An Afternoon with Spokes Folks

So here’s the deal with Saturday. We’re trying to find a good spot on the J Blanchard Trail for this recurring picnic-type event that I’m sure will be so much fun once we figure out how it’s going to work. As of now, the plan is to meet up at the normal Tuesday Knight Ride starting point at noon and bike down the trail until we find a  good spot to set up. Ideally, this spot will have a pavilion and a grill near it.

Things to bring:

  • Bikes
  • Smiles
  • Food
  • Boombox
  • Sports Equipment
  • All of your friends!

Hopefully the weather won’t be a problem. Stay tuned to the blog or the facebook page for updates.

ride safe y’all!

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Summertime for Spokescouncil

Hey Spokes! Here’s some updates for Summer.

  • Open Shop Hours will continue to be on-campus every Wednesday until the club decides there’s sufficient need to add more hours/days. Any changes or added hours will be posted here and on the facebook group page.
  • We will also continue to meet after shop hours for the weekly organizational meeting. Depending on how long it takes to pack up after shop hours, the meeting will usually be held around 3:15PM.
  • This Saturday we will be looking into setting up a recurring picnic-type event to be held over the summer on J Blanchard trail. Details aren’t set as of yet, but I will update the blog tomorrow with definite details.

If you have any questions, feel free to email spokescouncil@gmail.com or post on the facebook page.

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Polo Party V

Orlando Bike Polo is hosting another party this Saturday for all of you hard court bicycle polo enthusiasts. These are always a good time so after you recover from the pub crawl be sure to stop by and play some polo with these cool cats.

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12 Hours of St. Pete

There’s still a few days left to pre-register for this race. I know we’ve got at least one team going out there. Don’t miss it!

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Ride to Wekiwa Springs

If you’re hanging around Orlando for spring break, some spokes folks are organizing a ride up to Wekiwa Springs this Wednesday for some swimming and a whole mess of fun. Details are currently being worked out, but I will update this post when we figure it all out.

Here’s a link to the facebook event: Link

Looks nice!

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Quick Announcement

Our weekly shop hours will be cancelled during Spring break, but we’ll be back to helping people fix their bikes on the 13th. Have a great spring break spokes folks!

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Good stuff is happening.

Hey everyone I thought I’d just on here really quick and give a few updates about some upcoming event and some stuff that is going on. First off we have been getting some good press with all we are doing. If you haven’t heard we finally got a bike repair stand put up in the student union new to the Smoothie King.

bike repair stand

bike repair stand

Pretty great right? They did an article about it in Commute Orlando There is another great article at hercampus.com So check those out.

upcoming events:

Hungry Hungry Hippolo

Hungry Hungry Hippolo is this upcoming weekend. Feb 25th -26 in Talllahassee, FL

Duval Dirty Bike Olympics

Duval Dirty Bike Olympics Is March 23th-25th and is in Jaxsonvillie, FL. This should be tons of fun with events for everyone.

Cheers,
Jake

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Pictures from Tuesday’s shop hours

Jaffy stopped by this past Tuesday to take some pictures of our first shop hours of the Spring semester.

We'll be set up every Tuesday and Wednesday this semester from 12-3PM

The tubes are in! So if you're a UCF student and have a flat, come by and trade us your busted tube for a free one.

We’ll even teach you how to put that tube into your tire!

Learning

Learning!

We taught a lot of people how to fix their bikes that day!

And Pete still had time to show us his sweet tricks, rad!

Those master links are tricky!

Lugged carbon frame? Fancy!

Come hang out with Spokescouncil!

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Biking at UCF

Bring your bike to campus!!! UCF campus is large and riding your bike is definitely the easiest and fastest way to get around. Biking in a new place can be intimidating and Orlando isn’t exactly well known for being the most bike friendly place. But there’s a great community of cyclists that have been biking in the area for years and we’re always ready to help with everything from proper locking technique to helping you plan a route to get to campus.

Common Concerns:

My bike is broken!

    For repairs, you have many options. The Student Union, offers free bike repair to students and have mechanics who can show you how to keep your bike running smoothly. Currently (Fall 2013) the service is offered Monday through Thursday, from 2pm – 6pm. They have all the tools for all minor and most major repairs. There is also a vending machine in the Student Union with a selection of the most common repair needs like tubes and cables and housing but if you need parts, make sure to get them at a local shop and bring them with you. If you’re not sure what’s wrong, the mechanics there can help explain the problem and direct you to a shop to get what you need.

    Spokescouncil has coordinated with the Student Union to install Fixit Dero Repair Stands several places around campus. As of February 2012, there are stands available at the bike racks near the Student Union and around the left side of the Rec Center near the stairwell. These stands have tools attached to perform many of the most common maintenance tasks. Unfortunately the pumps break often and both are currently out of commission (August 2013). We hope to get replacements in there soon! The stand allows you to raise your bike to work on it at eye level and keep it from rolling around while you work on it. Don’t know how to use any of the tools? Come to shop hours and ask a mechanic, they’ll be more than happy to help!

    Some bike shops are better than others, so ask around before you go to one! The nearest shop to campus is Bike Works on Colonial. If you can’t make it to shop hours or have a major repair that SU mechanics can’t do, they’re a great shop to go to. They can also help you order parts or get a new bike or fancy accessories. If you need to bring a broken bike there, the Lynx bus system has Route 104 which you can pick up on campus and get dropped off a block away Colonial and Constantine St. Other great shops, which are farther away but good for students are Retro City Cycles, Kyle’s Bike Shop, Ace Metric Cycles, and Orange Cycle.

But riding in Orlando is dangerous!

    Not true! While Orlando isn’t especially known for bike friendliness, arming yourself with knowledge of safe cycling practices can reduce your risk of injury significantly. While people don’t question the need to educate themselves on proper car driving or motorcycle riding, many think that they can hop on a bike and ride in the same traffic with no preparation. The more you know, the safer you’ll be, so safe in fact, that you can, statistically, be safer than children riding on a schoolbus! The most common causes of accidents for cyclists (in order of most to least) are riding while drunk, riding at night without lights, breaking traffic laws, and riding on the sidewalk in the opposite direction of traffic. By eliminating these behaviors, which is all entirely under your control, you can reduce your risk of a crash by more than 80%! There are many more riding techniques and practices you can learn to help you ride safely with traffic.

    Spokescouncil bike rides are a great way to ride with other people who have many years of experience riding in Orlando and learn from their experience and mistakes. The Tuesday Knight Ride is a weekly ride on the Little Econ Trail which is at a good pace for any type of bike or cycling ability. This is a great starting point to learn about safe riding in groups and talk with others about riding safely in the road. The ride starts at 8pm from the Little Econ Trailhead, just west down the hill from the Lokanatosa and Alafaya intersection. For more advanced riders we also do monthly rides to downtown and have many other intermittent rides for grocery shopping or just for fun.

    The Florida Bike Association has many good resources and all the pertinent statutes listed for Florida biking. They’ll even send you free guides listing the bike laws with explanations and a guide book to take you through some of the trickier situations you may find yourself in out on the road.

    The greatest single resource for riding bikes in Orlando (and anywhere else, really) is the Commute Orlando blog. The blog is written by many people who have been cycling in Orlando their entire lives. They also have many good articles to keep you updated on new trails and the state of cycling in Orlando. There are excellent video demonstrations of the effective lane position and animations of turning and merging with traffic.

    The creators of the blog and Orlando cycling planners have created a bicycle driving course called Cycling Savvy, which teaches all of these skills and can take someone who is new to riding to traveling safely and confidently in the roadway. These classes are offered at significantly reduced rates for students and will be starting up again in the fall once it cools off a bit.

Theft, vandalism, and rain damage

    UCF has been fortunate to have very few problems with theft and vandalism. The Central Florida Future just recently reported that UCF PD operates a bait bike program to catch thieves using a GPS tracker on specific bikes. This doesn’t mean you can be lazy locking up your bike! Never leave your bike unlocked and unattended! Every theft story starts out “I only left it for a minute.” Always lock it up and always do it properly. This means using both a U-lock and cable lock to lock both wheels and the frame. Kryptonite and On Guard are good brands for locks and Amazon.com has some good deals on a U-lock+Cable lock combos.

    In the event that the worst does happen, do you know your bike’s serial number? This is a number that is printed underneath the bottom bracket, where the pedals attach to the frame. Use this number to register with UCF Parking Services AND UCF Police Department. If your bike does get stolen, report it to UCF PD and if it turns up at a pawn shop or a bike shop, the chances of recovery are much higher if you registered it in the first place. Also, do your hair and makeup and have a photoshoot with your bike. Having pictures to post if it goes missing will help a lot and it’s something we never think about until after it’s gone. Having you in the pictures also makes it easier to show ownership.

    The fastest way for your bike to start squeaking and creaking everywhere you ride is to leave it out in the rain. If you’re not living on campus, bring it inside your garage or apartment. On campus, there are many covered bike parking locations at the Towers and near the Libra Community. Keeping it out of the rain will greatly extend the life of your bike and keep it running smoothly. If you do start hearing creaks and squeaks bring it out to Student Union shop hours. Most of the time some chain lube clears it right up. The sooner you take care of it, the better. Leaving those things for a long time can cause damage that won’t easily be fixed with a bit of lube

I don’t have any friends to ride with!

    Come out to Spokescouncil rides and events! We don’t care what bike you ride or if you don’t even have one yet. We’re always excited to have new people coming out to ride with us. If you don’t know anything about bikes we’ll teach you! If you know everything about bikes, you can teach us! If you don’t have a bike, we’ll do our best to help you find one. We always have a lot of projects going on that you can help out with regardless of your level of bike knowledge. If you have ideas of your own, we have an excellent network of contacts with different departments and other clubs on campus to help you get started.

Any more questions? Contact us! Can’t wait to see you at UCF. Have fun and ride safe!

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Meeting Notes 1/12

-Spring Semester shop hours have been set for Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 12-3PM in front of the Student Union near the bike racks. We are always looking for volunteers regardless of proficiency in bike repair. So if you want to volunteer, send an email to spokescouncil@gmail.com or come talk to us at shop hours.

-After going through a series of approvals, the on-campus bike repair stands are being ordered now and should be installed within a month or two. Thanks for pushing that through, Marcus!

-We have restocked our repair box with more tubes and more tools over the break. Thanks for picking up the tubes, Aisha, and thanks to Mason and Retro City Cycles for ordering them!

-Dan and Anthony have volunteered to reach out through craigslist and other means to build up our stock of bike parts. Thanks guys!

-Planning will begin shortly for some form of bike race in Spring. I’ll update the blog with information when a date is set for the meeting.

-We’re going to be putting together a pre-order for spokescouncil
t-shirts soon. The design will most likely be the logo we’ve been using on the facebook page. Thanks Genesis!

-And last but not least, we are having an open house/fundraiser tomorrow at my place for all the new and old spokes folks. (Event description from facebook posted below)

Hey Spokes! To start off the spring semester, we’re putting on an open house for all new and old members/friends of Spokescouncil. There will be plenty of delicious beverages for everyone! (donations to the club will be greatly appreciated) Just found the club? Haven’t been on a ride yet? No problem! Come on out and meet Spokescouncil!

I highly recommend biking to my place because the parking in my community is awful. Call/text 3053381482 if you have any problems finding the place or you just want to talk about bikes :)

Ride safe y’all!

-Brian

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