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Here at Neutral Cycle, we spend a lot of time having fun while building and creating things that can impact the campus and community for the better. In the past year we’ve had some successes and alot of failures in trying to build a campus and community-oriented organization. Many people know us as the bike shop located on 5th and Green but we’ve also been hard at work on other projects. Consider this blog post a brief recap of the past year and a small glimpse into the future of Neutral Cycle.

Ventures

  • Our proudest achievement is finally opening a campus bike shop location. In mid-April we opened Neutral Cycle on the corner of 5th and Green in an effort to expand our service to the communities and students.
  • Over the past year we’ve worked on building a bike sharing service with www.bigyellowride.com. We spent the summer developing the site and next summer we are going to launch it to the public.

byr website

  • To prevent bike theft and damage we’ve decided to create a bicycle storage service for students with Neutral Bicycle Storage. The goal of this venture is to give students the peace of mind that their bike is safe while they are on winter break.
  • While looking at trends in cycling apparel we have decided to launch our own product line. This is being done through Neutral Cycle Design. Some products we have already created include a custom leather saddle and the Neutral Psycho brand.

 

saddle

tshirt

Education

We wouldn’t say we are a campus and community-driven bike shop if we didn’t live up to the name, so we have decided to spend time on providing some educational opportunities.

  • A small group of students at the Innovation Living Learning Community at ISR was hosted here in the shop with the goal being to give them an understanding of what entrepreneurship in a small business looks like. The students worked with small case studies on our current projects and gave us their fresh feedback on what kinds of things we can try to do next.
  • At the U-Cycle Program during national recycling day we visited the Anita Purves Nature Center to show kids what kinds of things that you can create with used bicycle parts. We worked with kids to give them and their parents a creative and low cost way to express themselves artistically.
  • A lot of our community education efforts have been done through our blog, which is then accessed by thousands of people through links on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Reddit.  We’ve made maps of bike theft hot-spots on campus and in CU in general (Getting a combined 5,000 views), talked about how and how not to lock your bike, and most recently we’ve started a series on bike safety and bike laws that will continue into January with our first post on helmets and helmet laws.  We even got on the news!

Events

  • Within a two-week period we decided to plan and host a bike polo tournament this summer. The tournament went amazingly and attracted bike polo talent from across the state. Check out this video for more info:

  • As a small break from the day to day complexities of life we cosponsored a summer movie night for the Urbana residents. This event was preceded by a group bike ride and local food trucks/vendors offering their services.

What’s Next

Save The Bike!

  • Many of us have had or know of someone who has had their bike stolen. We are going to become bike thieve’s worst nightmare. With our “SaveTheBike” app we are making it possible for the average person to use social media to report and track stolen bikes.

Gimme Some Coffee

  • Right next to our shop on 5th and Green we plan on having a small coffee shop open called Speedwagon Caffè. We want to give the community a way to have locally-roasted coffee, hear and see local artists perform, eat food made my local people, and have conversations about the new developments happening in Champaign.

Here at Neutral we like to work on the interesting and challenging problems that people care about. If you have any questions or just want to get involved in one of the projects about then just shoot us an email campus@neutralcycle.com

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