We all heard about the bike shed on campus, but what has happened to it since then? A couple of years ago, according to Secretary of Campus Life Cindy Wickliffe, bikes used to be lent out through the Campus Life Office. Students could check out a bike much like they would check out a laptop at the library. The student would be given the key and have it for 24 hours and then be fined one dollar per day if they did not return the key.
Then the bikes changed hands. They were stored at the Eco House, where a shed was built for the bikes and students were loaned bikes through the Eco House.
But now what has happened to it? Freshman Firas Suqi has taken charge of the bike shed and has plans for it.
First of all, one of the problems with the bike shed was that there were too many students who wanted to borrow bikes for Suqi to be around all the time to lend them the bikes. Instead, he plans to lend out the bikes for the entire term and keep only a few for students who want to use the bikes for a short time.
There will also be bike repair service for the campus bikes that happen to break. Suqi said he also plans to reach out to the community and extend this repair service if possible.
There are other possibilities that Suqi is looking into related to the bike shed program. He mentioned that he was thinking about starting up a co-op to buy bikes off of graduating seniors in order to expand the number of bikes they are able to lend out.
He has thought about having a student worker available at a certain time to lend out bikes, but so far that hasn’t been able to happen. His plan is to send out an e-mail at the start of each term to the student population about when, how and where students will be able to borrow the bikes.
Then these students will be able to borrow the bikes for the entire term.
The demand keeps growing from students who would like to be able to borrow bikes.
“I keep getting texts from people I don’t even know,” he said, talking about the vast amount of people who want to know more about the bike-lending program. He said he did not expect such a response.
Overall, it appears that the bike shed lending program is back on track and that demand from students and people in the community is growing. Perhaps by next year we’ll see a lot more people on bikes around the Knox College campus.