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MSNBC report on Bike Shop vending machines

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  • Tone
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36054730/ns/local_news-new_york_ny/ (If the link does not work, try also deleting everything after 36054730 .) I always wondered
    Message 1 of 6 , Mar 31, 2010
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      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36054730/ns/local_news-new_york_ny/
      (If the link does not work, try also deleting everything after "36054730".)

      I always wondered what unprepared cyclists would have to do when getting
      a flat after-hours. I suppose a specialized vending machine is
      particularly helpful to early morning commuters. Although in a city like
      New York I would think someone might just save themselves the time by
      going into one of the many nearby subway stations instead of taking the
      extra time of walking to a bike shop and fixing their bike while also
      risk getting dirty before work. The article does mention a couple of
      other bike shops around the country, who have started offering similar
      services before the Brooklyn bike shop did. Obviously bike-specific
      vending machines would probably be way more effective and useful to
      commuters in cities with much worse public transportation options. I
      would also hope there is at least an awning/canopy outside the shop so
      that people can fix their bike in somewhat dry conditions when it is
      raining.
      Regardless, I love the concept. It is a great idea and a step in the
      right direction. I think it would be even cooler if there were bike-fix
      vending machines at key commuting routes, like at either end of the
      bridges or in areas with no bikes shops. It would be especially nice if
      they could be tucked under bus-stop-like canopies for some protection
      from wet weather and high winds, etc. Maybe the canopy could even have
      solar panels on/as the roof, which would power the machine (if electronic
      instead of simply mechanical) as well as a user-operated night-light
      (user operated to save power when no one was in it). With solar panels it
      would be completely off the grid and self-sustainable. Although an
      internet connection to an electronic vending machine might allow a local
      bike shop to more conveniently monitor inventory levels, as well as
      possibly provide a live and/or remote-server-recorded video feed for
      extra security of the products as well as the customers.

      Ride safe,
      _TONE_
    • Bob Matter
      ... I don t know about NYC, but in Chicago you can t take your bike on the L (train) during rush hours. If that s how it is in NYC, that means you would have
      Message 2 of 6 , Mar 31, 2010
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        On Wed, Mar 31, 2010 at 6:46 AM, Tone <tone@...> wrote:
        >
        > http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36054730/ns/local_news-new_york_ny/
        > (If the link does not work, try also deleting everything after "36054730".)
        >
        > I always wondered what unprepared cyclists would have to do when getting
        > a flat after-hours. I suppose a specialized vending machine is
        > particularly helpful to early morning commuters. Although in a city like
        > New York I would think someone might just save themselves the time by
        > going into one of the many nearby subway stations instead of taking the
        > extra time of walking to a bike shop and fixing their bike while also
        > risk getting dirty before work.

        I don't know about NYC, but in Chicago you can't take your bike on the
        L (train) during rush hours. If that's how it is in NYC, that means
        you would have to leave your bike locked outside somewhere, which
        means it probably won't be there when you get back if it is anything
        more than a beater. We can put our bikes on buses in Chicago anytime,
        if 1) the bus has a rack 2) the rack is in operable condition 3) the
        rack isn't already full 4) you have 20 minutes to kill waiting for the
        next bus, then an additional hour to get where you're going because
        the bus creeps along at 2-3 mph in stifling traffic, stopping to
        pickup and drop off people every 200 feet. If you ride an Xtracycle
        to work it won't fit on a bus rack anyway. This reminds me though, I
        think I will replace the existing tires on my X with some narrower
        high-pressure Kevlar belted tires for the summer and fall season. In
        the winter I will go back to a studded Nokian 240 on the front and a
        knobby on the rear, or maybe even a studded tire on the rear too if I
        can afford it.

        -Bob M.
      • Tone
        Bob, When I was still living in NYC the rule was a cyclist could bring a bike on a train during rush hour as long as the last (and possibly the first as well?)
        Message 3 of 6 , Mar 31, 2010
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          Bob,

          When I was still living in NYC the rule was a cyclist could bring a bike
          on a train during rush hour as long as the last (and possibly the first
          as well?) subway car had a sufficient amount of extra room. I never had
          any problem bringing my bike on the subway on the few occasions I did
          (stolen rear wheel, etc.). Sometimes police officers will walk through
          the chain of subway cars as part of their patrol and none of them ever
          said anything to me. Of course I am always courteous to fellow passengers
          and recognize a bike is not in its element on a subway. It did piss me
          off when I saw other ignorant cyclists kind of force their bike on with
          them like it was just another person trying to squeeze on… and during
          rush hour and not in the last car, etc. That kind of attitude and action
          messes things up for all the good cyclists out there.
          Actually the hardest part of bringing any bike onto a subway is getting
          it down the stairs and especially through the turnstile if there is not a
          booth-operator buzz-door. One time when I was already on a somewhat empty
          subway car with my bike, the car eventually started to get somewhat
          filled. Well before every seat was taken I gave up my seat and sat on the
          top tube of the bike while it was leaning against the grabbing pole away
          from the doors. When there were no seats I actually told a woman she
          could sit down on my Xtracycle. At first she declined as if initially not
          wanting to accept something from a stranger, but after a little while she
          asked if I was sure it was ok. She ended up sitting on the bike with me
          and we talked about it. Other passengers over heard and started asking
          questions and said it was cool. I also told other standing passengers
          rather than reaching up for the ceiling-cross bar they could support
          themselves by holding onto my handlebars, which had plenty of hand
          positions and grip.

          By the way, I just e-mailed the owner of the only local bike shop in town
          with the bike vending machine MSNBC link. His shop is near the edge of
          town, so I suggested he consider setting up a vending machine near the
          end of the Heritage Rail Trail, which runs down 41 miles to about 14-16
          miles North of Baltimore. The rail trail here ends within blocks of down
          town York, PA and it also runs directly alongside the main local bus
          company junction hub. Many of their busses have bike racks, so I think it
          would be easy to team up with the bus company to set up a bike vending
          machine possibly on their bus station property right beside the rail
          trail. It would obviously service the recreational cyclists on the trail,
          but would also provide snacks and repair kits to cycling bus commuters,
          who might be waiting for their second bus after getting a flat on the way
          to their first bus. Since his shop is up hill near the edge of town the
          location would allow customers to fix their own problems without having
          to walk up-hill for quite a distance. Besides the vending machine’s ideal
          self-promoting location, I would also imagine the bus company could
          lightly advertise the machine as an added service to their customers on
          their route pamphlets, bus drivers could certainly direct broken down
          cyclists to the machine after seeing the sad passenger mount their
          flatted bike on the front rack, and I could easily imagine the local TV
          stations running a promo report as part of their prime time local news.
          I guess I will just have to see if the local bike shop owner wants to try
          it out. Heck, if he does not I might even consider it. With an
          Xtracycle/Big Dummy it would be easy enough to ride down the rail trail
          and restock a few vending machines twice a week or so.

          _TONE_
        • Pete B
          The Treehugger blog had a story on a bike part vending machine and workstand by Trek back in 2008
          Message 4 of 6 , Mar 31, 2010
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            The Treehugger blog had a story on a bike part vending machine and workstand by Trek back in 2008


            'Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization' : George Bernard Shaw


            On 1 April 2010 01:46, Tone <tone@...> wrote:
             

            Bob,

            When I was still living in NYC the rule was a cyclist could bring a bike
            on a train during rush hour as long as the last (and possibly the first
            as well?) subway car had a sufficient amount of extra room. I never had
            any problem bringing my bike on the subway on the few occasions I did
            (stolen rear wheel, etc.). Sometimes police officers will walk through
            the chain of subway cars as part of their patrol and none of them ever
            said anything to me. Of course I am always courteous to fellow passengers
            and recognize a bike is not in its element on a subway. It did piss me
            off when I saw other ignorant cyclists kind of force their bike on with
            them like it was just another person trying to squeeze on… and during
            rush hour and not in the last car, etc. That kind of attitude and action
            messes things up for all the good cyclists out there.
            Actually the hardest part of bringing any bike onto a subway is getting
            it down the stairs and especially through the turnstile if there is not a
            booth-operator buzz-door. One time when I was already on a somewhat empty
            subway car with my bike, the car eventually started to get somewhat
            filled. Well before every seat was taken I gave up my seat and sat on the
            top tube of the bike while it was leaning against the grabbing pole away
            from the doors. When there were no seats I actually told a woman she
            could sit down on my Xtracycle. At first she declined as if initially not
            wanting to accept something from a stranger, but after a little while she
            asked if I was sure it was ok. She ended up sitting on the bike with me
            and we talked about it. Other passengers over heard and started asking
            questions and said it was cool. I also told other standing passengers
            rather than reaching up for the ceiling-cross bar they could support
            themselves by holding onto my handlebars, which had plenty of hand
            positions and grip.

            By the way, I just e-mailed the owner of the only local bike shop in town
            with the bike vending machine MSNBC link. His shop is near the edge of
            town, so I suggested he consider setting up a vending machine near the
            end of the Heritage Rail Trail, which runs down 41 miles to about 14-16
            miles North of Baltimore. The rail trail here ends within blocks of down
            town York, PA and it also runs directly alongside the main local bus
            company junction hub. Many of their busses have bike racks, so I think it
            would be easy to team up with the bus company to set up a bike vending
            machine possibly on their bus station property right beside the rail
            trail. It would obviously service the recreational cyclists on the trail,
            but would also provide snacks and repair kits to cycling bus commuters,
            who might be waiting for their second bus after getting a flat on the way
            to their first bus. Since his shop is up hill near the edge of town the
            location would allow customers to fix their own problems without having
            to walk up-hill for quite a distance. Besides the vending machine’s ideal
            self-promoting location, I would also imagine the bus company could
            lightly advertise the machine as an added service to their customers on
            their route pamphlets, bus drivers could certainly direct broken down
            cyclists to the machine after seeing the sad passenger mount their
            flatted bike on the front rack, and I could easily imagine the local TV
            stations running a promo report as part of their prime time local news.
            I guess I will just have to see if the local bike shop owner wants to try
            it out. Heck, if he does not I might even consider it. With an
            Xtracycle/Big Dummy it would be easy enough to ride down the rail trail
            and restock a few vending machines twice a week or so.

            _TONE_


          • Rich
            One potential problem I can foresee is vandalism, both for the contents and money, unless placed in very well lighted and patrolled areas. I would think also
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 2, 2010
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              One potential problem I can foresee is vandalism, both for the contents and money, unless placed in very well lighted and patrolled areas.

              I would think also that you would want quite sophisticated vending machines that would accept both cash and credit/debit cards. The latter means an internet connection of some sort is required though this could also signal the need for restocking and service.

              With initial machine cost, plus upkeep and maintenance costs, I have no idea what the profit potential would be for such a machine. I would expect that locations would have to be very carefully chosen to have any chance of such machines showing a profit. An LBS might have one outside for customer relations purposes but I am not sure of the potential in other locations.

              Rich Wood


              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, Pete B <nackterman@...> wrote:
              >
              > The Treehugger blog had a story on a bike part vending machine and workstand
              > by Trek back in 2008
              >
              > http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/07/vending-machine-for-bike-parts.php
              > <http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/07/vending-machine-for-bike-parts.php>
              > 'Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle
              > accident and the collapse of civilization' : George Bernard Shaw
              >
              >
              > On 1 April 2010 01:46, Tone <tone@...> wrote:
              >
              > >
              > >
              > > Bob,
              > >
              > > When I was still living in NYC the rule was a cyclist could bring a bike
              > > on a train during rush hour as long as the last (and possibly the first
              > > as well?) subway car had a sufficient amount of extra room. I never had
              > > any problem bringing my bike on the subway on the few occasions I did
              > > (stolen rear wheel, etc.). Sometimes police officers will walk through
              > > the chain of subway cars as part of their patrol and none of them ever
              > > said anything to me. Of course I am always courteous to fellow passengers
              > > and recognize a bike is not in its element on a subway. It did piss me
              > > off when I saw other ignorant cyclists kind of force their bike on with
              > > them like it was just another person trying to squeeze on… and during
              > > rush hour and not in the last car, etc. That kind of attitude and action
              > > messes things up for all the good cyclists out there.
              > > Actually the hardest part of bringing any bike onto a subway is getting
              > > it down the stairs and especially through the turnstile if there is not a
              > > booth-operator buzz-door. One time when I was already on a somewhat empty
              > > subway car with my bike, the car eventually started to get somewhat
              > > filled. Well before every seat was taken I gave up my seat and sat on the
              > > top tube of the bike while it was leaning against the grabbing pole away
              > > from the doors. When there were no seats I actually told a woman she
              > > could sit down on my Xtracycle. At first she declined as if initially not
              > > wanting to accept something from a stranger, but after a little while she
              > > asked if I was sure it was ok. She ended up sitting on the bike with me
              > > and we talked about it. Other passengers over heard and started asking
              > > questions and said it was cool. I also told other standing passengers
              > > rather than reaching up for the ceiling-cross bar they could support
              > > themselves by holding onto my handlebars, which had plenty of hand
              > > positions and grip.
              > >
              > > By the way, I just e-mailed the owner of the only local bike shop in town
              > > with the bike vending machine MSNBC link. His shop is near the edge of
              > > town, so I suggested he consider setting up a vending machine near the
              > > end of the Heritage Rail Trail, which runs down 41 miles to about 14-16
              > > miles North of Baltimore. The rail trail here ends within blocks of down
              > > town York, PA and it also runs directly alongside the main local bus
              > > company junction hub. Many of their busses have bike racks, so I think it
              > > would be easy to team up with the bus company to set up a bike vending
              > > machine possibly on their bus station property right beside the rail
              > > trail. It would obviously service the recreational cyclists on the trail,
              > > but would also provide snacks and repair kits to cycling bus commuters,
              > > who might be waiting for their second bus after getting a flat on the way
              > > to their first bus. Since his shop is up hill near the edge of town the
              > > location would allow customers to fix their own problems without having
              > > to walk up-hill for quite a distance. Besides the vending machine's ideal
              > > self-promoting location, I would also imagine the bus company could
              > > lightly advertise the machine as an added service to their customers on
              > > their route pamphlets, bus drivers could certainly direct broken down
              > > cyclists to the machine after seeing the sad passenger mount their
              > > flatted bike on the front rack, and I could easily imagine the local TV
              > > stations running a promo report as part of their prime time local news.
              > > I guess I will just have to see if the local bike shop owner wants to try
              > > it out. Heck, if he does not I might even consider it. With an
              > > Xtracycle/Big Dummy it would be easy enough to ride down the rail trail
              > > and restock a few vending machines twice a week or so.
              > >
              > > _TONE_
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
            • Pete Beers
              Our local bike shop has had one in front for at least 4 or 5 years. Seems to work well for them. I ve used it a few times.
              Message 6 of 6 , Apr 2, 2010
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                Our local bike shop has had one in front for at least 4 or 5 years.  Seems to work well for them. I've used it a few times.

                On Fri, Apr 2, 2010 at 4:38 PM, Rich <astronut1001@...> wrote:
                 

                One potential problem I can foresee is vandalism, both for the contents and money, unless placed in very well lighted and patrolled areas.

                I would think also that you would want quite sophisticated vending machines that would accept both cash and credit/debit cards. The latter means an internet connection of some sort is required though this could also signal the need for restocking and service.

                With initial machine cost, plus upkeep and maintenance costs, I have no idea what the profit potential would be for such a machine. I would expect that locations would have to be very carefully chosen to have any chance of such machines showing a profit. An LBS might have one outside for customer relations purposes but I am not sure of the potential in other locations.

                Rich Wood

                .


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