Hang Out and Help Out on September 1st and 8th Workdays

We held our final downtown bike repair clinic for the season on August 20th and our final meetinghouse clinic on August 25th. However, there is still work to be done! Over the season we’ve accumulated lots of bike parts and we haven’t had time to sort through them. If you’d like to help us do that, come to the meetinghouse at our regularly scheduled time of 1pm to 3pm on September 1st and 8th.

End of the Season Clinics

As the summer draws to a close we’ll be ramping down the number of clinics we offer. In particular, we are ending our downtown Press Bay Alley clinics a few weeks early due to construction in the alley. Our final clinics for 2013 will be on the following dates:

  • August 25th 1pm to 3pm at the Quaker Meetinghouse (led by Morgan)
  • September 15th 1pm to 3pm at Poplar Ridge Meeting
  • Cornell campus (date and time to be determined)
  • Ithaca College campus (date and time to be determined)

FBC Garners Favorable Media Presence at Streets Alive Festival; Final Few Clinics

Friends Bike Clinic manned a booth at the Streets Alive Festival last Sunday, and bicyclists were lined up several deep to get help fixing their bikes. In spite of six tireless mechanics (thank you Larry, Lauren, Jeremy, Mark, Scott, and Steve) there was a 10-minute wait for people to get help during most of the three-hour festival. Meanwhile hundreds of happy pedestrians and bicyclists roamed a 10-block stretch of Cayuga Street which had been blocked off to car traffic. Our booth also had a collection of electric bikes for people to try, and Steve Austin wowed the crowd with his fancy electric bike. And the next day Mark and Larry were lauded in the Ithaca Journal by a reporter who had learned about their noble car-freeness.

We’ve only got two more bike clinics planned this season: Saturday October 6th 10am to noon at the Farmer’s Market gazebo, and Sunday October 28th at the Quaker Meetinghouse 1 to 3pm. This fall and winter on Tuesdays from 2pm to 4pm we’ll be warm and cozy inside the meetinghouse basement painting the workshop, stripping junk bikes for parts, and fixing up bikes to sell or give away. If you’d like to help out with that please stop by.

New Project Hours; Cornell Hours; Ebike Club Hours; Upcoming Clinics

Our recent clinics at the AIDs ride and Porchfest were of course great successes as these photos show. Our Porchfest presence included the largest collection of electric cargo bikes on the East coast (as far as I know) and a bicycle powered lawn mower created by FBC directors Scott McCasland and Larry Clarkberg.

Friends Bike Clinic “project hours” are changing from Wednesdays to Tuesdays 2 to 4pm. Project hours are when the shop is open for FBC members who are working on long-term projects. Members are expected to put in time helping out around the shop and staffing clinics. To become a member simply show up on a Wednesday and start working on a project and helping out.

Friends Bike Clinic will be lending our mobile tool collection to the Cornell Bike Collective on Tuesdays after our project hours. The CBC shop will be open Tuesdays from 4:30 pm to 6 pm. So fix your bike on a Tuesday: if you miss us at the meetinghouse 2pm to 4pm you can catch us at the CBC shop on the Dilmun student farm from 4:30 to 6pm.

If you are interested in electric bikes, note that FBC director Larry Clarkberg’s electric bicycle company (Boxy Bikes) is creating a “Maker Biker Club” for people who want  to tinker with ebike technology. On Wednesday afternoons Boxy Bikes will open its shop to people who want help with their ebike projects.  Boxy Bikes’ shop has tools for welding and electronics. Contact Larry for details.

Lastly, note a couple of upcoming clinics:

  • Friday 9/21 all day: occupy a parking space in College Town. Exact location to be determined.
  • Sunday 9/23 from 1 to 4pm : the Street’s Alive event. I’ll have my mobile bike clinic set up in the Ithaca High School parking lot. Also some electric bikes for people to try.

Bike Workshop Underway; Lots of Bike Clinics Coming Up in September

Welcome back! How was your summer? What’s happening? Lots!

Friends Bike Clinic is currently doing a bike repair workshop in partnership with Ithaca College’s Bomber Bike Initiative. All are welcome to join us. It’s on campus at Ithaca College at the entrance of Peggy Ryan Williams Building that faces the Business School (weather permitting, otherwise the rain location will be Job Hall 161). Times are from 4pm to 5pm Tuesday 8/21, Wednesday 8/22, and Thursday 8/23. See here for details.

We’ll also be doing our regular fourth Sunday (8/26)  clinic at the Quaker meetinghouse 1pm to 3pm and our regular first Saturday (9/1) clinic at the Farmer’s Market gazebo 10am o noon.

Lastly, we’ll be doing a couple of extra special clinics in September: will be supporting the AIDS Ride on Saturday 9/15 (location to be determined) and we’ll be frolicking with our bikes in some way at Porchfest on Sunday 9/16 from 1 to 5pm at the Quaker meetinghouse. Please let me know if you can help out at the clinic in either of these events. Your support will determine whether the Friends Bike Clinic is able to continue having a presence at these events.


Fond Memories of Bike to Work Day

I really enjoyed getting to know the 20 or so people who stopped by our breakfast station on Bike to Work day last Friday. Also thanks to the dozen or so people who stopped by the mobile clinic I set up on the Commons. Thanks everyone!

Two Lovely Bike Clinics

Clinic This Sunday and Next Saturday; CBC Is Launched!

There will be a Friends Bike Clinic this Sunday 4/29 from 1pm to 3pm on the deck of the Quaker Meetinghouse at 120 3rd Street. Get help fixing your bike, help others fix their bike, or just hang out to chat. Note that Friends Bike Clinic will also be set up at the Farmer’s Market gazebo on Saturday 5/5 10am to 2pm and first Saturdays thereafter.

I should also note that the first meeting of the Cornell Bike Collective went very well. About two dozen people met in the Cornell Outdoor Education classroom. We went around the circle and everyone introduced themselves. Six students agreed to convene a separate meeting to assign themselves the roles of the club officers. We described the events leading up to the club and future steps. We brainstormed on projects we envision and on near-term goals (see the photos below). Lastly we scheduled the next meeting for May 7th at 2pm tentatively at the Dilmun Farm.

Clinic with Ithaca College’s Bomber Bike Initiative

I recently set up my mobile bike clinic on campus at Ithaca College at the invitation of Lauren Goldberg. Lauren heads up the Bomber Bike Initiative, a group of students who are working to promote bicycling. They have several projects in the works, including building bike shelters on campus and creating a bike share program. It took me some time to get my mobile-bike-clinic bike to the appointed spot for the clinic. Ithaca College campus is on a hill with only stairs to get to the various levels of the hill. Lauren noted on a map that Ithaca College is not very bike friendly; it seems designed for cars and pedestrians but nothing in-between. She noted that some students even drive from one end of campus to the other because that is more convenient than walking or biking.

Many students dropped by, some experienced with bikes and some not at all experienced. Our little bike clinic was very much needed. Several students said that after seeing us there they were now considering bringing their bikes to campus. One student who stopped by with a flat tire said he was prepared to put his bike in storage if we hadn’t been there to help him fix his flat. And many students had brakes so far out of adjustment that their bikes would not have been safe on Ithaca’s hills. We managed to help them all and enjoy a beautiful day outdoors too.

FBC Rocks the Farmers’ Market

As shown in the photos below, we set up a mobile bike clinic at the opening day of the Ithaca Farmers’ Market. It was a beautiful day and we found ourselves lollygagging in the sun between times replacing brake cables and truing wheels. Margaret and Claire from Ithaca Colleges’ Bomber Bike Initiative joined us for most of the time. Thea Clarkberg lended much-needed organizational support.