2009 Arts & Music Festival Recap

It was a clear and sunny day on Sunday, April 26 for the Second Annual Albany Strollers & Rollers/Street Level Cycles Bike Tune-up at the Spring Art and Music Festival.

A major addition to our presence was the free Bicycle Valet Parking service we offered, sponsored by Jelly Belly. 83 people rode to the event and our efficient crew signed their bikes (scooters or skateboards, too) in and kept them as long as they wanted to enjoy the Festival. Amazingly, Ken McCroskey Wait had towed all eight of the bike racks behind his bicycle on a trailer – pretty impressive and tough to steer!! Sorry, I didn’t take a photo…

New AS&R member Anne Malamud headed up the Bicycle Valet Parking effort and was very well-organized. Everyone who brought his or her bike in got a Jelly Belly team water bottle. And everyone who visited our table for any reason (including all the volunteers, of course) during the course of the day ate bags of Jelly Bellys and Sport Beans, courtesy of our sponsor!

Julian Marszalek came with a band of 7 other mechanics from Street Level Cycles, a few work stands, a huge set of tools, grease, oil, tubes, tires, cables,brake pads and anything else they imagined they might need for whatever jobs lay ahead. Instead of having the people wait on a long queue like last year, the BVP crew took phone numbers of those needing repairs and called them when their tuneup time had come – an efficient, 21st century system.

The SLC mechanics tuned 33 bikes up – fewer than last year, but that means that all the really out-of-order bikes in Albany had been fixed last year! Some of the repairs made included brake adjustments, cranks tightened, derailleur adustments and chains lubed. In all cases, the mechanics explained the different problems people were experiencing on their bikes, and sometimes they were referred to their shop for more in-depth fixing… Way to go, guys! Many customers tipped the mechanics, grateful for the time and effort put in. For the second straight year we fulfilled our goal – getting people’s bikes in working order in time for Bike to Work Day and beyond. Last year we saw many of these ‘repairees’ at our Bike to Work Day booth and I know we’ve seen them on the road since then.
While the folks were signing in for BVP and repairs, we talked to them about Albany Strollers & Rollers – what we are all about, what we have alreadyaccomplished and what we hope to accomplish in the future. We stressed the need for community involvement and hoped they would join our group and help out. We signed up 19 new Albany Strollers & Rollers! Welcome, and we look forward to your involvement!

We sold 17 of our great new blinking Safety Lights. In addition to getting a useful accessory, people loved the idea that for every light that we sold, an Albany student will get one free. If you aren’t familiar with this program, please visit our Home Page to find out more.

Another wonderful addition was lunch provided by our good friends at Chipotle. They provided each of the AS&R and SLC volunteers with a huge and delicious burrito – thanks! And we all had Jelly Bellys and Sport Beans for dessert!

Thanks to all the volunteers – Ken & Camden McCroskey Wait, Sherie Reineman, Heather Cunningham, David & Austin Arkin, Preston Jordan, Nick Pilch,  Anne Malamud, Estella Garcia, Sylvia Paull (who coordinated our BVP efforts and found Anne and Estella) and Ed Fields.

Thanks also to Isabelle Leduc of the City of Albany for welcoming us to her festival and to Peggy McQuaid for posting some promotions on-line. The prominence of the “Free Bicycle Tune-up” information on the poster, in print ads and in on-line promotions everywhere REALLY helped promote awareness of our booth. I hope Isabelle and the rest of the City of Albany staff will look at us as benefiting Albany as a whole and welcome us to other events.

Thanks especially to the mechanics from Street Level Cycles: Julian Marszalek, Chris Thompson, Tim Bodine,  Ken Shin, Tom Martin, Joe Sung, Noah Brozosky, Aaron Norton Buford, without whom this event obviously would have not been possible!

ciao – Amy Smolens

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