A year ago, Nat Dick was assigned a project for a class requiring him to develop a way to advance campus sustainability.
This fall, his idea became a reality in the form of a bicycle repair station, located outside the Kratz-Miller-Yoder Connector. At first glance, the repair station does not look like much more than two purple poles sticking out of the ground.
However, it contains an air compressor which can be used to fill up a flat tire. Along with the air compressor, there are tools chained onto the poles for simple bike repairs. These tools include wrenches, bike chain tighteners and allen keys to fix common problems.
Dick is in charge of maintaining the station and making sure all the tools are in place. He also tries to help with repairs.
“I don’t plan on being out there every week,” he said, “but I am willing to go help if someone needs me to.”
When Dick is unable to help with repairs, there is a QR code on the station that takes users to videos that explain how to change brake pads, adjust derailleurs and change flat tires.
The idea to install the bike stations was put into motion last year. Dick talked to Brian Sutter, a recent graduate who was on the gift committee for the class of 2016, about his plans to install the station.
Sutter and Dick went to Residence Life, which has a budget allocated to campus improvement. With financial support from Residence Life and the Ecological Stewardship Committee, as well as some additional independent fundraising, Dick and Sutter had enough to start the process of constructing the station.
The main goal was to help bikers when they are in need of a repair, but another goal, Dick said, was “to teach people about sustainability” and encourage more people to bike rather than drive for the sake of the environment.
The goal to teach people about sustainability is not restricted to the campus of Goshen College, but extends to people throughout the Goshen community. Offering a free pump 24/7 is an effort aimed towards getting more people out of the car and on a bike.
Dick said that the repair station is open to community members as well, though its location tucked away behind the Connecter is not conducive to public knowledge. With the location being so close to the Winona Railway Trail, however, Dick has thought about putting up a sign or two pointing to the station.
The stations on campus are the first to be introduced to the Goshen community. If these stations are well received and used frequently, Dick would like to see more stations going up along Goshen’s many bike trails to encourage both biking and sustainability.