UC Santa Barbara has made two-wheeling around campus even easier for its burgeoning population of bicycle-riding students, faculty, and staff.
Thanks to funding provided by the UCSB Department of Housing & Residential Services and support from Associated Students (AS), four bicycle repair stations were recently installed on campus, and two more will be added soon. The stands are part of a pilot project by Housing and AS, which may be expanded to include even more locations on campus, according to Jonathan Abboud, on-campus representative for AS. The stations are located adjacent to the De La Guerra Dining Commons, Santa Catalina Residence Hall, San Rafael Residence Hall, and San Clemente Villages graduate student housing complex. There is no charge for using the stations.
"We decided to purchase the four repair stations after receiving favorable reviews from other universities, including Stanford," said Wilfred Brown, executive director of UCSB's Department of Housing. "We also talked to the Residence Hall Association (RHA) president, who thought they would be a great addition. The RHA president helped us choose the locations for the stations around the various residential facilities. We have had numerous compliments from the students who have used them."
The stations, called Fixit Bike Repair Stands, are manufactured by Dero Bike Rack Company, based in Minneapolis. They feature a metal stand with a slot, or saddle, designed to suspend a bicycle for repairs. They include tools -- a variety of wrenches, screwdrivers, and other implements -- attached to the stands with sturdy cables. There's also an air pump, which seemed to be the most popular device in December when four students used the repair stations to fill up their bike tires during one 30-minute period.
"A lot of people are using the stands," Abboud said. "People seem to really like them. They have 10 tools that can all be used for bikes, but they don't have any parts. These are just for maintenance. If something needs to be tightened, or if you need air, that's what these stations are for. If you need repair work done, that's what the AS Bike Shop is for."
Representatives from Associated Students and Housing each came up with the idea for the bicycle repair stands separately, but at about the same time, according to Abboud. When Abboud contacted Dero for a bid on the project, he learned that Housing officials had already been pursuing the idea and intended to fund the four stands. Sites for the four stations were chosen last summer, and construction was completed late in the fall quarter.
"Because of the favorable reviews, we have decided to purchase two more stations to be installed at each of our Family Student Housing complexes," Brown said.
James Wagner, program manager for UCSB's Transportation Alternatives Program, praised the addition of the repair stands to the campus's bicycle support network.
"Over half of UC Santa Barbara's student population uses a bicycle to travel between home and UCSB on a daily basis," Wagner said. "The addition of the four Fixit stations distributed across our campus will make tools and air available 24/7, free of charge, to our bicycle-centric commuters and other area bicyclists.
"The Associated Student Bike Shop has been in operation since 1974 and, for the past 38 years, has been offering bicyclists free advice on bicycle repair and the free use of tools, during their business hours," Wagner added. "The bicycle Fixit stations put tools in the hands of people who will use them to make a world of good. They are a wonderfully empowering addition to the support and training the AS Bike Shop offers our campus bicycling community."
† Top image: One of the campus Fixit bicycle repair stations, located next to De La Guerra Dining Commons.
Credit: George Foulsham, Office of Public Affairs