Volunteer bike project run out of hall basement teaches bike repair
Checking bike tires. Changing bike tires. Adjusting brakes.
These are just a few of the things taught in the basement of Demonstration Hall.
Demonstration Hall has been the home to the MSU Bike Project 2003. The project helps students and staff to combat the every day wear and tear on their bikes, which can happen especially during the winter months.
The MSU Bike Project merged with the Surplus Store in 2012, however this past fall semester the workshop program in the basement of Demonstration Hall reopened.
Not to be confused with the MSU Bikes Services Center, The Bike Project is an expansion of the MSU Bikes Service Center and is a free workshop that teaches students and faculty how to restore, repair and improve their bicycles.
The shop offers a bike repair class for beginner and advanced students in mechanics, taking place every Wednesday. The shop and classes are open to MSU students and faculty.
MSU volunteer bike shop coordinator Layne Cameron said the shop is open to anyone who has an interest on learning how to work on their bike.
Cameron, who has been involved with the project since coming to MSU in 2010, said long-term he hopes the shop will eventually become a non-credit course for students to enroll in.
“Right now we’ve got the facility, we’ve got the tools, we’ve got the basic course working,” Cameron said. “Now we’re looking to get more students interested.”
Cameron said his involvement with the shop hit home for him because of his past participation in competitive cycling.
“The advanced course is the overhaul course,” Cameron said. “So you learn how to actually take apart hubs, rebuild your hubs and wheels.”ch
Cameron said the courses offer students and faculty the opportunity to understand the inner workings of their bike.
“You basically learn how to tear your bike down and rebuild it,” he said.
Cameron said the shop’s classes attract many different students in a variety of majors, from engineering to neuroscience.
Finance junior Phil Baeza frequently visits the shop, working on his bike in addition to other bikes.
“I was actually looking up the actual bike shop two years ago and I clicked on the website for volunteering,” Baeza said. “I just wanted to learn how to do basic maintenance.”
Baeza said he thinks working at the shop is rewarding for students while working to get their education
“It increases your confidence with problem solving and trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with the bike,” Baeza said.
Cameron said other universities have more advanced credit courses such as frame building for bikes at the University of Iowa.
“Anything at a university moves slowly so it’s a long-term goal,” Cameron said. “Regularity and showing that the numbers are there is the qualifier.”