Freewheel Collective's Blog

"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man." -Iris Murdoch

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More Bikes Liberated!

Today, the Liberate-Reuse-Recycle program took another step forward when SB Facilities & Services and University Police removed 16 tagged bikes from various areas around the Academic Mall and relocated them to Freewheel Collective’s shed. More tags are on the way, and we noticed a lot of taggable bikes on our ride two weeks ago. In total, 33 abandoned bikes have been removed from around campus this semester. The result is more space for cyclists, and the removal of bikes that become obstructions (locked to benches and railings!)

On our end, we’ve overhauled and redistributed parts from about 10 of these bicycles. After we sift through this next batch, the remainder will be moved ahead to University Recycling. A really excellent example of very different groups on campus working together for a purpose with multiple benefits! Thanks to all our collaborators.


Freewheel Coordinator

Update: Just spoke with a reporter at the Stony Brook Statesman, who is writing a story on the program.  We’ll link it here when it comes out.

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Freewheel Organizational Meeting

We are scheduling a meeting for the Freewheel Collective.  Please email fwcoord at gmail dot com if you plan to attend and if you have preference on date/time/location.

Right now the plan is to meet either on May 12th or 13th at 5pm at the University Cafe.

Also email me if you have items for the agenda.

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Last Saturday’s Ride + New Ride

Yesterday, we went for a group ride. The weather was nice, a little cool, a little windy, but overall good. Three of us (J.Matt, Noto, and Adam) rode from campus through Stony Brook, Setauket, Poquott, and Port Jefferson. Highlights included stops at several yard sales, seeing swan and osprey at the Poquott harbor, and seeing the signs of spring in the new vegetation and flowers. Our route was a tidy 11 miles.

I’d like to get more people out on the rides with us, so I’m looking for other people to suggest times and destinations for group rides. Otherwise, I will continue to be out at the fountain on the academic mall at 10am on Saturday mornings and ready to ride with anyone that shows up.

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“Public service subsidized by advertising”

Check out this article on a public bike-sharing program, SmartBikeDC, that’s getting started in our nation’s capital. The article points out that past programs similar to this have failed because bikes quickly go missing or get trashed. This program limits that kind of problem because the hi-tech bike rental stations that keep track of users and the in/out of each bike.

Although the $40 annual subscription fee is an affordable and appropriate price, the online access and probable necessity of possessing a major credit card (the subscription page is not yet set up, so I couldn’t see all the payment options) poses a potential socioeconomic limit on the availability of the program. Still, its great to see that more programs like this are being planned and implemented in more U.S. Cities.

The program is a collaboration between Clear Channel Outdoor and the District Department of Transportation. The revenues from the subscription go to the DDoT and Clear Channel gets revenue from the advertising space at bus/bike stalls.

Update: See what some others are saying about the program. Danger Bay