Meeting minutes from Jan 7th Meeting

Hey everyone!

Last night the collective held the first meeting of a series of meetings to be held while the shop takes a break. Jessica held the meeting at her house as well as a potluck beforehand (thanks Jessica). An in-depth history of Free Ride was given as well as discussion about goals/visions/values and problems. A few solutions were mentioned though they will be talked about more at the next meeting. Here are the lists that we came up with! (they can always be added onto though)

Goals, Visions, and Values (personal and collective)

· Mutual Aid

o Immediate and over time

· Burn less fossil fuels

· Build strong communities

· Personal empowerment

o Confidence

o Knowledge

· Less waste/recycle

· Legitimize cycling

· Have publicly visible community center for bicyclists (tangible rallying point)

· Education space

o Mechanics

o Social

o Bikes as transport

o Sustainability

· Open to anyone (class, race, gender, etc.)

· Gateway to alternatives

o Lifestyles

o Transportation

o Modes of organization

o Communities

o Etc. etc. etc.etc.

· Resource for cyclists

o Repair, tools, knowledge, etc.

· Experiment in alternative organizational practice

· Non-hierarchical organization

· Learn mechanics

· Anti-oppression (pro human/respect etc.)


· Not clear how to become more involved

· Staffing/collective membership is too taxing

· Tension with having a functional yet non-hierarchical organization

· Not enough time for planning/questions

o Pressed by functional needs

· Lack of health in personal feel to organization

· Lack of accountability

· Lack of follow through

· Personalized knowledge

· Community is less cohesive/social than in past


· Less enthusiasm

· Tension from being open to anyone

o Conflicting ideas

o Disproportionate use by certain groups

· Open shop can be difficult, exhausting, no fun

· Organizational structure slanted towards doing tasks (Open Shop)

· Don’t use volunteer labor well

· Not enough benefits for volunteers and collective members

· Not enough people resources to accomplish needed tasks (or not well used people resources)

· Needs not communicated

· Organizational structure/procedures not well documented

o Compounded by more people

· Don’t transition to new volunteers well

· Not good communication between committees and general Open Shop volunteers

· No opportunity to learn mechanics for new volunteers

· More demand for Earn-A-Bike/Free Ride services than we can accommodate

· Can’t identify staffers in Open Shop

· Imbalance in number of people who run Free Ride and number of people who use Free Ride

Ideas for Solutions

· Message board

o General internet

· Computer at shop

· Accountability

o Small group committees

o Periodic shifting “directors” to encourage accountability

· Job rotating (and organizing education)

· Interactive Stations (mechanical education documentation of shop procedures)


3 Responses to “Meeting minutes from Jan 7th Meeting”

  1. Will W Says:

    This is a good list and I encourage people to add their thoughts. Here are my thoughts:

    One common goal at FreeRide that I don’t think was listed directly is to get more people on bikes. FreeRide makes bicycles accessible and that helps to increase the number of bikers out there. I consider that to be a goal based on my observations with how the organization has been running things.

    Also, I would like to introduce an additional goal. I would like to see FreeRide help people to make cycling routine in their everyday lives. So not only can more people have bikes, but they can use them more frequently too.

    I look forward to hearing what other people think.

  2. Rich Says:

    I would be interested to know what “Disproportionate use by certain groups” means.

  3. Will W Says:

    I think “Disproportionate use by certain groups” would be that some communities have many many people doing EAB and not so many people getting involved in giving back. This comment was made with local university students in mind.

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