For a few years, the small building across from the Utah Museum of Fine Arts sat dormant. Many U students had never seen the doors open. The place raised questions: why was it never open? Why was there a bicycle on the roof? Was it a storage shed for maintenance?
This year, the doors reopened and the building has again found its purpose. As it was back in 2009, the place has become the University Bicycle Collective once more. A SCIF grant written by Erin Olson provided funding to reopen the doors, making the UBC available as a resource to all students, faculty, and staff.
Worried or intimidated by what needs to be done on your bike? Inside the building on Tuesdays-Thursdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., there is a shop manager and volunteers able to help people with their bike needs. Where a typical bike shop provides services without education, the UBC takes student involvement to the next level, focusing on teaching DIY repair skills that empower bicyclists to solve problems and fix their own bikes. Common problems fixed in the shop include brake adjustments, flat tires and shifting issues. The shop also sells basic bike supplies such as brakes, cable and housing, tires, and tubes.
“The University Bicycle Collective is such a valuable resource for students,” says Noelle Richards, UBC Shop Manager. “It’s a great place to learn bike basics and connect with the biking community on campus. Since the U is a commuter campus, with a lot of people biking in everyday, it is vital that there is some sort of help available. The collective provides this service.”
The UBC also offers volunteer opportunities for anyone interested. Volunteers can help run the shop, develop and run workshops, or plan events with other student groups on campus.
This Thursday, Nov. 13, the University Bike Collective will host an open house from 6-7 p.m., in conjunction with the Wild & Scenic Film Festival at UMFA. Like the UBC’s page on Facebook before this event, and you can receive a free patch kit when you stop by the open house! See you then!