Friday, April 30, 2010

Expanding The Bike Valet

Last year Bike Jax joined the Riverside Arts Market (RAM) to provide a free bicycle valet service. RAM (if you are new to Jax or have been in a coma for the last year) is a weekly farmers and arts market held under the Fuller Warren Bridge (I-95) along the banks of the St. Johns River.

The idea was a simple one. By providing free bike parking we could get people to think of using their bikes as transportation without us having to prosthelytize our agenda. And if we could get people riding to RAM on a regular basis. Just maybe they would realize how easy it is to use a bike for their other transportational needs like work, school and shopping. Did it work? According to the feedback we have received from those that use the bike valet. I'd have to say it has worked way beyond anything we could have ever hoped for.

Year 2
We are now finishing up our seconded month of the seconded season of RAM and we have made a number of changes for this seasons RAM Bike Valet. The first change we made so far is to go car-free for transport of the valet station. We secured a place onsite to store the concrete filled buckets that make up our fencing anchors. We had needed a truck to haul those around last year. The rest of the setup fits easily on an extra-cycle equipped bike and at times a cargo trailer.

The next thing we have improved on is the addition of Regions Bank as the sponsor of the Bike Valet. This is a major improvement in that last year, all expenses had to come out our personal pockets since Bike Jax has no working budget. If you're not currently banking with Regions, might I show you something in green?

Another of other changes we have made this is season is the expansion of the size of the bike valet due to increased numbers. Our numbers are up 50% over the first season. Not only are more people riding to the Artist Market, they riding from greater distances. Below are maps showing the range of which people rode to RAM last year and so far this season on a consistent basis.

One Event At a Time
With the success of the bike valet at RAM we have hit a small snag. We are being inundated with requests to provide bike valet services at other city and public events. With only 2 of us currently carrying all the duties of the bike valet. It leaves us little time or ability to expand the bike valet and provide service to other events.

We need a pool of people willing to volunteer some of their time to help make Jacksonville a more bike friendly place to live. We would also like to find a couple people to become event coordinators. Duties will include working with event promotor and coordinating the volunteers. We also need a couple of people with a pickup or van that can be available to transport, setup and pack up the bike valet.

If you're interested in becoming a volunteer or leaning more. Email me at [email protected]

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