A two-wheeled solution
By Chris Horn and Katie West, 803-777-3687
If you’re under stress and need more exercise, Outdoor Recreation’s bike shop has the cure. And it just might help address parking and air pollution problems, too.
“We see bikes solving three issues on campus,” said Liz Jones, outdoor recreation director in Student Life. “Parking is getting stretched, so biking helps the university sustainability wise; more people on bikes helps reduce the number of cars and air pollution; and becoming a bike commuter can reduce your stress level.”
Whether you become a full-fledged bike commuter — like Jones did last year — or opt to simply start riding a bike from one place on campus to another, the bike shop has your back. A team of student technicians there can provide free labor and advice to keep a bike tuned up.
Even better, construction begins in April on a new storefront location for the bike shop at the Blatt P.E. Center. The new location will expand the number of bike service bays and the shop’s inventory of bike tires, tubes, brake cables and other commonly replaced parts.
When it opens in the fall semester, the new bike shop will be staffed for longer hours than its current noon to 4 p.m. window.
We also plan to stock a few things that we didn’t before like helmets, locks and lights,” Jones said.
Richard Wojan, a junior in the Darla Moore School of Business global supply chain and operations management track, has found biking to be a great money-saver.
“I don’t like driving my car if I don’t have to; more than anything, it has to do with paying for gas,” says Wojan, who works as a mechanic in the Bike Shop. “Shuttles are great, but biking can be more convenient. It’s just a time when I can decompress.”
Jones says she has seen cycling grow in popularity among Outdoor Recreation employees since she joined the staff last year, and she hopes to encourage more members of the university community to give it a spin.
A couple of years ago, Outdoor Recreation partnered with Parking Services to launch an abandoned bike program, rehabilitating and giving away nearly 100 bikes that had been left on campus. If you missed out on that deal, take heart, the folks at Outdoor Recreation are considering a plan to bring a bike sharing program to campus. That might be your ticket to better health, lower stress and hassle-free parking.
Visit Outdoor Recreation's Bike Shop website to learn more about biking to and on campus.
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