City loaner bike program, almost rolling.

yoothgeye

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I was approached months ago, maybe over a year ago to consult the city on a new health initiative to have loaner bikes on our local canal trail that runs 7 miles down a historic path from our city of Roanoke Rapids to the neighboring Weldon.

I talked to them about bikes and trail improvements and logistics. Soon they had some money and needed bikes. I came here to ask and someone showed an ad on Craigslist from nearby Virginia Beach where a bike rental company was selling off some of their bikes out of rotation. I passed that information along and they went and purchased 20 used Fuji cruisers, Sanibel and Cape May bikes in mens and womens frame styles.

I suggested that a gear change was in order to make it easier for people to pedal on our relatively hilly trail on these single speed bikes, so I ordered 20 Wald 36t chainwheels from our friend Justin at Porkchop BMX.

Right now I am in the middle of changing them all over and servicing each bike. I remove the left pedal and take out the crank after removing the chain guard, then I clean or replace bearings and cups. I replace the 44t with a 36t then remove a few links from the chain and reassemble. It's a bit tedious and kind of messy but I'm enjoying getting all these bikes ready for the public.

4 down, 16 to go, mostly reassembly today and chainwheel swapping, but thankfully all bearings and cups are clean, just a lot of grease to pack today.












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yoothgeye

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Nice job. How do they plan on loaning or renting them out?
The city has purchased 2 large sheds where 10 bikes will be kept in each, one on either end of the trail. People will come to one of 2 places and hand over their driver's license to borrow a bike, they get ID back when they turn in the bike. They may offer a credit card option, I'm not sure. They got a copy of the liability waiver that the bike rental place they got the bikes from uses and are adapting that to use with the program. Walmart donated money for them to buy helmets. Luckily I don't have to worry about all those details, I'm just the volunteered bike repair man.



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yoothgeye

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Additionally, the Cape May bikes are not as stylish as the Sanibel bikes, but with aluminum frames and heavy gauge spokes and heavy duty rims, they are the superior bike.




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yoothgeye

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Interesting. How much do they rent for, and for how long?
These will be free loan for a few hours or the day, but never overnight as they are only intended to be used on the canal trail. The reason it is free instead of rental is because our county is towards of the bottom of all the counties in North Carolina for good health, we are close to the top for obesity. The county got grant monies to build new "exercise" minded playgrounds and walking tracks, this program also is part of the health initiative.
 

cman

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Similar to the Yellow Bike programs of the 90's. Free bikes to use all painted yellow. The grant idea for health is great while promoting a cool recreation opportunity.
 
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yoothgeye

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To be honest, I'm a little worried about theft, but hopefully they cover that in how they loan out the bikes. I just finished putting all the cranks back in, just need to tighten the jam nut, put on the pedal, and break the chain of 10 bikes now. When I am done I will be making a small database of the bikes, serial number, model, color, and numbering them. This will give them any information they need if one does go missing. Plus, there's not a single Fuji cruiser bike in this city except for these.
 
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Very cool concept and something great to be involved with. When I lived In western NC we had a paved path along the little Tennessee but no loan a bike program.
 
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