Letter of Intent
Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: 
Letter of Intent: 

June 6, 2016

Sustainable mobility practices have a large positive impact both on the community and the environment, and cycling is the poster child for sustainable mobility. Not only is biking much cheaper than driving, making it ideal for college students on a budget, but it has a net zero carbon footprint, making it ideal for the environmental well-being of our community. It also gives cyclists a better understanding of, and connection to, the environment they inhabit. The easier it is for people to ride their bikes on and to campus, the fewer cars there will be, and everyone’s experience will be improved. With our mobile maintenance trailer we will be able to strengthen UW’s bike infrastructure by offering on demand bike maintenance wherever it is needed, and wherever our student mechanics directing the program determine it will be most beneficial.

In 5-10 minutes, with the proposed mobile toolkit, we could perform the following safety checks and services to most bicycles:

  • Adjust brakes & shifting
  • Clean and oil the chain
  • Evaluate wear on brake pads, tires, chains
  • Check tire pressure, wheel alignment, derailleur alignment
  • Advise whether any further maintenance is needed, or just what to watch out for
  • Supply pamphlets about rider safety, bike registration stickers, and  information about programs by transportation services, such as commute planning consultation or the bike buddy program, and the IMA’s UWild bike rental

A mobile bicycle repair program will directly support our on-campus cycling community, be entirely managed and run by student mechanics at the ASUW Bike Shop, and result in direct engagement between the ASUW Bike Shop and UW bicycle commuters. It will be an opportunity to increase the presence of the ASUW Bike Shop on campus, while providing a direct and tangible benefit to those riders who our programs are here to serve.

The performance difference between a bicycle that has not been maintained and a freshly serviced bicycle is noticeable. Yet, the cost and hassle of having to come to the bike shop to get that service is enough to prevent many bikes from receiving the regular maintenance they need to operate most efficiently. People riding up to a mobile bicycle safety check station, then riding away a few minutes later with a bicycle that stops easier, shifts better, or doesn’t make that annoying noise anymore will be more likely to enjoy their ride, increasing the likelihood they will opt to ride their bike in the future and seek repair services when needed.

Environmental Impact, Education and Outreach

Passenger car trips account for 45% of carbon emissions in the Seattle area, according to the 2012 Seattle Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory. Many of those car trips might be replaced by bike trips if the incentives to ride a bike are high and the barriers are low. The incentives for cycling are already high – it is a healthy, affordable, effective, reliable, and fun way to get around. The barriers for regularly riding a bike for most people are, unfortunately, even higher. Two barriers to cycling people might face include: (1) mechanical issues with their bikes, and (2) insufficient knowledge of how to safely operate and maintain a bike. Our mechanics are not only capable of quickly fixing or diagnosing mechanical issues, but are also experienced cyclists who are knowledgeable enough to answer most questions beginning cyclists have about their ride. While we work every day within the walls of the Bike Shop to make cycling more accessible and safe for the UW community, we can more effectively address both of these barriers by refusing to limit ourselves by the physical walls of our shop. We can expand our impact by having regular mobile maintenance events around campus.

Student Leadership and Involvement

All of the mechanics at the ASUW Bike Shop are current students at UW, and one of them would be put in charge of the mobile maintenance program. This position would require additional organization, discretion, and leadership than what is required of a mechanic position alone, and would be a good stepping-stone for students interested in becoming manager of the bike shop. The director of the mobile maintenance program will be given the responsibility of determining the most effective schedule, location, and ways to publicize the free service. They will coordinate with other mechanics so that at least two mechanics will be out whenever we are offering mobile maintenance.

Feasibility, Accountability, Sustainability

The program was test-run last summer and autumn to determine what to expect from offering free safety checks and tune-ups. It was determined that several factors will be critical to the success of this program: set-up and take-down efficiency, safety check/tune-up efficacy, and station visibility. Having the proper equipment, so the mechanic will only have to hitch up the trailer in the morning to be ready to go, will greatly improve the efficiency of the set-up and take-down process. Proper tools and training will ensure our mechanics operate at peak efficacy. A professional looking set-up, including a sign that communicates that the service is “FREE,” as well as the alluring possibility of free trinkets, will maximize our visibility and encourage people to stop.

By placing responsibility on the student mechanics involved in the program to determine how to best allocate their time and the Bike Shop’s resources to achieve their goal, we will ensure that the program is implemented by students who are excited, empowered, and actively invested in making it as successful as possible.

If we are properly prepared, and prudent about what we are and aren’t able to fix while mobile, this will be a very fun and effective way to engage the cycling community, do more good work for their bicycles, and support our partners on campus who provide services and resources for UW cyclists.


Very respectfully,

Kris Skotheim
Current Manager, ASUW Bike Shop

Chet Merklin
Incoming Manager, ASUW Bike Shop

Adam Witzel
Mechanic, ASUW Bike Shop


In 4 weeks or less from the allocation of funds, we will be able to order, assemble, and prepare the mobile maintenance program. If we are able to purchase the equipment by July 1st, we will be able to run at least one or two mobile maintenance events this summer in preparation for the rush of students and cyclists returning to campus in the fall.

Tool Qty Indiv Cost Qty Cost    
Park screwdriver set 1 $9.40 $9.40    
Park hex wrench set 2 $12.50 $25.00    
Park wrench set 1 $41.95 $41.95    
Park adjustable wrench 1 $19.50 $19.50    
Park needle nose pliers 1 $13.50 $13.50    
Park magnetic parts bowl 1 $3.95 $3.95    
Park derailleur alignment tool 1 $37.95 $37.95    
Park cone wrenches, 13 - 17 mm 5 $4.50 $22.50    
Dualco grease gun 1 $10.95 $10.95    
Park spoke wrenches (3.2, 3.3, 3.45, 3.96) 4 $3.85 $15.40    
Park chain tool 1 $18.75 $18.75    
Park chain wear indicator 1 $15.45 $15.45    
Park chain link pliers 1 $8.30 $8.30    
Park small pedal wrench 1 $6.25 $6.25    
Park Pin Spanners 2 $4.75 $9.50    
Pedro's cable cutter 1 $17.50 $17.50    
Pedro's cable puller fourth hand 1 $15.00 $15.00    
Hozan Lock Ring Wrench 1 $16.50 $16.50    
Finish Line Chain Cleaner 1 $13.50 $13.50    
        Tools Sub-Total: $320.85
Surly Ted long-bed bike trailer   $475.00      
Surly trailer hitch   $185.00   Trailer Sub-Total: $660.00
        Tools & Trailer: $980.85
Approximate Labor Cost

(to be covered by ASUW Bike Shop):

hrs mechanics wage sessions/month total/month
Low estimate: 3:30 - 6:30 (on the trail from 4 pm - 6 pm) 3 2 $14.00 1 $84.00
High estimate: 3:00 - 7:00 (on the trail from 3:30 pm - 6:30 pm) 4 2 $14.00 2 $224.00


Contact Information
Primary Contact First & Last Name: 
Kris Skotheim
Full Proposal
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