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Tales From the Bike Coop........true adventures from the front lines

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Tales From the Bike Coop........true adventures from the front lines

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Old 10-09-11, 08:46 PM
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3alarmer
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Tales From the Bike Coop........true adventures from the front lines

Some of you may recall (or not) that I sometimes mention
one of my memorable misadventures / anecdotes / bits of philosophy
gotten in trade for my weekly shift at the Sacramento Bike Kitchen
(our town's only bike coop). http://sacbikekitchen.org/

I know at least one or two others who post on this mechanics
forum have some coop involvement as well, so I'm starting this
thread in the hope that it might capture and share some of the
highlights.

Here's a phenomenal example of resourcefulness that found its way
in last Saturday:




Admittedly, it's not pretty.......but it works.
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Last edited by 3alarmer; 10-09-11 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 10-10-11, 02:04 AM
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dabac
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You might enjoy this blog then.
But what's up with those hose clamps?
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Old 10-10-11, 08:49 AM
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Matt Gaunt
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Awesome! He doesn't ride with the bars like that, does he?
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Old 10-10-11, 09:04 AM
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I wonder if the owner's medical insurer (assuming there is one) knows about this.
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Old 10-10-11, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
You might enjoy this blog then.
But what's up with those hose clamps?
I couldn't figure that out either. I asked him and he couldn't remember.
Best guess is he had something like a water bottle holder or something else
clamped on there at one time.


Originally Posted by Matt Gaunt View Post
Awesome! He doesn't ride with the bars like that, does he?
There is a faction of riders locally who swear by this setup.


Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I wonder if the owner's medical insurer (assuming there is one) knows about this.
Not an issue.
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Old 10-10-11, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
But what's up with those hose clamps?
Guess.
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Old 10-10-11, 10:33 AM
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If I were to ride a road bike, the bars would HAVE to be flipped like that.
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Old 10-10-11, 10:39 AM
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That is some very original frame work...
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Old 10-10-11, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
That is some very original frame work...
I was gonna cross post it to the framebuilder's forum,
but I'm too technologically stupid to figure it out.
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Old 10-10-11, 11:47 AM
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Interesting work there...

I accidentally started this thread before catching this one.

I volunteer time at a local co-op as well. So far, nothing as crazy as that.
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Old 10-10-11, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeybikes View Post
Interesting work there...

I accidentally started this thread before catching this one.

I volunteer time at a local co-op as well. So far, nothing as crazy as that.
I volunteer too. Definitely never anything as wild as that one.

The most frustrating thing is the amount of head-scratching needed for working on Walmart or other low-end bikes.
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Old 10-10-11, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by gerv View Post
The most frustrating thing is the amount of head-scratching needed for working on Walmart or other low-end bikes.
Thus why my local LBS refuses to work on them(Huffys in particular).
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Old 10-10-11, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeybikes View Post
Interesting work there...

I accidentally started this thread before catching this one.

I volunteer time at a local co-op as well. So far, nothing as crazy as that.
Originally Posted by gerv View Post
I volunteer too. Definitely never anything as wild as that one.

The most frustrating thing is the amount of head-scratching needed for working on Walmart or other low-end bikes.
I can recall at a certain point in my involvement with this particular
bike repair facility a very similar collection of doubts and frustrations
to those you have both voiced.

Here is the evolution of my thinking which has allowed me to once
again work at my coop with a feeling of grace and a transcendent smile.

Mart bikes (or BSO's if you prefer), were landfill from the day they
rolled off the factory floor and into those huge oceanic shipping
containers. Your efforts can only prolong their designed product
life cycle.....which seems to be getting shorter and shorter.

Thus, you cannot really hurt them, and as long as you don't allow
anyone to roll out on something obviously dangerous (at least not
without warning them and explaining the serious repercussions
that may ensue given the mechanical defect in question), your
karma is clean. Google translation: do what you can to improve
the situation, try not to personalize your failures to do so, and
trust in some higher power to preserve the fools that buy these
and the unfortunate who have no other options.

At my coop, we have a deal. They can use me as the butt of age
related humor, and I am free to gently explain to the people I assist
why their particular good deal Mart bike maybe wasn't.........gently
and with tact and good humor.


Nobody likes to be told, "You are an idiot for buying that POS, and
that also goes for the horse you rode in on."

The educational process in which you are now front line shock
troops will be painfully slow and take well beyond my expected
remaining life span. But it needs to be done if we are to save
the world of bicycle from the market forces that threaten to
destroy it as a viable alternative for the future.

That is all, men. Carry on as you were. I'll be in the area
on and off all day.

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Old 10-10-11, 12:34 PM
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Have been volunteering, working at, and sat on and off of our local coop's board for the better part of 6 years, the organization has been in existence for 31 years so stands as one of the oldest co-operatives in North America.

Have seen many changes as we continue to grow and expand our services to the community and will soon be adding a second location on the other side of the city to better serve those communities.

It is a wonderful place that serves many roles; we teach people how to service and repair their own bicycles, act as a stronig advocate in the community for cyclists and people powered transportation, and our not so little shop also serves as a social hub where people can connect with like minded individuals.

We also recycle tons of materials and much of the metal comes from bike shaped objects that are both old and new which do not merit the time, energy, and resources to turn them into ride-able bicycles when we have nicer donations to work on.

We get enough nice quality donations that we focus on those as we would like the bikes we build for resale to be a better value and something people can depend on for years with nothing but regular maintainence.

I seem to stop by here at least once a day whether it is to volunteer or just hang out which is hard for any of our regular volunteers as one always seems to end up helping someone work on something or end up finding something that needs doing.

Some of those donations have been pretty spectacular... have received many beautiful hand built bicycles and very high end bicycles that people no longer had a need for and these bring a fair bit more to the organization.

Am presently working on a late fifties hand built road bike with a full chrome finish, Nervex lugs, and a Campy Gran Sport group... most of the work like this gets handed to me since vintage bikes are my thing.
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Old 10-10-11, 12:45 PM
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..........................^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
...........................Now this is what I'm talkin' 'bout.
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Old 10-10-11, 12:53 PM
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I'd be hesitant to make generalizaions or extrapolate to the rest of the country from Sac. I mean Brown, Deukmahian, Wilson, Davis, Schwartzenegger, Brown...
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Old 10-10-11, 01:04 PM
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This is why I need other coop mechanics and members to educate me........

Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
I'd be hesitant to make generalizaions or extrapolate to the rest of the country from Sac.
I mean Brown, Deukmahian, Wilson, Davis, Schwartzenegger, Brown...
Sure, we have a few issues.

They don't call California "the Cereal State" without some reason.
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