The idea came from Elizabeth, RoS Chicago, and so I ran with it. We need to be way more visible when RoS rolls, so everyone needs armbands (and signs, helmets, lights, reflective gear etc...).
Using discarded bike inner tubes, it's easy to make black armbands for the Ride of Silence.
Call or visit your local bike shop(s) to find out if you can pick up their dead tubes. Most shops toss out dozens everyday, but some are already committed to recycling programs like that of Alchemy Goods, a Seattle company which "upcycles" inner tubes.
Tip #1 - Take a moment to squish all the air out when you do a pick up.
Sort tubes into skinny (less than 1.25" across) and fat (over 1.25"). Cut out the valves (pic), insert scissors and cut along the inside edge to make one "ring". Split fat tubes into two "rings" by cutting along the outside/road edge of the tube.
Tip #2 - Fold fat rings in half, make a small cut in the middle (pic), then insert scissors to make the cut.
For example, take one "ring" and lay it out flat to see how long it is. It's doubled over, so if it's 37", that means you have 74" of material. Allow 1-2" and so plan for 72" of material -- so you could make six small armbands (6x12=72) or 3L+2S (3x16 + 2x12 = 72). If you have a short ring say 30" = 60" of material, just make 5 small armbands. As you might guess, for every 4" more of material, you could make one of them a large armband. Adjust. Adjust. Don't worry about being perfect, just make no waste be your goal.
Tip #3 - Doing a bit of math for each tube pays off with no waste.
Need 500+ Armbands? Working together, two people can create about 50 armbands in one hour. So if you gather a dozen volunteers for a 2-hour armband-making PARTY, you can easily create 500+ armbands.
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