Monday, December 04, 2006

Winter Projects: Gettin' the shop ship shaped

Hey Wheelies

As mentioned in a BLOG-GO-Riffic entry by Kim, the shop has become a wild and crazy place with stuff all over. Heck, I worked on Tuesday night, took note of the influx of donations and what-not (what-not has got to be an official entry in Websters now), and then I came back on Saturday and there were piles more stuff -- inside and out. Moving about has become more like an obstacle course.

I set aside a couple old steel roadies (and that HUGE Schwinn... like Shaquille O'Neil huge) and posted them on Craigslist...to recycle them back into the biking community, get them off the hooks, and put a few bucks in the donation jar. Two takers for the frames already, and they paid more than the modest amount that I posted. There is a taker for the GARGANTUAN schwinn who is coming Tuesday. (I think this thing is like 67CM! 36" stand-over height)

A cool side effect of the posting and moving of these humble frames is... a new way of getting the word out and getting Volunteers. I post in a generic way, but if they reply to me, I reply with a brief description of the mission and purpose of W4W, including the web page. All reply saying how cool it is, that they were unaware of W4W, and about half want volunteer apps so they can get in the shop and help. Of course getting the app and getting them in the shop are two different things, but the ones that do come in are enthusiastic. One fella even looked at our hours, and figured when he could help (he'd come in during the day!) So I'm hoping this subliminal method of recruiting volunteers will bear fruit.

Shop Organzation Ideas:

Since it is Winter, and we have a large inventory of fixed, ready-to-go bikes, I think we should turn out shop tasks to making the shop more useable (vs. repairing bikes)

1. Reduce Stockpile of parts
We have a HUGE pile of crummy-ish saddles and seat posts, crapola Ashtabula cranks, and no-name derailleurs (and brakes, and on and on). I think we need to get realistic about how many we need to keep (I know... as soon as we pitch that 40 year old, ashtabula crank, here comes the bike that needs one... NOT!) There is precious little room left in the washbasin closet because the saddle crates are taking over.
I don't see why a couple workers can't go thru and be brutal about ditching a few crates. Saddles with tears, ugly, etc. Cranks that are cheapo pressed steel junk (w/o crank bolts, etc) Ditch 'em. We are getting so many bikes that are in great shape that we are seeing less need for a DEEP parts inventory. Nuts and bolts? Okay. Crappy no-name gear changers and cheesy brakes, cranks, saddles... away!

2. Tires
I think we used to pile the used, worn out tires outside the door, and they would be hauled to the street on garbage night. I have done this, only to see them hauled back in, now taking up space in an ever growing pile of 'gray matter' near the front of the shop. We have several crates of 20, 24, 26, 27" tubes, new, in their boxes. We have also received a great many tire donations, new, un used tires, of all sizes. I question the need to save worn out tires any more.

3. Wheels
We have gotten quite a tide of (mostly old steel) wheels in the back aisle (who is afraid to go back there anymore? Raise our hands). With the number of bikes arriving, we get additional useable wheels from bikes that are parted out. I don't see why we need to save the old steel wheels anymore (or at least as many). They can be recycled whole, and we can focus on saving alloy (aluminum) wheels for replacements (an upgrade)
Also on the Back Aisle: Perhaps we need to make some brutal assessments of those bikes back there... they've been there a while.

4. Bikes
I see a posting in Craigslist
Freewheel Kids Bike donation link
Where they want donations of kids bikes. Perhaps we should share the wealth and by doing this, opening up new avenuse of communications with Freewheel

5.Bikes
It's hard to come up with solid criteria for what is a repairable bike and what is junk, but maybe we need to.

6. Moving Bikes
I think we need to maybe move some stuff to ironworks (I think Kim covered this)

Okay... that's enough rambling for me. My quest for something else to do goes on. I'm working on my holiday wood-cut card. it might get done by the end of the holidaze.

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