Bike Center is a big step in a great direction

I must respectfully disagree with the opinions expressed in the letter, âÄúBike Center is a friendly gesture, but misses the mark,âÄù about the new campus bike center from Garret Swindlehurst in the Oct. 3 issue of the Daily. I think the Bike Center project is going well and that it will be successful. As for location, itâÄôs hard to say where such a center should be placed, and space on campus is next to impossible to secure. Having the Hub in charge of the shop area is brilliant because the employees have years of quality bike repair experience. Also, the staff has loads of experience teaching classes like winter commuting, fix-a-flat and basic bike repair, to name a few. In my view, thereâÄôs a lot thatâÄôs going right with the project. Before judging the center, take a tour, chat with the staff and speak with some of the people who were involved in getting this project off the ground. The new center provides programs and services that deserve acknowledgement. âÄúOpen shopâÄù is a time for people to work on their own bikes at a fully equipped bench. During open shop, people can ask the Hub staff questions about how to repair bikes and purchase parts needed to repair a bike. âÄúEarly drop-offâÄù is when people can drop a bike off as early as 7 a.m. for repairs. The Hub will then call or email the cyclist with an estimate. Students will be able to participate in events and giveaways presented by local businesses at the bike center. ThereâÄôs also a program that gives staff discounts on healthcare premiums by tracking biked miles with a radio frequency identification system. I have a lot of confidence in the people and services at the Hub. If you price comparison shop, you would find that the prices at the Hub are very fair. This is not necessarily true of all the bike shops near campus. In his letter, Swindlehurst mentioned that the bike racks at the center were nothing special. The secure parking area for bikes there is to protect them from theft, not to provide perfect isolation from the elements. In the winter, bikes shouldnâÄôt be brought into heated spaces anyway, as that accelerates corrosion. Perfect isolation from the outdoors is tough and expensive to provide. Regarding the showers, three may not seem like many, but hopefully people are able to get in and get out and move on with their day. If it turns out to be wildly popular, then IâÄôm sure the facility will consider adding more. Is it perfect? Not yet, but I believe itâÄôs a big step in a great direction. Plus, thereâÄôs a Nice Ride station right next to the center, giving easy access to those who need it.