Students get geared up with the bike share & co-op

Photo by Maggie Beautler

By Eva Love

With the Bike Co-Op, Cycling Club and the new bike share program on campus, it is clear that bike culture at Lewis & Clark is expanding. These organizations and programs are intended to make biking even more accessible and affordable to students who may be less experienced cyclists.

The Bike Co-Op is a student-run organization that aims to make bike maintenance accessible and affordable to students of all cycling backgrounds.

George Shoemaker ’18 and Johnny Malloy ’18, the primary coordinators for the Bike Co-Op, want more students to utilize the Co-Op and its resources.

“The Bike Co-Op is a room full of new and used bike parts, as well as professional tools and materials,” Shoemaker said. “As an organization, we are a group of student volunteers who are available to help fellow cyclists with their bikes.”

The Bike Co-Op is located on the west side of J.R. Howard Hall near Pamplin Sports Center. Anyone can volunteer at the Bike Co-Op; having previous experience with bikes is not necessary.

“Biking itself is a great way to save money because you don’t have to pay for gas or buy a car,” Malloy said. “But then you do have to worry about if parts break, and that’s why we have the Bike Co-Op because we don’t charge for labor. So if you get a flat the most you have to pay for a new tube is three dollars, which is a lot cheaper than going to a regular bike shop. I want the Co-Op to primarily function as a resource for low-income students and people who like to bike and want to learn more about how their bike works.”

For students who are interested in biking but do not have a bike of their own, the Sustainability Office recently partnered with Zagster — the leading North American bike sharing company — to install their bike share program on campus.

“Our intent was to support students who are here from other places, nationally or internationally, so that they can use the bikes here,” Senior Director of Sustainability and Communications Amy Dvorak said. “If people just want to get down to Market of Choice or downtown, that was kind of our focus, not the hardcore cyclists but the group who will ride occasionally but not necessarily everyday.”

Dvorak hopes that Zagster will expose newer cyclists to biking and eventually get more students to take advantage of the resources and opportunities available at the Bike Co-Op and Cycling Club.

“If you get to that point after the bike share where you want your own bike, then the Bike Co-Op and Cycling Club would be helpful resources to gain general knowledge about travel and safety,” Dvorak said. “If we can flip people from being occasional users of the bike share to really getting into bike culture, biking and working with Co-Op and Club on training and maintenance that would be a really great goal and benefit to the student body as a whole.”

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