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Posts Tagged ‘wooden bike rack’

For a recap of Ninja Bike Advocacy (Pt1), click here.

I believe I have achieved victory with the wonderful addition of an authentic bike rack now at the entrance of West Virginia Wesleyan College’s library. While the rack is now out there, my methods were pretty nontraditional, and frankly lacking style and grace.

If you don’t remember, here is what I did:

This sign was taped in a prominent position on the library's handrail.

Little bike rack left for students to use.

Well, yesterday after returning from a few days of vacation, I  stroll by campus to see if my bike rack was still there… It was not! and this was in it’s place!

LOOK AT THAT!   LOOK!   DO YOU SEE IT?

A real bike rack has replaced the one I put out there, and it can hold like twenty bikes! How cool is this?

If I was any more foolish than I already am, this kind of unconditioned response to such a trivial action of mine would be seen as a reward that fully outweighs the risks of trying it in other places. Imagine if I started running amok, placing handmade bike racks and little signs saying a real bike rack needs to be installed… First of all, I would probably end up taking a personal loan for lumber, and quit doing anything else, just to have other establishments elicit responses similar to this.

I’m really happy this rack has been put out for use! It is not very often you see a new bike rack installed anywhere around here, and while it is on campus, I can only pray that it increases short-distance bicycle related travel on campus!

Should I consider this a victory for myself? How does one measure victory? While the goal of having the bike rack installed was accomplished, what logistics and political sway was used by others to allocate the means to have this task completed? I believe I will be writing a few thank-you letters to WVWC, thanking them for the installation, and asking a couple appreciative questions about the rack and what it took to put it there.

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West Virginia Wesleyan College is a private college in WV; it is also my alma mater. One thing I was able to do for the campus before I graduated was getting a 20-bike bike rack for two residence halls. It wasn’t much, but it was all I could do and it was put to good use. Sadly, I am not satisfied with the amount of bike racks on campus for reasons highly visible all over. All around the residence halls, and academic buildings, you will see bikes locked up to handrails on the breezeways, on benches and light poles, and even just right outside a classroom. If there were more bike racks, there would be less of a clutter of bikes all over the place. One last reason for more bike racks is due to three bicycles being stolen even after being properly locked up; two of them belonging to friends.

Well, I was bored this weekend, and decided to take a little bit of action; I had some left over lumber supplies from a previous project, wanted to make a bike rack out of these discarded pieces. This project took me two hours, and no money. The screws were salvaged from a demolished DIY arcade cabinet I created in 2005, and became tired of.

Here are the results:

The best place to put this bike rack was at the library. There were several times I locked my bike, or there was someone else’s bike chained to a handrail on the steps leading to the entryway of the building. It was an ostentatious gesture doing this, but there was no where else to put your bike while studying there. After cleaning up my sawdust mess, and putting everything back up, it was 8:00pm; darkness was falling. I drove up to the library with the rack and a little sign in the bed of the truck and carried it to the steps of the library, I felt like a ninja or some kind of crazy advocacy person… (think Greenpeace) I placed my little promotional sign in the most visible area, as close to the bike rack as possible. I also found a spot for the wooden bike rack that was out-of-the-way, but still noticable and available to be used. I had to face one side of the rack facing the grass, instead of both sides on the sidewalk since the placement of bikes on both sides while on the pavement would have taken up too much space.

While this kind of approach to getting what you want is nowhere near as diplomatic as actually going to the faculty of the college or writing a formal letter, it does create a little bit of publicity for an issue on campus. I’m hoping for the best with this, but if nothing happens… I’m only out two hours of my time and some wood scraps~

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