Saturday, March 29, 2008

Rental Bench Reopens

Starting Sunday, March 30th the Bike Library's rental bench will be open from 2 until 4. This two-hour window opens up tools and equipment to the public for $5 per hour.

This is also an opportunity for BL volunteers, Environmental Advocates members, and BIC members to get their own projects in the stand for no charge.

For now the rental bench will be on Sundays, but it may move to Saturdays soon. Of course, we'll update here when that happens.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Springtime Bike Paths

The massive, melting snows help raise the Iowa River, sometimes over the River Trail. The trail is pretty impassable under the Hwy 6 bridge. Sometimes you can climb up the retaining wall on the left, but yesterday I didn't even attempt it as the wall disappeared under the water. The trail was uninterrupted by water all the way to City Park.

Melting snows really have nothing to do with this astounding project of humankind, damming up the Iowa River in order to move water from one side of campus to the other. What was thought to be a short-term project is now becoming a vanishing point for the lines on our horizon.

Turn here? This is the ped/cyclist detour option to join the sidewalk along Riverside Dr., or you can go back to the intersection and get on the sidewalk there.

The corridor trail that cuts behind part of the strip in Coralville was partially covered, but as you can see by my tracks, it is passable. I dunked my pedals several times getting across, but my drive train came out mostly dry.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cedar Rapids bikes being reused around the world

The Cedar Rapids Gazette features a story about Chicago's Working Bikes Cooperative picking up a 28-foot-truckload of bikes from the Cedar Rapids landfill.  WBC, a non-profit volunteer organization, will ship the bikes to countries such as Angola, Ecuador, Cuba, and Guatemala.  There, the bikes will be repaired—apparently it's more economical that the bikes are refurbished once they've reached their destination—and used for personal transportation or medical deliveries. 

According to Darrin Gage, Cedar Rapids' solid waste agency planner, the Cedar Rapids landfill has attempted to keep bikes separated from the landfill since January of 2007.  "When it goes to the scrap metal pile, it's recycled, but this is reuse, which is even better," he said. "If you can reuse something, a new product doesn't have to be made."

And that, of course, reflects part of the mission of the Bike Library to a tee— to keep bikes from going to the landfills and put them back to use.  It's great to see some of the different ways that people are working to keep unused bikes out of the landfills.

You can read the full Gazette article and watch a brief video here.  (And, of course, the Bike Library is always accepting donations of bikes to be fixed up and ridden locally.)

(photo credit: Cedar Rapids Gazette/Courtney Sargent)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Great PSA Video

Spring is a-comin'

The stands were full on Saturday while James, Jeremy, Scott and Kimberly were fixing up more BL bikes for check-out.  We currently have a wide selection of bikes—lots of 3-speeds, some mountain bikes, several great road-style townie bikes, and even a few kids' bikes ready for check-out.  

Thursday, March 06, 2008

March 7th Commuter Breakfast

I know it's cold and icy and it does NOT feel like March out there, but nevertheless, it's time for coffee & breakfast at the Bike Library on Friday morning.  We'll be there from 7:30 - 9:30 with hot coffee & some breakfasty items.  Ride on down (or walk or take the bus) to the Bike Library and join us!