Graduate student creates petition proposing bike repair shop on campus

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Yong Kyu Lee, then-sophomore in interior design, pumps air into his tires and tunes his bike outside of the K-State Student Union. (Archive Photo by Parker Robb | Collegian Media Group)

James Lin, graduate student in agronomy, has a dream to open a bike repair shop on campus for the Kansas State community, and he has created a petition to try and make it happen.

According to Lin’s proposal, the shop would be a walk-in service for anyone needing simple repairs and maintenance for their bikes. Anyone who is in favor of opening the bike repair shop on campus can sign Lin’s petition on Change.org.

“My passion for low emission transportation, bike safety and speed spurred the promotion for the shop,” Lin said.

Lin added that having a bike repair shop on campus is not a new concept for other universities, and it could be a necessity that K-State is missing.

“Many universities and colleges around the world offer a repair shop to promote a bike-friendly environment,” Lin said. “These shops offer bike repairs, maintenance classes, safety training and useful lessons to students for free or at a reasonable cost.”

With a shop like this, Lin said K-State could promote a bike-friendly environment as well as a cost-friendly approach for students and staff. Although the proposed shop is targeting students and staff with their own bikes, weekly rentable bikes are in consideration.

Lin said having a bike shop located on campus will give the community an opportunity to get bike assistance without having to go out of their way. The most prolific bike repair shop in Manhattan, The Pathfinder, is located downtown on Poyntz Avenue, far away from campus and most student residences.

“Ideally, the shop will be located in or around the Student Union where it is central to all students,” Lin said. “Other viable locations may be considered.”

Abby Woltering, freshman in computer science, said she agrees with the proposed location of the shop.

“Having a bike shop located on campus would be super beneficial for all the students that don’t have cars to access other shops,” Woltering said. “If the shop was located close to the center of campus, like the Union, that would drive up sales and make it more known to the public as well.”

Liam O’Malley, freshman in business administration, said he thinks the proposed shop should offer more than just repairs.

“Other than repairs, I think the shop should sell bike accessories and other things like that,” O’Malley said. “They could get a lot of business that way.”

Lin said he has done extensive research on the benefits and impacts that a bike repair shop has on the environmental, economic and social aspects of a community in hopes to someday prove the importance of opening one on K-State’s campus.

“The sustainability effort of the bike repair shop is one that will continue to evolve, inspire creativity and emphasize the importance of collaboration through the university and the community,” Lin said.

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