LJWorld.com weblogs Rolling along

On the hook for a rack; who's with me?


Whenever possible (or necessary), I prefer to ride my bike to the doctor.

I’ve pedaled there for bloodwork, regular check-ups, even a “minor procedure” that included only a bit of burning flesh. Unless I expect something that moves on its own to get lopped off, or I’m on the wrong end of anything involving a glove and lube, I plan to ride there.

And when I get to my doctor’s office, I’m lucky on two counts, three if you count dodging the lubed glove for another year: 1) I know, grouse as I do about my medical insurance, at least I have some, and 2) I can park my bike in relative safety in a designated rack. (It took some looking on my part, but, yes, there’s a fine rack out back).

Now, consider the plight of the folks visiting the Health Care Access Clinic.

The clinic’s mission is, pardon the copy and paste, “to help facilitate access to health services for Douglas County residents with limited financial means who are not covered by private or governmental insurance programs.”

Visitors (and workers, for that matter) to the clinic at 330 Maine Street can’t ride their bikes there for lack of parking. OK, it’s a minor point, in the scheme of things, paling in comparison to, say, the lack of insurance.

But helpless as I might be to help with the lack of insurance, I can at least help with the bike parking.

In response to a blog of mine back in May, wherein I went on and on about my admiration for artistic racks, the clinic’s executive director said she’d love for the place to have a rack for workers and clients to park their bikes. I thought then it sounded like a great project for the Journal-World or affiliated Wellcommons site to undertake.

I kicked it around with a few folks back at the office, discussed social-network experiments and branding and promotion and … here we are, nearing the end of July, and nothing. Everybody thinks it’s a great idea, but nobody wants to take lead.

So, I guess the job will fall to little ol’ me.

Now, I could just write a check for an off-the-rack rack at the company I mentioned in my original blog, but that seems so pedestrian. I want something nice, custom, maybe a little artsy. If we’re going to do it, we might as well do it right.

I contacted the company I wrote about, and a representative agreed it would be glad to take my money and turn out any custom rack I could envision — within reason.

But then I decided I wanted to keep it local, so I contacted a local metal fabricator who said he’d be willing to build a rack for the clinic.

Now I just need a design and, oh yeah, the bucks.

Trouble is, though I have an idea about the former, I’m not sure how to start about raising the latter.

The good news: We’re only talking about a couple hundred bucks, I reckon, depending on the intricacy of the final design. I’ve got an idea in my head of what it could look like, but, for a price, I could be swayed in another direction.

I’ve been promised 100 bucks already by my employer (or somebody speaking for somebody speaking for my employer), so I’m off to a good start.

Beyond that, I’m as clueless as I am open to suggestions.

I’ve glanced at the traffic reports, and I know if everyone who read my last blog, for instance, ponied up a buck, we could buy one heck of a rack. I also know not everyone would pony up, while some folks might want to give five bucks. Or 10.

So consider this a trial balloon.

You in? Drop me a line. Tell me how much you’re in for.

We can work out the details later.

Maybe I’ll set up a PayPal account. Or a plastic tub at the Journal-World’s front counter.

I could have a collection day, during which I ride (of course) to your home or place of business, like the kid in “Better Off Dead” proclaiming, “I WANT MY TWO DOLLARS.” Naturally, I’d be nicer about it. I could even Tweet or Foursquare my progress, letting the world know that “Joe Schlabotnik at Business X just paid up! Yay for Joe!”

Anyway, I would think it wouldn’t take any time at all to raise enough to get the folks who use and work at the Health Care Access Clinic a nice rack they’d be proud to park their bikes in.

What do you say? You in?


Andrew Hartsock 7 years, 6 months ago

Newbie: Thanks! I'll be in contact with you about collecting later. Drew

countrygirl 7 years, 6 months ago

The headline said rack--and I thought ribs!

jayhawkmama 7 years, 6 months ago

It might not be much... but I have your better half the only bill I had in my wallet. Neat idea... love that you are using a local fabricator. Huzzah to you!

jayhawkmama 7 years, 6 months ago

Stupid typo... "I GAVE your better half..."

Andrew Hartsock 7 years, 6 months ago

mama: Typo or not, thanks. I'll be sure to collect from the better half. Drew

So_tired_of_the_whiners 7 years, 6 months ago

That is a pretty good idea. I am in for $10, just don't tell my wife. I will sneak it out of my beer fund...

Andrew Hartsock 7 years, 6 months ago

So_tired: Your secret's safe with me. But out of the beer fund? Man, that's sacrifice! Thanks. Drew

bearded_gnome 7 years, 6 months ago

Oh look! a fundraising blog on LJW.

so Andrew, then what's the design? appropriate to Health Care Access? a giant toothbrush?
a pharmacist's pill counter?
... or, a speculum? there you go [a medical device for opening a bodily opening or passage to allow it to be examined]. what a great design for a bike rack.

I too thought "rack" meant well ... never mind.

Andrew Hartsock 7 years, 6 months ago

Of course it'd be appropriate. I was thinking ... stethoscope. But, speculum is, um, good, too.

RogueThrill 7 years, 6 months ago

Set up a paypal account and I will donate since it's a good cause. Or let people add more to their Sunflower bill.

I will be honest though, I rarely find myself at 7th and New Hampshire. I wouldn't even try to get down there if it meant preventing the heat death of the universe.

RogueThrill 7 years, 6 months ago

And, since I might miss the blog posting, send me a private message if things happen to remind me.

Andrew Hartsock 7 years, 6 months ago

Rogue: Gotcha. I'll be looking into PayPal soon. And, thanks. Drew

unrents 7 years, 6 months ago

Sounds like a good cause! Count us in for $20 on Tuesday.

Andrew Hartsock 7 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the pledge. Friday, I found out RideLawrence wants to provide a rack for the clinic. So ... I'm going to wait to make sure the Rotary board agrees to pay for the rack. If something happens and that doesn't work out, I'll proceed with my plan. Otherwise, I'll rejoice in the fact that HCA is going to get its rack. Thanks for all who offered to help. If the Rotary thing falls through, I'll be in touch about collecting. I'll try to keep everybody up to date on what's going on. Thanks again for all your generosity, and thanks to RideLawrence.

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