LU Bike Club, one of the newer additions to Lawrence’s student organizations roster since Fall 2016, is getting an upgrade. Besides working to define the mission and the scope of the group, they are also working to build a bike repair space on campus. As of now, the club executive board members include president and sophomore Jason Lau, ride coordinator and freshman Theo Arden, event coordinator and freshman Nate Merz, event coordinator and freshman Claire Zimmerman and secretary and freshman Celine Stichert.
“The bike shop will help us to do more than just go on rides together,” said the president of the club and sophomore Jason Lau. “We’ll be learning about how our very own bikes work and the necessary skills to fix and build them ourselves. We hope that our members will become skilled bike mechanics and be willing to help and teach other.”
The club aims to benefit students who are unable to bring their bikes to Lawrence, or simply do not have one. International students, for example, would most likely not be able to bring their bikes if they want to.
The club has received a grant from the Class of 1965 to make the bike shop possible. Since then, they have been working with Campus Life to find a space to store these bikes. The only setback in these plans is confirming where this bike repair space will be.
This bike repair space will hopefully initiate and grow a bicycle network on campus. “It’s an outlet for students to stay active, make connections, have fun, and get out of the Lawrence Bubble by biking to places like High Cliff or Bubolz Nature Preserve,” Lau stated. “Bikes require constant maintenance. Tires go flat, wires snap, and chains break. A benefit for a cycling ‘network’ is that we can be a nearby resource to support the community of students who use their bikes on-campus. When the nearest bike shop is a 20-minute walk away, it’s difficult to make the trip when your workload advises not to.”
In the future, The LU Bike Club is mainly hoping to find more ways to collaborate with other biking networks within the community. Appleton already has a growing cycling community; teaming up with community bikers will help to link the university to Appleton in a new way. They also hope to be able to host programs for young people of Appleton to learn about bikes and bike mechanics. They are also hopeful to be able to work with Riverview Gardens to learn more about bike repair and mechanics and to be able to help out in their own bike shop.
The LU Bike Club will be tabling outside Andrew Commons on Tuesday, Feb. 14 and Wednesday, Feb. 15 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. These tabling times will help the group to get a sense of who might be interested in utilizing the resources that the bike repair shop would offer.