Staff the Shop

Free Ride is volunteer run and relies on volunteers to staff the shop. Staff are often familiar with bike mechanics, but bike repair knowledge is not required.

Why we need people to staff

Staffing the shop is one of the key roles needed to keep Free Ride operating. Our hours are mainly limited by availability of staff to open and close the shop. Volunteers who staff help keep the shop running smoothly. The shop sometimes gets hectic with many visitors and there is a limit to how much attention can be given to our visitors when we have limited staff.

Here are some of the ways volunteering as staff helps:

  • Enables the shop to open on a regular basis
  • Keeps the shop running smoothly
  • Introduces new visitors to Free Ride with the full attention needed
  • Shares the work so volunteers don’t become overexerted.

How to start staffing

Although staffing the shop can be challenging at times, getting started is rather simple. Becoming a staffer can be broken down into three parts.

Get an introduction to staffing

We hold staff orientations on a regular basis during volunteer night. You can also just show up to the shop and ask staffers there how to get started.

Learn the basics by shadowing

We let the staffers in training shadow during open shop. Contact us and let us know when you want to shadow. When you arrive at the shop, the scheduled staffer will advise you and assign you duties, like working at the greeting counter. During down-time, we will explain different aspects of the shop and answer questions. When something comes up, you can observe, learn and practice taking care of it.

Take on full responsibility when you feel ready

Being able to staff a full open shop does take a good understanding of many aspects at Free Ride. You can shadow as many times as you feel comfortable. When you feel like you have a good grasp of the shop, then you can sign up as a regular staffer. Don’t worry about knowing everything, we are all trying to figure stuff out.

What is expected from volunteer staff

Our staff are volunteers, and that means there are no strict staffing requirements. If you are staffing and feel pressure to do some work that you are not comfortable with, don’t do it! Pitch in what you can but don’t overexert yourself.

We do, however, have some guidelines to let volunteers know what shop procedures to follow. Please check out the staffing manual to learn more details of volunteering to staff the shop.

Want to get more involved?  Learn while helping others, in a diverse, fun environment?  Free Ride needs two people per open shop shift, to be responsible for opening, closing, and orienting new people in the shop. No prior experience needed!  The first step is to come to a new staffer orientation. Without more people willing to staff shifts, Free Ride cannot stay open during our scheduled hours.   Many hands make light work!  Here’s how it works:

  1. Come to a staff orientation for an informal introduction to staffing
  2. Staff as a trainee (shadow trained staff volunteers) until you are comfortable with the tasks.
  3. Attend a staffing skills workshop for a more formal and structured introduction to staffing
  4. Continue to shadow as a trainee, if needed
  5. Sign up to staff shifts.

Contact us if you have any questions.