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  1. #26
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    One fact about the bike collective in Des Moines is its commitment to keep bikes out of landfills. In fact, they spend a lot of time and volunteer resources dismantling bikes that have no sales potential. Unfortunately at present they are getting only $1 a frame from the recycler.

  2. #27
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    One fact about the bike collective in Des Moines is its commitment to keep bikes out of landfills. In fact, they spend a lot of time and volunteer resources dismantling bikes that have no sales potential. Unfortunately at present they are getting only $1 a frame from the recycler.
    The price of scrap is so low right now that many recyclers are going out of business. If this deflation continues, the recycling infrastructure--built over the past 40 years--is in danger of collapsing. The landfills will fill up quickly, I'm afraid.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  3. #28
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    Another use for bikes that can't be made rideable again.

    If recyclers won't take them, perhaps you could use them to make some of these.

  4. #29
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Ok. So I finally did it. Got up this morning and headed down to the bike collective. In a rare moment of bike lust, I decided I needed two bikes, one for me and one for my son at college.




    The manager was a nice guy working on bikes and selling and instructing wrenches at the same time. I offered to help and he asked if I had ever worked on cleaning up a headset. I said no, but I had repaired my hub bearing. "Close enough", he said and I stayed there another two hours working on a Trek. He popped over every 10 minutes to guide me, but I pretty much got through it OK. At least the Trek has smooth steering now.

    I'm thinking about heading back next week... wrenching seems to suit me.

    When I got home with the two bikes, my wife laughed, paused silently and then sort of looked at me like I was turning into this guy.

    When addiction becomes madness, lightweight group photo time!

    Am I?
    Last edited by gerv; 01-17-09 at 02:34 PM.

  5. #30
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Bikes are a little different from cars. You can pick up a bike from the 80s and spend $100 in it and have a first-class vehicle. Cars degrade much faster. So for the LBS, the used bike market has got to be a major impediment. The only thing I can think of is if the LBS became a source of quality parts as well as new bikes. Generally I find this isn't the case. You have to look to the Internet for parts at a reasonable price.
    As far as the LBS and used bikes are concerned, it may depend on the local pawn shop regulations. My LBS would need a pawn shop license -- and all the red tape that goes with it -- before they could legitimately sell used bikes (apparently, they'd even need a foodservice license if they wanted to sell Clif bars and gel packets here).

    I've liked this thread, too. Sometimes my LBS feels like a co-op when I think about the amount of access they've given me.

  6. #31
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    When I got home with the two bikes, my wife laughed, paused silently and then sort of looked at me like I was turning into this guy.

    When addiction becomes madness, lightweight group photo time!

    Am I?
    You might be...not that there's anything wrong with that.

    One thing I noticed about the C&V guy is that his bikes all look the same. And the two bikes you got at the co-op look pretty similar (to each other). Maybe you should convert one to a FG and spray paint it purple. Or weld the two frames together and make a tall bike. And spray paint it purple. The co-op would probably help you with that conversion.


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  7. #32
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    As far as the LBS and used bikes are concerned, it may depend on the local pawn shop regulations. My LBS would need a pawn shop license -- and all the red tape that goes with it -- before they could legitimately sell used bikes (apparently, they'd even need a foodservice license if they wanted to sell Clif bars and gel packets here).

    I've liked this thread, too. Sometimes my LBS feels like a co-op when I think about the amount of access they've given me.
    That is interesting...talk about invasive local government!

    One of my LBS's sells used bikes they take on trade as well as some higher end consignment stuff. The other occasionally sells a higher end trade. The first LBS will take just about any bike with any value on trade, because they understand that not everyone can afford a brand new bike. They draw the line at the double suspended WM stuff though. Mainly because they over a warranty and 90 day checkover even on the used stuff. BTW sell clif bars and that gooey gel crap in the packets...me I would rather have a large sweet tea as an energy booster.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    BTW sell clif bars and that gooey gel crap in the packets...me I would rather have a large sweet tea as an energy booster.

    Aaron
    As a diabetic, I appreciate the "gooey gel crap." When I have a Low Blood Sugar attack, I can't take time to find a restaurant---I need to get some sugar into me NOW.

  9. #34
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    That is interesting...talk about invasive local government!

    One of my LBS's sells used bikes they take on trade as well as some higher end consignment stuff. The other occasionally sells a higher end trade. The first LBS will take just about any bike with any value on trade, because they understand that not everyone can afford a brand new bike. They draw the line at the double suspended WM stuff though. Mainly because they over a warranty and 90 day checkover even on the used stuff. BTW sell clif bars and that gooey gel crap in the packets...me I would rather have a large sweet tea as an energy booster.

    Aaron
    My LBS sells crappy overpriced used bikes (and energy bars). I buy my bikes at a local pawn shop--clean bikes, very well repaired and often in cherry condition.

    Another pawn shop had a nice looking road bike marked for $79. I didn't have enough money with me to buy it. I went back to buy it the next day, but they had marked it up to $640. I checked it on Ebay and the same model/year was going for $1300 and more. So keep your eye out for bargains, and be prepared to buy a good bike even if you don't need it right now.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  10. #35
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    This just opened near my house!!!! I AM SO HAPPYYYYYY!

    http://sacbikekitchen.org/

  11. #36
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkhound View Post
    As a diabetic, I appreciate the "gooey gel crap." When I have a Low Blood Sugar attack, I can't take time to find a restaurant---I need to get some sugar into me NOW.
    Glad you like it...and I hope you dispose of your empties responsibly. FWIW I toured many a mile with a diabetic friend, he used some type of tablets as well as M&M's to keep his under control.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Glad you like it...and I hope you dispose of your empties responsibly. FWIW I toured many a mile with a diabetic friend, he used some type of tablets as well as M&M's to keep his under control.

    Aaron
    My dietician says that chocolate good because the fat slows the absorbing of the sugar. The tablets are OK, but you have to chew them.

  13. #38
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    That is interesting...talk about invasive local government!
    I think that the gov't is trying to keep accountability among pawn shops. If lots of retailers were allowed to sell used goods, then the police would have a hell of a time trying to keep things straight -- and the police need to stay involved because of how much stolen property goes into pawn shops here (even my stolen tuba was found at a pawn shop).

    It's the old "actions of a few ruin the fun for many" thing.

  14. #39
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    I think that the gov't is trying to keep accountability among pawn shops. If lots of retailers were allowed to sell used goods, then the police would have a hell of a time trying to keep things straight -- and the police need to stay involved because of how much stolen property goes into pawn shops here (even my stolen tuba was found at a pawn shop).

    It's the old "actions of a few ruin the fun for many" thing.
    Do they also prevent the online service like Craigslist and eBay from selling used? This regulation seems a little odd and I bet it's on the books, but seldom enforced.

    Sort of like speeding is for cagers.

  15. #40
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkhound View Post
    As a diabetic, I appreciate the "gooey gel crap." When I have a Low Blood Sugar attack, I can't take time to find a restaurant---I need to get some sugar into me NOW.
    Wouldn't a much less expensive and easy to carry candy bar or two, available anywhere, work just as well? And taste a lot better too?

  16. #41
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Maybe you should convert one to a FG and spray paint it purple. Or weld the two frames together and make a tall bike. And spray paint it purple. The co-op would probably help you with that conversion.
    Rattle can purple fixed gear? Great idea. Maybe I can get gold spangles to dangle from the bar ends

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
    Wouldn't a much less expensive and easy to carry candy bar or two, available anywhere, work just as well? And taste a lot better too?
    No; candy bars are mostly chocolate-based and have fat in them; fat slows down the absorption of sugar, and when a diabetic is having a low-sugar episode the important thing is getting the sugar into his bloodstream as fast as possible. Fruit juice is best, or soda. Drugstores actually sell a glucose gel in a tube specifically for diabetics, and some diabetes educators recommend the frosting in a tube that they sell for cake decorating. The cycling gel packs are actually less expensive than the diabetic tubes, and draw less attention to oneself in a group ride than the icing tube. (The tour leaders know I'm diabetic, but I don't like to draw attention to myself.)

    I actually am not a brittle diabetic, so I don't get low episodes very often. That's another issue--particularly in the summer if I had a candy bar it might well melt on me before I needed it.

  18. #43
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Since this thread got started, I have been volunteering with our local "bike collective".

    I'm amazed that the bike coop is an example of a business of the future. One interesting feature: no dumpster in the back. Almost everything gets recycled, even down to the level of derailleur parts.

    Of course, to stay on top of things, a lot more attention has to go into filing all this old stuff away. It seems to take up about half of what gets done on a daily basis.

    Still, all this "junk" really comes in handy when you know where to find it. I worked on a build of a French tourer from the 70s the other day. The bike had no rear wheel or derailleur when it arrived, but we were able to find all good quality parts pretty quickly.

    Imagine trying to perform the same trick when all your parts were sent to the land fill.

  19. #44
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    I think that the gov't is trying to keep accountability among pawn shops. If lots of retailers were allowed to sell used goods, then the police would have a hell of a time trying to keep things straight -- and the police need to stay involved because of how much stolen property goes into pawn shops here (even my stolen tuba was found at a pawn shop).

    It's the old "actions of a few ruin the fun for many" thing.
    Good point...around here the pawnshops record serial and model numbers of anything that gets pawned, supposedly the police come around and check the records against reported stolen stuff...that is the theory, but I suspect it doesn't always work that way in reality. We also have several large flea markets in the area, as well as dozens more in the surrounding counties, AFAIK those are only checked when there is a complaint.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

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  20. #45
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    I dug up this older thread because it seemed to be a newish phenomenon and more and more people were getting involved in one way or another.

    Is anyone now volunteering at a bike co-op or kitchen?

  21. #46
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    I'm still volunteering at bike co-ops. I started at Plan B in New Orleans and am now helping at Bike Recycle Vermont in Burlington.

    I'm actually on a extended tour around the country, visiting and volunteering at bike co-ops around the nation. Since the genesis of each bike co-op is a unique-local event, the variety in operating models is fascinating.

  22. #47
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    I'm still volunteering at bike co-ops. I started at Plan B in New Orleans and am now helping at Bike Recycle Vermont in Burlington.

    I'm actually on a extended tour around the country, visiting and volunteering at bike co-ops around the nation. Since the genesis of each bike co-op is a unique-local event, the variety in operating models is fascinating
    .
    If you can find the time, would you mind sketching out some of the operating models for us?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  23. #48
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    I'm still volunteering at bike co-ops. I started at Plan B in New Orleans and am now helping at Bike Recycle Vermont in Burlington.

    I'm actually on a extended tour around the country, visiting and volunteering at bike co-ops around the nation. Since the genesis of each bike co-op is a unique-local event, the variety in operating models is fascinating.
    Hey when you get out to the Midwest check out Bike Library in Iowa City, IA. That is the first co-op I have seen set up like it is. Unfortunately it is only open one day a week right now.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    If you can find the time, would you mind sketching out some of the operating models for us?
    I've only visited 3 co-ops so far, but there were several differences. One is open a few times a week when volunteers were there, one is open 24hrs a day with coded entry and no volunteers necessarily present, and the other has paid staff and volunteers who kept regular business hours during the week. One co-op's volunteers only teach and assist others in building and repairing bikes, another holds repair classes but has no special guidelines for the role of volunteers, and the other's volunteers are primarily involved in repairing and building bikes for customers. (who have to fall into a low income bracket) One co-op is supported only by the sale of donated bikes and parts, one charges membership fees and has the patronage of a local business owner, one is supported by sales of donated bikes and parts as well as the local cycling advocacy organization. One co-op is even currently embroiled in a power struggle between snooty fixed-gear riders and those who wanted to allow everyone to use the facility.(I know the fixed gear riders sound like they're in the wrong, but the situation is more complicated than can be summed up in a sentence) The primary mission of one co-op is to provide transportation for a large refugee population that has immigrated into town.

  25. #50
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    I've only visited 3 co-ops so far, but there were several differences. One is open a few times a week when volunteers were there, one is open 24hrs a day with coded entry and no volunteers necessarily present, and the other has paid staff and volunteers who kept regular business hours during the week. One co-op's volunteers only teach and assist others in building and repairing bikes, another holds repair classes but has no special guidelines for the role of volunteers, and the other's volunteers are primarily involved in repairing and building bikes for customers. (who have to fall into a low income bracket) One co-op is supported only by the sale of donated bikes and parts, one charges membership fees and has the patronage of a local business owner, one is supported by sales of donated bikes and parts as well as the local cycling advocacy organization. One co-op is even currently embroiled in a power struggle between snooty fixed-gear riders and those who wanted to allow everyone to use the facility.(I know the fixed gear riders sound like they're in the wrong, but the situation is more complicated than can be summed up in a sentence) The primary mission of one co-op is to provide transportation for a large refugee population that has immigrated into town.
    The Des Moines co-op seems like one of these. It is mainly involved in selling donated bikes or giving them to various charities. However, it has been around for less than 2 years I think, so this may be part of the model -- it's evolving. The board members would like to get into a variety of acitivites, like training and perhaps turning the place into a sort of bike kitchen. However, it can only develop as resources emerge. Thus far, it has been doing OK at getting volunteers to help with repairs and just generally keeping its head above water.

    Perhaps some of the differences you describe in these 3 locations have something to do with the local bike culture. If individuals show up who are expert and can teach, the co-op takes on training. If an army of fixed-gear riders show up at the door, pretty soon the place is a great spot to pick up a vintage derailleur.

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