SomedayMaybe ProjectsIdeas

This page is going to be the collector of ideas/projects/activities to develop someday and that are proposed during brainstorming discussions.
  • Special deal for Food coop to acknowledge their support to FR giving away food from the cafeteria after it closes the kitchen — could we extend free memberships to employees of the East End Food Co-op? They often give us free food on thurs and have been for years. It could be based on current pay stubs and be good for 3mo period. (Brian)
  • Digital register for better accounting
    • Interface with computer? What requirements?
    • What software does it need? Special accounting software?
  • Some way to let youth use the shop without supervision? Maybe if they have nominations from 3 different staffers? (Brian)
  • After taking a class, or maybe after taking a series of classes or any of an assortment of classes, what about having a session, set up like a class (an instructor present who gets paid, and we students pay for the time allotted) where students can come in and practice something they learned in a class they took, but still don’t think they have a feel for it. One person might want to try truing a wheel, another might want to grab an old beater frame and tap out the threads on a bottom bracket, etc. The instructor would just be available to answer questions and offer guidance when/if someone gets stuck.

Computer stuff

  • Global password vault to allow sharing and storage of secure passwords
  • Bicycle inventory
    • Database backed inventory with computer interface (As of March 2011 it is paper forms that later is entered into the computer)
    • Web interface to browse and even update online
  • Improve the staffing online calendar
    • Less confusing than what we have
    • No logon required (like what we have)
    • Consider utilizing a wordpress plugin
    • Maybe have one global password so it is not completely public?
  • Email List Work in Progress

Collective council (and membership)

  • Re-define requirements for membership on the collective council
  • What is the purpose of the collective council? In an ideal organization, what members will participate in the collective council?
  • Is the “board” the same thing as the council? Should it be different? What are the needs of our organization and does the council structure meet those needs?

Shop Projects

  • Donations Processing Area
    • Something like the old bike corral? Also include a place for donated parts, like wheels and other components?
  • Could we designate an EAB section on the wall? And all eab people would be responsible for hanging their own bike there?
  • Have a section of hooks on the wall for EAB bikes only. Keep all EAB bikes in the section? (Brian)
  • Someone is willing to donate a sandblaster to us…..but can we make it useful?
  • can we reorganize the red tool box? the drivetrain drawer is a mess? can we elim the machining drawer?
  • Auto drainer valve for the compressor (See attached)
  • Educational posters on the chain wall and the cable/housing wall
  • Bike sizing station to help people know what bike size works for them
  • Test bikes so people can feel the differences in bike style
  • Bike buying guide educational corner with hands on aspects to lead people through the process
  • A cable to string more wheels across the rafters in the main part of the shop
    • We currently have hooks made
    • We need small diameter PVC to be cut into segments to act as spacers
    • Once we have spacers we will get the cable and string it all up
  • At one point in 2011 it looked like Free Ride might have to move. Here’s the info on that.

Revise council membership


The new requirements would include the same quarterly 16-hour, 2 meeting obligations, and also:

* agree to abide by (and organize in the service of) Free Ride's mission statement, code of conduct, and organizational process  [Note: this has always been an implicit requirement, but I think we should make it explicit.]
* have earned trust and commitment enough to be approved by the existing collective council members.

I propose that people wanting to join the CC be considered and voted on by consensus at each meeting, similar to our current procedure for allowing keyholder access.

If someone has a blocking concern about letting a new person become a collective council member, it is that person or persons responsibility to resolve their concerns ASAP.

Possible benefits of adopting this proposal:
-- Unity under the mission and code of conduct will mean efficient and empowering communication and better serving the organization.
-- Would reduce the likelihood of a situation similar to the one we just experienced with Jeff Krueger from ever happening again.  Many members of the collective council felt wary and uncomfortable by Jeff's behavior in meetings but had no means of expressing that concern in the form of organizational blocks, because the requirements for membership were already in place, and Jeff had met them.  
-- Would allow for a greater level of trust and comfort in voicing one's feelings to be shared by all members of the collective council.

Possible costs of adopting this proposal:
-- May cause concerns about fairness
-- May create "lock-in" issues when trying to modify the missions statement, code of conduct, etc. in the future due to need
-- May create some unpredictable organizational issues like organization solidity, inaccessibility etc. that create rifts and have serious consequences in the future

Because you can become involved in Free Ride in a wide variety of ways, and organizing doesn't have to be one of them unless you really want it to be, I feel like it's reasonable to ask people who want to become organizers to put in the effort to earn the trust of their organizing peers, and to take time to understand the process, before becoming an equal part of it.  The collective council should consider its attitude in approving or even considering at the table various proposals by autonomous members or alliances for members... that is to say, if we decide to become more restrictive on who can vote within Free Ride's governing body, we need to consider how that might impede creative improvements proposed by individuals with no interest in organizing, but with a strong desire to improve Free Ride in some way.  If we adopt restrictions on how to become a CC member, then I think it's important that we make some guidelines for whether an initiative can proceed autonomously (if it costs no money or less than $100 of Free Ride's money; if it is announced one week in advance to council over email so any concerns can be raised [silence meaning no concerns, go ahead]... just as some examples.)

Additional proposal: that we keep an up-to-date list of who is on the collective council at any given time.  (Should it be council members' responsibilities to inform others if/when they decide to leave the CC, either by choice or for lack of hours?)


I can think of one mechanism that we could use to measure whether to see if any member has earned the trust of everyone in the CC.  Once they have completed the 16 hours and attended 2 meetings they would request to be on council at a general meeting.  At that time anyone on the council who has not had an opportunity work with a certain individual seeking to join, could request a 1 or 2 month delay in order to work together with that person and build trust.  

This would be preferential to the voting yes or no, and/or outright blocking of those seeking to join the council.  But if CC members do have strong feeling about an individual, they should have the right to refuse.

This is one way that we could get more time to feel out, before making harsh decisions. The only problematic part that not all council members attend any given meeting.  I can't really think how to remedy this right now.

Oh and I started an active Collective Council Members list on Crabby.  If I left anyone out, I apologize.  Go ahead and add yourself.  Justin, sorry I forgot your last name... 


Here are a few ideas-

In addition to the minimum hours and meetings, and before a final vote- 

- The person who is requesting council membership can propose a project that they would take the lead on.  They would be working with several (3?) council members who will have to fill out forms evaluating that person's performance. 

- A regular staffer who wants to join the council  would get evaluated by 2 or 3 other staffers and at least 2 council members.

A one month period for evaluation is appropriate.

Also, I think council members should be required to attend, at a minimum, every third council meeting.

Additional Thoughts from William


  • (Sept 2012) New council requirements to improve stability cohesion & commitment from council members
  • (October 2012) “Council restart” once council membership is defined & stable
    • Responsibilities of council as a group and as individual members
    • Preferences, skills and abilities of council members
  • (May 2013) Establish roles to delegate responsibility and authority outside of council
  • (Sept 2013) Plan specific council meetings and deadlines
    • Meeting to set yearly budget
    • Meeting to evaluate programs
    • Meeting to set yearly schedule
  • (Jan 2014) Establish cycle of evaluation and implementation
    • Winter months would be evaluation & planning
    • Set goals and objectives
    • Tweak policy, procedures accordingly
  • (May 2014) Establish recruitment and education
    • Summer months implementation of policy
    • Recruit and educate contributors at all levels
  • (Sep 2014) Evaluation of council
    • Evaluation of the group as a whole and on an individual basis
  • (Jan 2015) Strengthen internal policy
    • Review existing policy
    • Complete needed policy (like code of conduct)


The term “community” is ambiguous. Everywhere that “community” is mentioned in the mission statement, the intent should be the community of Free Ride members.
If people are worried that this group is not broad enough, then work should be done to broaden the Free Ride member community.
One of the key values at Free Ride needs to relate to the fact that the most important resource to the organization is the people who have invested commitment to Free Ride.

ROLES WITHIN FREE RIDE (they overlap): Council Members;Officers;Staff;Members

Council members: Same requirements, see below for responsibilities
Officers: Appointed by council, see below for details
Staff: People who have key access and know computer passwords, etc.
Members: Same requirements, eligable for other roles as applicable


Mission – “A fully informed, non-exclusive governing body that oversees the progress and direction of the Free Ride organization.”
1. Appoint and remove individuals as officers.
2. Empower officers by granting applicable authority.
3. Maintain the Free Ride mission statement.


1. Officers report and council members review the success or failure of each program in achieving the Free Ride mission.
2. Officers report and council members review the success or failure of officers in meeting their responsibilities.
3. Council members Provide recommendations or requirements to officers.
4. Officers communicate policy changes to the organization.
5. Officers communicate project status to the organization.


  • The purpose for officers is to Provide leadership for organization operations.
  • No hierarchy exists between officers. The officers decide what specific roles are needed and who will fill them (like treasurer tasks, for example).
  • Officers report to the council and to the Free Ride members

Responsibilities are to:

  1. Define, update and communicate Free Ride policy.
  2. Oversee Free Ride’s operation and program resources to ensure that the Free Ride mission is met.
  3. Balance Free Ride’s resources to ensure that operation and program needs are met.
  4. Report the successes and failures of operations and programs in achieving the Free Ride mission.
  5. Provide contact information to the general public and respond to all communications from outside individuals or groups.
  6. Provide contact information to all Free Ride members and respond to all correspondences from Free Ride members.
  7. Empower Free Ride members to take (shared) ownership in the Free Ride organization.


  • Don’t allow as-is purchases for bikes
  • Frame may be purchased as-is


  • No bikes sold during open shop
  • Rename to “Open Stand Time”
  • Allow volunteering, EAB and personal repairs
  • Allow selection of an EAB project bike (after requirements are met)
  • Allow purchase of bike components


  • Time where we are only selling bikes, this is the only time we are selling bikes, and we are only selling bikes at that time (no repairs, etc.)
  • Can be only FFS bikes sold
  • Maybe allow as-is bikes, maybe not allow as-is purchases
  • Allow purchase of bike components, accessories, etc


  • Complete one of the following:
    • Two mechanics classes
    • Volunteer 2 hours + attend 1 mechanics class
    • Volunteer 4 hours


  • Premium hours reserved for FR members to hang out and do fun things.
  • Weekly events at a minimum
  • Probably Sunday Evenings.
  • Events could include:
    • Open stand time for staff only
    • Bike rides when the weather is nice
    • Potluck meals
    • Movies
    • Concerts / Open mic time
    • Raffles or giveaways
    • Special classes or workshops
    • Skill-sharing workshops (non-bike related)
    • Black and gold sprints


  • Once the computer bike database is implemented, we use Red tags for any bike that is reserved for a program
  • Blue tags are for bikes that are ready for sale


  • We should have a liability form signed for anybody purchasing
  • We should not pay people for time spent repairing bikes, it should be volunteer only (reduces liability and can keep insurance costs lower)


  • Free Ride provides housing and in exchange, somebody is a dedicated staffer for the shop
  • Can be out of town people or in town
  • Idea came from a discussion at Bike Bike where leaders at other bike co-ops said it would be fun to travel to other places and work for a time. It could be like an exchange program.
  • The resident staffer would not get paid
  • Would work part-time so that other time could be spent working somewhere else for spending money

Old projects/ideas – completed or discarded

  • Extend compressor lines to get more air hoses and pumps through the shop
  • Could we order pro soap? it’s cheaper than zep…. got a free sample and dispenser to try it out.
  • Library bike system
  • Computer at the shop
  • relocate the bike corral toward the back of the shop…the influx of bikes makes the front unpassable.
  • Staff Mechanic for 2011: Introduce the staff mechanic role so that we have 2 greeters and 2 staff mechanics each open shop. We would have an orientation for mechanics to help make sure they are teaching in a hands off manner. New mechanics still learning repair skills can shadow until they feel comfortable being the staff mechanic. (Will 10/18/2010)

I have an old desktop computer I could donate to the shop. If there was a demand for it I could probably get Pitt to wipe the hardrive and put a new os on it.