Volunteer Night Tasks

list here anything that you want to be done on the next Volunteer Night

Current/Special Projects

Grow Pittsburgh:

1. Folks w/some mechanical aptitude – evaluate untested bikes per criteria on markerboard, note results on scrap paper & attach to frame.
2. Skilled mechanics – fix said bikes; if any seem too troublesome to finish this week, we could remove the pink tag, log it & move on
3.Please hang all GP (pink tagged bikes that are not locked up) on bottom row of hooks and re-inventory them. That program begins this week.

Gate Sign?

How about a gate sign for people to read when we are unexpectedly closed? Something that apologizes, tells them how to check if we are open (phone #?), and suggests that spreading the word about the need to staff can help the situation? [Marc]

Weekly Tasks


  • Check shop diary (black & white composition book on shelf above computer) for notes from other staffers.
  • Check to make sure there are plenty of forms in the extra forms drawer and coordinate with other volunteers to print more if we are low:
Document Min. Qty Qty to Print
Bike Info Sheet 50 150
Fix for sale sheet 15 30
Youth permission slips 15 30
Earn a bike sheet 25 50
Free Ride member log 50 150
Shop public hours sheet 50 150
Member sign-in sheet 15 45
Visitor Sign-in sheet 15 45
Bike selection guide 25 75
Donation Receipt 25 75
Deposit Slip 25 75


  • Water: We have six water jugs (one on the dispenser and five extras). Fill these at the co-op (requires a volunteer with vehicle & petty cash) and seal them with tape. Every month or so these shoudl be washed with co-op water and a note attached with the date they are cleaned, then filled.
  • Food: Fetch food from the East End Food Co-op’s hot bar before 7:00 PM (optional)

Bike Binder computer data entry

Enter departed bikes info

  • Make sure all bikes in the departed bikes binder have their departed info entered into the computer.
  • Search through the binder and find the most recent bike that has been entered. Then, starting with the next bike, work your way to the front of the binder.
  • If a bike has no record in the computer, add that information first, then add the departed info
  • Look for the computer icon to see if corresponding information has been entered
    • Once entered, put a check mark on the page

Add new bikes to the computer spreadsheet

  • Make sure bikes that are in the regular bike binder are entered into the computer.
  • Find the last bike that was entered and then start with the next bike. Keep going until all bikes have been entered.
  • Look for the computer icon to see if corresponding information has been entered
    • Once entered, put a check mark on the page

Donation Processing

  • Move donated bikes to processing area
  • Make sure there is a donation bin at the front near the broom rack for donations of parts and supplies
  • Check the shop diary to see if anything left out is someone’s project, in which case put it in a labeled bin or box near the front counter
  • Remove all materials from the glass counters and workbenches so merch is visible and shop is usable. Put parts into donation bin and put paperwork near register, or away if you know where it goes
  • Sort contents of donation bin:
    • First sort: remove tires, tubes, and wheels
    • Second sort: like objects with like
    • Third sort: keep/scrap
    • Then: Put away in proper place
  • Sort bikes in processing area:
    • First sort: Kids’ vs. Adults’
    • Second sort: Kids’ with non-functioning hand brakes AND NO coaster (back pedal) brake: scrap
    • Third sort: Check the kids’ bikes request list and hang up good kids’ bikes toward filling current requests, scrap the rest
    • Fourth sort: Cheap gimmicky bikes prone to failure (cheap bikes with front or rear suspension usually qualify): set aside for parts salvage, or scrap
    • Fifth sort: A more experienced staffer can confirm which bikes to keep and which parts to salvage vs. scrap. Log in and hang up good bikes. Strip bikes and keep basic parts if useful
  • Sort tubes:
    • Inflate inner-tubes
    • Unpatchable tubes: cut into bands for tying parts together
    • Patchable tubes: if used tube bins have space for repaired tubes, patch them in bulk and put in “good unsorted” bin. If not, cut into bands for tying parts together
    • Sort good unsorted bin by size and put away
  • Sort tires:
    • First sort: good vs bad tires
    • Second sort: by size
    • Finally: hang up by size
      *Sort wheels:
    • First sort: set aside any wheels with cracked, dented, or way out of true rims or cracked hubs. If any hubs are worth keeping (recent cup & good quality, or Sturmey Archer internal gear 3-speed, NOT 333 3-speed), consider cutting them out and putting them away
    • Second sort: set aside any wheels with steel rims. If 26" MTB (ISO 559) 27" (ISO 630), 700c (ISO 622) or very rusty, scrap the wheel. If other size, consider keeping since they are less common.
  • Hang-up other wheels
  • Note: internal gear hubs and shifters go in small gray cabinet to left of beige cabinet. Shifters can be unscrewed from wheels if wheels are kept.


  • Take out the trash and recycling
  • Take the scrap bins to the scrap metal dumpster or make arrangements to otherwise dispose
  • Completely clear clutter off benches and counters and wipe them down. If you don’t know where some parts or supplies go put them in the donation bin
  • Clear away the front-area, especially near the nice-parts cabinet because we need to be able to access the compressor hose
  • Check to see that the big red toolbox and black wall cabinet are tidy
  • Tidy the crank-rack, wheel rack, tire rack, housing and cable recycling area, and chain-wall
  • Organize front desk area
  • Sort out dirty rags. Cut up large pieces in to useable 6″ × 6″ (roughly) sized rags.
  • Sweep the floors

See if it’s time to do the tasks listed under “Occasional”

  • These are things that we would do weekly if we had time… if you get this far on the list, we must have time!

Documentation Volunteers

  • Check our phone messages
  • Check the info@freeridepgh.org account
  • Check our inventory. Update the Shop Needs list if anything is missing.
  • Check Earn-a-Bike binder for expired tags. Call anybody whose last date on their form is over two weeks old. If they say they don’t want the bike anymore, or if they cannot be reached, remove tags from expired bikes.

Mechanic Volunteers

  • Strip bikes
  • Check the Library Bike logs, fix up any library bikes that need work
  • Fix kids bikes for sale. Avoid bikes with tags or bikes with lots of rust or paint damage, as kids never want these. Tag them as “for sale” when finished.
  • Work on a non-commissioned (volunteer) Fix-for-Sale bike
  • Add appropriate parts to a stripped, good quality frame (people are more likely to sign up EABs if they are mostly complete)

If you are looking for still more volunteer task ideas, check out page 2 of this document.

Occasional Tasks


  • Identify Fix For Sale bikes OR things we need out of the way like trikes, kayaks, motorcycles, sailboats, skis, etc
  • Post these in advertisements on http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/ website, with photos if you like for the FFS bikes

Shop preparation

  • Check to see that the wraps, big red toolbox, and black wall cabinet are well stocked
  • Remove low quality bikes from the wall if they are not tagged
  • Put wheels and other components onto promising frames (look for frames with derailers, brakes and other components, especially mountain bikes since we have many extra wheels)
  • Consolidate rolls of cables and housing to save space and make room for ordering more
  • Get rid of bad pedals. Sort pedals and match-up pairs
  • Unpack QBP order, update price list & make signs if any new items, take inventory of new parts
  • Take an inventory of blank forms, handouts, etc. Email the general volunteer list so somebody can print new ones out (Or just email Will).

Cleanup the EAB projects (goal: every two weeks. Make a note of the date this occurs)

  • Go through the bikes (and frames) in the shop and look them up in the EAB binder.
  • If a bike has not been worked on within 2 weeks we try to notify the person or remove the tag.
  • Has the person been contacted already (check the notes on the page)?
    • No: Give them a call or send email to explain the situation. If you don’t reach them, leave a message. Note the date of the call or email on the notes for the bike.
    • Yes: Remove the tag since they have been warned
  • When removing a tag, also take the paper out of the EAB binder and put it into the “reject forms” binder.

Other important stuff

  • Volunteer to purchase random shop needs stuff from the Shop Needs List. (Like zip ties, scotch tape, Gojo, etc.) Your time doing this counts as volunteer hours. You can be reimbursed using Petty Cash (ask a staffer.)
  • Make new posters or decorations
  • Update our website
  • post up mechanics classes fliers at local cafes and bikeshops

Further cleaning

  • Clean the bathroom and leave a note in the shop diary with today’s date so we know when it happened

Have a special skill? Free Ride! is always looking for volunteers in the following areas:

  • legal / 501©3
  • accounting
  • welding
  • more (just let us know what you’d like to do!)

Can we add dates next to the items in current projects so we know if they are still relevant? I know there is versioning, but something more straightforward and quick to check?

Very exciting to see the database stuff make it onto this list. It is so great to see the numbers of what we are doing.


April 23rd volunteers, please make a big posterboard sign that says:

2012 classes have started!

Sundays at 4:30, Tuesdays at 6:30.
Some Wednesdays at 6:30 for women, trans, queer and femme.

$15 or 2 volunteer hours or flash an Access card.

Check the calendar on at freeridepgh.org for topics and dates!


In preparation for the work party for youth bike prep on Friday, May 25th, could some volunteers between now and then locate the youth bikes (green tags) and find a spot on the wall for them to all hang together? (maybe the spot we used last year, in the bottom section, halfway back) I may try to get some of that done this week, but i think it will take some documentation and reassigning hooks to a bunch of non-youth and youth bikes.

Thanks so much. Andrea