by Andrew Crisp
At the base of the new addition to Boise State’s Lincoln Garage sits a new shop for the bike-minded student: the Cycle Learning Center. As a joint effort of the university's Transportation and Student Health departments, the CLC is an education hub meant to stem the tide of driving commuters and offer aid to anybody thinking of riding a bike as a means of commuting.
“We’ve done a couple of studies. Thirty-five percent of students live within a two-mile radius and about 50 percent live within a three-mile radius,“ said J.C. Porter of Boise State’s Transportation and Parking Services. “Mostly we’ve been seeing these people commuting [to campus] on their bikes.”
Boise State is moving toward making the campus more bike accessible. The school has spent $250,000 already on installing more bike racks, creating a shared bike usage system and expanding bike paths. The CLC is a continuation of the process.
Porter said the ultimate goal is two-fold.
“To help promote a healthy lifestyle and, from the transportation side, get more cars off the streets and out of our parking garages,” said Porter.
The staff at CLC broke it down: They offer a full-service bike shop with trained technicians—anything from a split tube to a busted crank. They also offer tune-up packages ranging from $40-$125. They’re also striving to provide space for stop-and-go maintenance.
“We’ve got three options for [bikers],” said Porter. “The first option, if they just want to take their bike over to the mechanic, we’ll take care of them. The second option is, ‘I wanna learn how to fix my bike but I don't know what I’m doing.’ For these folks, they can pay an hourly rate and nab a specialist for one-on-one training. The third is for the pro without his own tools: open stand time and a basic set of tools to work with.
And it’s not just for bike owners. Buying a good bike can be expensive, so the Center procured 42 Boise State-themed men's and women's road bikes that will be available for rent. For $75 per semester or $125 for the whole year, students can get unlimited use of a snazzy blue-and-orange bike, a helmet, a free water bottle, a bike lock, designated space in one of two on-campus Bike Barns and free basic maintenance.
Boise State’s Office of Information Technology got in on the program and procured 12 bikes for their daily IT support calls.
“They wanna use them for when they have to go fix a computer across campus, and be able to throw whatever tools in the basket just go,” said Porter.