City of Tempe shafts employees who bike commute

Tempe had a nice program going for their employees that commuted to work by bicycle. It offered them $100 per calendar year spendable on bicycle related services/merchandise. Word is this program is being eliminated and the funds set aside for the program are being re-directed to the annual Bike to Work Day event.

Great job Tempe! Nothing like shafting your regular bike commuters to throw away money on a poorly attended one day event. If you’re only riding your bike to work one day a year, guess what, you’re not a bike commuter.

I’m not trying to imply Bike to Work Day isn’t a worthy idea, I’m sure the event has motivated some cyclists to become regular commuters (or at least that’s what I hope). However, I believe it was a very poor decision by City of Tempe to redirect money away from employees who commute multiple days per week, to a one day “feel good” event.

Your used bicycle chain is worth about $250

An M5 bolt/screw is the most common size fastener on a bicycle. It’s used to fasten things like water bottle cages, racks, fenders, etc. Sometimes you need to put a little spacer in if your bolt is too long, or if your water bottle interferes with your front derailer clamp, and sometimes you need to solve clearance issues with racks or fenders, etc. This is a very expensive problem to have, or at least that’s what one company wants you to believe. How much is the solution? Well, if you buy Problem Solvers Space Outs, it’s going cost you $25 for ten spacers (pictured below). Yes, these tiny little pieces of tubing, cut into 3 or 6mm sizes, cost you $2.50 each! Maybe if they refrained from laser etching their logo onto each one they wouldn’t be so expensive. Keep reading…

Want to solve your problem for free? Well, good thing you have a worn out bicycle chain, because if you take it apart you will have over 100 spacers just like the ones you see above, for FREE! The part of the chain I am talking about is called a “roller”, pictured below:

The ID (inside diameter) of a roller is almost exactly the same as the Space Outs. An M5 bolt or screw fits through the roller quite nicely, and you can stack them to achieve any size spacer you may need. Pretty bad ass, eh? You owe me one! In lieu of sending payments, please tip your local bike shop mechanic with quality craft beer or cash.