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  1. #1
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Does anyone volunteer?

    I've been helping at the local bicycle co-op for the last 4 months. I originally had high aspirations of donating some time to a worthy cause, but I soon found out I had a dark, selfish side to this venture.

    I learned an enormous amount about bike wrenching and also about older bicycles... so much so that I'm now kind of hooked on the activity... I no longer go for the high aspiration reason, just for the fun aspect.

    Does anyone have a volunteer story? Bike kitchen? Bike co-op?

  2. #2
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I'm on the board of the Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas. So I'm slowly but surely learning more about how to make Arkansas a better place to bicycle. And working on promoting specific projects within the state. I also go to events like the Earth Day exhibition and work with the public to encourage them to ride, and I coordinate our entry into local parades.

    It also means getting involved more in with politics. Last month, BACA sent me to Washington DC for the National Bike Summit. So I got a couple of days of fast learning about national bike issues, networking with avid bicyclists from all over the nation topped off with a day spent lobbying with my state representatives on Capitol Hill for bike related bills and the Congressional Bike Ride.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    I'm involved in a number of volunteer efforts but none of them are bike-related.

    In every case, I'm involved because I believe in the cause or organization, I'm able to contribute in a meaningful way and I'm having fun. If any of those factors change, it's time for me to rethink my involvement. This spring, I'll be backing down from one board simply because I no longer have the time to give it the time it deserves. I hope to get involved with this group again in the future.

    I've found I can only work with two or three organizations at any time. Otherwise I'm overloaded.

    As far as cycling, I've done basic bike maintenance for friends. There's also one boy I know who loves cycling and wants to learn how to ride longer distances. I've been getting out for rides with him. (I know him because he lives beside my workplace. He has few friends his age so he appreciates any social contact.)
    Life is good.

  4. #4
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    I'm on the board of the Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas. So I'm slowly but surely learning more about how to make Arkansas a better place to bicycle. And working on promoting specific projects within the state. I also go to events like the Earth Day exhibition and work with the public to encourage them to ride, and I coordinate our entry into local parades.

    It also means getting involved more in with politics. Last month, BACA sent me to Washington DC for the National Bike Summit. So I got a couple of days of fast learning about national bike issues, networking with avid bicyclists from all over the nation topped off with a day spent lobbying with my state representatives on Capitol Hill for bike related bills and the Congressional Bike Ride.
    Interesting. Just how did you get involved in this group? Did you attend meetings, voice you opinions? Or did you simply run into another cyclist on the street?

    I think bicycle advocacy is at a critical point right now. Things could develop that would really help the cycling community... or not.

  5. #5
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Interesting. Just how did you get involved in this group? Did you attend meetings, voice you opinions? Or did you simply run into another cyclist on the street?

    I think bicycle advocacy is at a critical point right now. Things could develop that would really help the cycling community... or not.
    Well, when I moved from California to Arkansas, I went from 8 foot wide shoulders on freshly paved asphalt with drivers accustomed to bikes, to 3 inch wide shoulders that were eaten away by potholes and drivers who assumed that cars were the only rightful occupants of the road. I knew that something needed to be done and that I had to help. I feel guilty because I think I should do more, but my unemployment has me uncertain of where I will be in the future, so I shy away from longer commitments, but focus on just helping event by event.

    So I looked on-line and found BACA. At the same time I was getting a divorce and as a present to myself, I bought a Giant Stiletto chopper. I wanted a place to ride it and discovered that the local holiday parade was coming up. So at my first BACA meeting, I got up and told people about the parade and got people to sign up to ride with me in it. Since then, I've been an active member, helping out at activities like our booth at Earth Day, and at the next elections I was asked to run for a seat on the Board and I was elected.

    I agree, that now is a critical time for Bicycling advocacy. People are more aware now of bikes. The $4.00 price for gas surge opened their eyes a little and combined with traffic gridlock and the need for more exercise, eyes are opening and its time to press our case and get more people interested. Little Rock has begun by improving recreational facilities with the Big Dam Bridge and the RiverTrail. Its a small start. Little Rock, the Capitol city seems to be less willing to do it than their smaller neighbor across the river, North Little Rock, and North Little Rocks side is complete and better. I have been told that this is very similar to the situation with Omaha/Council Bluffs. And the Little Rock mayor has talked of creating a bicycle corridor from west Little Rock to downtown Little Rock, but so far that has just been lip service.

    There is so much room to grow. Copenhagen and Little Rock are about the same size in population. There are over 28,000 bicycle commuters in Copenhagen, and probably less than 100 in Little Rock. So its amazing the changes that could take place. But I'm not going to hold my breath, just keep working on what is.

    I personally think that anyone who is car-free because they think it's a better way to go should be involved in improving the bicycling facilities in their area.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 04-05-09 at 12:42 PM.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  6. #6
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    I am hoping to do more this year by being a cycling instructor for the league of american bicyclists. My personal interests are helping people feel more comfortable commuting in traffic, whether it be for first time commuters or people wanting to do errands and getting them comfortable with basic bike maintenance. I've helped with 2 bike safety events held during gym class for kids which was pretty fun.

    I try to help with sustainability projects at our housing co-op and some smaller city bike projects. I used to do more mountain bike advocacy but have shifted focus quite a bit.

  7. #7
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickel View Post
    I am hoping to do more this year by being a cycling instructor for the league of american bicyclists.
    That's an important thing to do. Locally we are actively trying to increase the number of LCIs. Keep up the good work.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  8. #8
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    That's an important thing to do. Locally we are actively trying to increase the number of LCIs. Keep up the good work.
    There was a massive training session last year which almost tripled the number of LCIs in our state. Since most of these are located in the metro area, there is now a push to send us to all of the smaller cities to train LCIs so that we can make greater gains state-wise. I think it is best, especially with the increasing number of people using their bikes as transportation. Hoping particularly it will quell motor-vehicle/alternative vehicle altercations.

  9. #9
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickel View Post
    There was a massive training session last year which almost tripled the number of LCIs in our state. Since most of these are located in the metro area, there is now a push to send us to all of the smaller cities to train LCIs so that we can make greater gains state-wise. I think it is best, especially with the increasing number of people using their bikes as transportation. Hoping particularly it will quell motor-vehicle/alternative vehicle altercations.
    Do you have any information on these programs? Any Internet links?

  10. #10
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    I volunteer a lot but only one of the regular groups has to do with bikes. I did a lot of volunteer work in Tijuana when I lived in San Diego and a lot of general community clean up as well. I was involved with the sacramento Bicycle Kitchen as well as a number of LGBT groups.

  11. #11
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Do you have any information on these programs? Any Internet links?
    seminar schedule: http://www.bikeleague.org/cogs/progr...minar_schedule

    for iowa specifically: http://www.bikeleague.org/cogs/resou...=32&submit.y=5

  12. #12
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    I volunteer at one of the local bike co-ops, the New Orleans Community Bike Project aka 'Plan B'. I started volunteering there because, while attending college I focused on my studies and didn't really give back but I promised myself I would change this once I was out of school. I wanted to find a way to volunteer that I felt would be worthwhile to others, enjoyable for me, and would play to my strengths, ie, I'm a mechanically-inclined engineer who loves bicycles and enjoys teaching others and helping them become more self-sufficient. I think I may have been destined to work at a bike co-op!

    I have a question concerning becoming an LCI. There are sometimes when I disobey traffic laws for safety reasons or simply convenience. (provided I don't interfere with another road users right of way) I'm guessing if I was to become an LCI I would have to go 'by the book'?

  13. #13
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    Well unless they tattoo 'LCI' on your forehead, I don't think you have anything to worry about.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickel View Post
    Well unless they tattoo 'LCI' on your forehead, I don't think you have anything to worry about.
    Haha, that would match my Scarlet B for Bicyclist just fine. I was more wondering about if I would have to instruct by the book when I personally only use the book for a quick reference every once in a while?

  15. #15
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    Haha, that would match my Scarlet B for Bicyclist just fine. I was more wondering about if I would have to instruct by the book when I personally only use the book for a quick reference every once in a while?
    Of course, once you were an LCI, you'd probably feel guilty when you did goof up, so you'd ride more by the book.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  16. #16
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    Haha, that would match my Scarlet B for Bicyclist just fine. I was more wondering about if I would have to instruct by the book when I personally only use the book for a quick reference every once in a while?
    I suppose it depends on what you want parts of the book you don't want to instruct. Helmets? Definitely. Running red lights? Mmmmmeh, if a cyclist runs a red and no one is around, does it count?

    I try to behave myself more in public. I know some motor vehicle drivers form opinions about all cyclists based on n=1 observation.

  17. #17
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickel View Post
    I try to behave myself more in public. I know some motor vehicle drivers form opinions about all cyclists based on n=1 observation.
    Or even n=0 observations.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  18. #18
    Commuter Anthony87's Avatar
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    I pick up trash in a 120+ acre conservation area on a weekly basis. I walk the trails about three times a week and it is such a wonderful place. I would simply be a fool if i saw trash and didn't pick it up. I plan on helping out this thanksgiving/christmas at a soup kitchen or something. Though i'm cautious about volunteering in a religous setting, because a person will start to believe in any religon/cause as long as they fill their stomach with food.
    Cool that aching head!

  19. #19
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony87 View Post
    I pick up trash in a 120+ acre conservation area on a weekly basis. I walk the trails about three times a week and it is such a wonderful place. I would simply be a fool if i saw trash and didn't pick it up. I plan on helping out this thanksgiving/christmas at a soup kitchen or something. Though i'm cautious about volunteering in a religous setting, because a person will start to believe in any religon/cause as long as they fill their stomach with food.

    You should see if Volunteers of America has a Thanksgiving Bag Delivery. A few of us arrange it so that we show up with trailers (bikes@work, burleys, mess bags, milk crates) and ride around town delivering bags. It's a nice casual ride for a good cause so win-win situation....particularly if everyone goes out for hot chocolate afterwards.

  20. #20
    BEHOLD! THE MANTICORE! rotharpunc's Avatar
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    I spend a lot of time at my local salvation army store. I think the organization as a whole is pretty messed up, but my girlfriend is the store manager and needs someone competent to help out, I get first dibs on all the stuff (selfish, I know), but the best part really is being able to help people on a personal basis when I have the opportunity; which I do a lot, since I tune up and price, as well as give customers advice on, all of the bikes and computers. I also help clean up one of the local trails that a friend who owns an LBS near me adopted.

  21. #21
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rotharpunc View Post
    I spend a lot of time at my local salvation army store. I think the organization as a whole is pretty messed up, but my girlfriend is the store manager and needs someone competent to help out, I get first dibs on all the stuff (selfish, I know), but the best part really is being able to help people on a personal basis when I have the opportunity; which I do a lot, since I tune up and price, as well as give customers advice on, all of the bikes and computers.
    Have you found any cool bikes? I got this one at the Salvation Army store in downtown Santa Cruz when I was there for a 4 day business trip. I wanted something to get me to the beach and back and this was the only bike in the store that I could ride directly out of the store. I had a lot of fun on it, and since I was in Santa Cruz, I was only one of many older guys on bmx bikes. I even commuted to and from work one day.

    At the end of the trip, I gave it to the local bike coop, the Bike Church almost across the street from the Salvation Army.

    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  22. #22
    BEHOLD! THE MANTICORE! rotharpunc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Have you found any cool bikes? I got this one at the Salvation Army store in downtown Santa Cruz when I was there for a 4 day business trip. I wanted something to get me to the beach and back and this was the only bike in the store that I could ride directly out of the store. I had a lot of fun on it, and since I was in Santa Cruz, I was only one of many older guys on bmx bikes. I even commuted to and from work one day.
    oh yea. I find a lot of cool bikes, amongst other neat stuff.

  23. #23
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Have you found any cool bikes? I got this one at the Salvation Army store in downtown Santa Cruz when I was there for a 4 day business trip. I wanted something to get me to the beach and back and this was the only bike in the store that I could ride directly out of the store. I had a lot of fun on it, and since I was in Santa Cruz, I was only one of many older guys on bmx bikes. I even commuted to and from work one day.

    At the end of the trip, I gave it to the local bike coop, the Bike Church almost across the street from the Salvation Army.
    Is that you in the picture? You look a little like the lion in your avatar.



    "Think Outside the Cage"

  24. #24
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Is that you in the picture? You look a little like the lion in your avatar.
    Sure. I'm hiding the rest of my mane under my CAT hat.

    My little friend comes from one of my favorite animations to watch, Only in Kenya at the Weebls website. It's especially good for lifting spirits at 2am when you're pulling an all-nighter. You should always think of the sound track when you look at my avatar.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 04-09-09 at 12:36 PM.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  25. #25
    Banned. folder fanatic's Avatar
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    My World Of Folding Bicycles Website series is the way I volunteer to the global community at present. I find that this is the best way for me to give back. I can adjust my time maintaining it or developing new ideas for the series to my real time life's demands and obligations. And I don't have to give it up if another paying job pops up-and I hope soon.

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