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Bike Co-Ops for Disabled People

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Bike Co-Ops for Disabled People

Old 10-24-06, 08:50 PM
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jetbike
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Bike Co-Ops for Disabled People

I'm a Community Mental Health Nurse working in Sydney. I have had the idea of starting a Bike co-op to give consumers greater independance, motivation, combat obesity, reduce social isolation and offer free mobility. As well as indulge my passion for bikes legitimately in work time

So far I have the following:
i) 5 bikes promised from local government (Free).
ii) LBS promise to do yearly maintenance at reduced price (provided there is a little publicity/advertising for them).
iii) Big Pharmaceutical company is agreeing to cough up some cash.

So, this leaves me with a few queries, how do I stop them from being stolen/lost/neglected (these people are poor and can't afford a deposit)?
What about insurance and liability?

Any advice would be very well recieved, particularly from people who are experienced in this area.

Thanks v much.
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Old 10-24-06, 09:02 PM
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Habitat for Humanity is an organization that gets volunteers to build houses for poor people. However, they don't just give the houses away to people. They believe that people who invest in the things they own will value those things and care for them. So, since the recipients don't have much cash, they require them to invest their time in building houses to earn one for themselves.

Maybe you can do something similar, where recipients invest some time in some volunteer capacity fixing bikes, or other non-bike related community service to earn a bike?

Regarding liability and insurance, you should get legal advice. If insurance is necessary, then the cost needs to factored into your operating plan. Perhaps a local insurance company would cut you a deal for a good cause and some free advertising?
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Old 10-24-06, 11:26 PM
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Get one of those Legal Disclaimers, and have them sign that before they ride off into the sunset.
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Old 10-25-06, 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted by jetbike
What about insurance and liability?
Don't give anybody a bike. Give them a voucher to buy a bike from a regular store. The store/manufacturer acquires liability for the quality of the bike. Insurance? Insurance for what?
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Old 10-25-06, 04:33 AM
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Responses Rule

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Don't give anybody a bike. Give them a voucher to buy a bike from a regular store. The store/manufacturer acquires liability for the quality of the bike. Insurance? Insurance for what?
Nice idea, but the bikes are loaners. They need to come back in good condition and go to the next person in the queue.

Also, we're getting the bikes from the government, they don't just give away bikes - unfortunately. Good luck trying to get several thousand dollars from anyone, for anything.

I work in the public health sector. We have to provide our own pens. Until last week I didn't have internet access.

So, everything has to done free/cheap and private companies are footing the bill. They have no obligation and are doing it because they're nice people or cos it's good PR.

I really like the idea of people investing and owning something, leading to proper use. Unfortunately the people I work with are probably too disorganised and chaotic to maintain a bike. This may be the scheme's Achilles Heel, we'll see in time.

All ideas are good ideas. Keep 'em coming.

Thanks

Ps. The insurance was for a 'Cycling Group' kinda thing. Taking consumers out on their bikes as a the****utic intervention. That's all good, but I wanted it to be people doing their own thing - getting groceries, seeing friends, freah air and sunshine etc. Rather than a prescribed 'treatment'.
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Old 10-25-06, 05:52 AM
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"starting a Bike co-op" Co op anything is a pain in the butt.

i) 5 bikes promised from local government (Free).
I suggest you use old junk bikes and give them away. In the US I regularly see decent bikes in the garbage because the cost of an overhaul is greater than the bike. Maintaining a rental fleet is too costly, and obligates you to maintain them in top condition. I bet that nuisance bikes the police collect are piled up rusting somewhere in Sydney.

ii) LBS promise to do yearly maintenance at reduced price (provided there is a little publicity/advertising for them).
I suggest a bike maintenance course, the students might pay something for the course too (so that they will take it seriously). Min: Hands on Brakes and flats, video showing the need for wheel truing and hub maintenance ect. A more involved course probably 7 to 10 nights would overhaul the whole bike, preferable the students own bike. People with low incomes and cheap bikes need more knowledge than people with high incomes and expensive (low maintenance) bikes.

It is also possible that after completing the course more talented students will be able to buy for their own use really nice bikes that need a little work, or even get a paid position at a bike shop.

iii) Big Pharmaceutical company is agreeing to cough up some cash. Maybe you can put their logo on the bikes.
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Old 10-25-06, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by jetbike
Ps. The insurance was for a 'Cycling Group' kinda thing. Taking consumers out on their bikes as a the****utic intervention. That's all good, but I wanted it to be people doing their own thing - getting groceries, seeing friends, freah air and sunshine etc. Rather than a prescribed 'treatment'.
Please clarify. Do you want insurance to protect your organization and/or clients from liability or medical claims,or is it you are looking to collect money from insurance companies for giving the clients a bicycle treatment? Either way I'd say forget it. Especially if you have no money.
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