough thing to do!). I set up a ladder in front of the 'cage' to clear off BMX bikes from that stack... but it was just scary doing it without help. Maybe next time. Also, we are getting bins of misc unuseable parts, extracted from torn down bikes. Will need to figure out a trash container that the city will accept and get this stuff out of the shop. It's getting dang hard to move around some of the rooms!

It's a lovely time, early autumn... the shop is a fun place to be, in all of its dishevelled glory, with the garage door up and cool air filtering in. The 'skeeters are back for a second round, and they nailed me here and there... but not bad enough to shut the place up. I test rode a few bikes for worthiness prior to classification, and tooled over to the next lot where I could see the pink sunset sky. Something meloncholy and uplifting about this time of year.

The ride home was breezy, but night is falling earlier now. Rolling thru the darkness is made slightly easier by the work of BFW, the city, and other civic groups... as I am able to stay on paved paths for over HALF of my ride home (the Park St connector path is da BOMB!) My double-barrelled head light showed the way. Phantom, unlit riders approached, and I was glad to have illumination. Riding at night without lighting and without helmets? Some riders are just plain Stupid. I raced a couple rabbits in the dark along the SW path. Inhaled a few insects (pure protein!)

Life is good.