Many people might not realize how much MSU departments and their staff utilize bikes in their work on and around campus. For more than three decades the Infrastructure Planning and Facilities department has had the largest fleets of work bikes on campus, 23 as of August 2014, which are heavily utilized throughout the year for work trips that don’t require a full-sized motor vehicle. Gus Gosselin, former Director of Building Services and current Senior Engineer with IPF and co-founder of the MSU Bike Project, which was the forerunner to the current MSU Bikes Service Center, was instrumental in building up that fleet and helping the modest bike get the respect it deserves alongside other wheeled transportation options for IPF workers. He’s been riding his bike to meetings, lunches and other work trips around campus for many years, carrying his helmet into meetings to strategically let others know that he rode a bike.
There are other departments that also heavily utilize bicycles to help them with their daily work on campus. A couple dozen lease their bikes from MSU Bikes’, utilizing our fleet services for their staff use throughout the work day. MSU police’s bicycle unit has the next sizable fleet of bikes, which help their team of bike patrol officers with a host of work from community policing, routine traffic enforcement and other types of enforcement where a bicycle provides unique benefits — they’re quiet, fast and can go places motor vehicles can’t go.
More recently, MSU Bikes, Surplus and Recycling have all been utilizing bikes with large trailers to do even more work on campus than previously thought possible. Their medium length Bikes at Work trailers allow them to haul up to 300- 600 pounds of cargo, and with the help of electric-assist bikes staff don’t need super-human bicycling strength to haul those kinds of loads.
MSU Bikes has used the same type of trailer to haul its recycling materials, signage in parades and other special events, mobile bike repair clinic equipment and many other purposes.
More information, videos and photos on this blog post show the variety of cargo we’ve hauled through the years that might inspire others to use pedal power more routinely and not just for recreation or health reasons.