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Calvin's Corner

Toys for Tots Bike Build

It is a cold December morning at 07:00 hours. The temperature is -1 degree F. It is a bright, sunny day. Time to drive down to QBP for their yearly Toys-for-Tots bike build. All in all, it's a great day to fix a bike!

On the road for the children.

Quality Bicycle Products and local retailer, Erik's Bike Shop, teamed up to build 75 Raleigh bicycles donated to Toys-for-Tots. Being a good elf, I attended to help get the job done. QBP hosted the bike build, and the QBP team created an assembly line system. Boxed bikes were opened and contents removed. The cardboard is cut up for recycling, and is also used for padding in the delivery truck.

Parts were hung on the bikes and tires pumped. (photo credit Linda Sue Amundson)

The handlebar elves finish up before passing it on.

After the parts were put on the bikes, the bike went down the line to the tuning department. Components are tightened, stems aligned, brake pads set, and shifting adjusted.

Park Tool repair stands keep the bike up at a good working height. (photo credit Linda Sue Amundson)

Where would such an event be without managers? Fortunately, we had two: Erik-the-Bike-Man himself, Erik Saltvold, on the right, and Steve Flagg, owner of QBP on the left.

Steve Flagg and Erik Saltvold keeping us in line.

Enough with the chit-chat, Erik gets down to work. He appears to be getting legal advice from QBP's own Legal Elf, Matt Moore.

"Fill 'er up, Mr. Flagg." Only the finest of Minnesota air is good enough for these bikes.

After the bikes were finished being assembled, they were placed in quarantine until a final Quality Control could be done. Just one more check on limit screws, pedals, brakes, wheel security, and, well, you know the routine.

All was not sweetness and light. QC turned up this brake arm with broken housing around the spring. No child will see this brake.

Mark of Erik's Bike Shop heads the QC team, insuring everything is tuned just right.

Bikes, helmets, and whales all padded for protection in the delivery truck. (photo credit Linda Sue Amundson)

A nicer bunch of helpers I have never seen: QBP employees, Erik Bike Shop employees, ABF employees, family and friends. (photo credit Linda Sue Amundson)

The work here is done, the children will be happy. Bikes are loaded into the ABF truck and are ready to go. As I am leaving, I could not help but notice the vehicle parked next to us, truly a work of art. I suspect that this might be someone who writes emails saying things like, "First of all props for all the awesome products, keep them coming!" There are stickers everywhere, and we are in there with 'em. For a fun time, play a little "I spy" and find the Park Tool sticker.

Sticker, sticker, where is the Park Tool sticker?