1-on-1 Bike Commuter Service

Last week we piloted a new service with a few Spartans: 1-on-1 bike commuter help, and it seemed to hit the mark!

 

 

The class was really well received with the participants who came in with a number of concerns related to commuting to campus and home by bike, most of which were quickly resolved after some brief discussion.

We moved on to specific route concerns between their neighborhood and campus and we were able to offer some small changes to their routes to find lower-stress solutions.

We’ve decided to offer this as a new complimentary service of MSU Bikes.  You can either call the Center (517-432-3414) to schedule a time to sit down with Tim to review your concerns and routes or if a personal visit isn’t convenient for you email him and he’ll answer as best as possible via email or you can schedule a session.

For those of you just too busy to take advantage of this personalized service we’ve assembled this page summarizing all of the bike commuter benefits we can think of.  You can also stop by for a free hard-copy of the TCBA Crosstown Map booklet which is a great way to learn about most of the nicer, safer ways to get around the county.

IMG_2417-croppedA word about your concierge: 
Tim has been riding around the Greater Lansing area for transportation for more years than he cares to remember, and he’s happy to share his street knowledge with anyone.

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Join the Academic Bicycle Challenge 2018

Ever wonder who the gung-ho bicyclists are on our campus?  At other universities?  Around the world?  Well, there’s a new bike challenge that’s being launched that MSU bicyclists will participate in this June!

Excerpt from their website:

“By participating in the Academic Bicycle Challenge (ABC) your university or college combines joyful cycling, healthy exercise and practical climate protection. Join the ABC together with staff and students from universities and colleges all over the world! The common goal: collecting as many cycled miles as possible.

 

Go here for more details about the ABC.
More details (like how to join in the fun) coming soon!

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Archive: Stress-Free Bike Commuter Tips Clinics

Does your bike commute to campus scare you?  Looking for the safest route to/from campus?


Learn the basics of bike commuting and get one-on-one help choosing safe routes with help from MSU Bikes’ staff!

 

 

Come to the MSU Bikes Service Center and get a review of everything you wanted to know about riding your bike safely to work/ campus and for other errands around town.  The 2nd part of each class will be focused on helping you find the safest and most stress-free route to and from campus.  Attendance will include your own personal map of the safest, most enjoyable route to/from campus.  Your instructor will be Tim Potter, MSU Bikes’ Sustainable Transportation Manager who’s been riding the region’s roads for many years.

Cost: 

These 1-hr. workshops are FREE and limited to 5 people per session so we can give the personal attention/ advice promised.

Where/When:

MSU Bikes Service Center Exterior, fall 2017
MSU Bikes Service Center Exterior, fall 2017

Classes are being offered on March 26 – 29th.  They’ll be held at the MSU Bikes Service Center and start at 5:30 pm (see this map for our location & visitor parking on campus (check box for visitor parking – nearby lots are faculty/staff permits only til 6 pm – so be careful).  Our door will be closed/ locked since the shop closes at 5:00 pm; just knock and we’ll let you in!

RSVP required here:  https://doodle.com/poll/9v8z9czxxf56995p

Cancellations:

If we don’t get at least 2 people for a session by 2 pm the day of the session it’ll be cancelled.  So, PLEASE be sure to provide your email address when RSVP’g so we can let you know if it’s cancelled, rescheduled or other last minute things that might arise.

MSU Fall “Green” Commuter Challenge 2017 report

MSU Fall Commuter Challenge graphic

For the first time the MSU community was challenged and encouraged to try commuting back and forth to campus by “green” modes of transportation, that being anything but driving a motor vehicle by oneself (aka ‘Single occupancy vehicle’ or SOV).  31 Spartans joined the MSU Fall Commuter Challenge of 2017, which ran from Sept. 18 thru Dec. 15, 2017, and logged some very impressive numbers as the info-graphics below attest.

 

The top three Spartans in the bicycling category won some prizes from MSU Bikes for their efforts!  The photo below is showing the overall winner, Hannah Terpstra, who logged 205 bike trips.  She won a $50 gift certificate to MSU Bikes and a free cycling video analysis from the Olin Student Health Services Physical Therapy Department!  The runner up was Joseph Hill, with 130 bike trips (won a $30 gift certificate) followed by Kelly Zarka in 3rd place with 116 bike trips ($20 gift certificate).

The Challenge was organized and supported by the MSU WorkLife Office, MSU Bikes and CATA’s Clean Commute Options.  See all the great non-SOV commuter options on the WorkLife website here.

If you’d like to join in the fun in learning some new ways of getting back/forth to campus another challenge is running for the month of January 2018.  Check it out here on the CATA Clean Commute website or click the image below.

NYNC 2018 FB Cover Photo

Cold-weather Riding Workshops

Winter cycling is a blast!
Did you know that no matter how cold it gets you can still enjoy riding?

As a year-round cycling MSU professor of packaging (hat tip Diana Twede) likes to say “It’s just a matter of the correct packaging!”  Your body generates lots of heat while riding and you’re moving faster to your destination. MSU staff also keep the roads and paths very clear throughout the winter for everyone’s safety, although getting to campus is sometimes a little more challenging!

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Some budding winter cyclists getting a bike ready for the cold.

Come to the MSU Bikes Service Center for one or more of three classes to learn more about getting you and your bike ready for winter cycling so you can enjoy it as much as many others do every winter.  If none of these dates work for you then review our winter cycling tips here at your leisure.

If you’re already a cold-weather cycling veteran then PLEASE come with your setup and do some show ‘n tell to help inspire others!  The following workshops are FREE, short and full of good tips you can use this winter to have a better, safer more comfortable time.

Sessions are limited to 6 people attending with their bikes and requires at least 3 attendees, so RSVPs are requested. PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS with your name if you want to be notified of possible changes/ cancellations due to lack of attendance or unforeseen circumstances.

Sorry, there is no visitor parking available nearby; click here for visitor parking information. They will ticket cars in the Bessey Parking lot til 6 pm.

We close the shop at 5 pm, so you’ll find the Closed sign up when you get here; the door should be unlocked so just come in or knock.

All ready for fun cold weather riding!
All ready for fun cold weather riding!

101 Session: (Mon. 12/04/17) — 1 space open!

This session will focus on the overall/ general tips on how to prep your clothing and your bike for comfy, enjoyable and safe riding.

102 Session: (Tues. 12/05/17)

This session will mostly be a repeat of the 101 class for those who couldn’t attend it and then if time allows we’ll dig into more depth and other finer considerations of cold-weather riding.

photo2103 Session: (Wed. 12/06/17)

This session will be a DIY studded tire and other DIY ways to modify your bike for added safety and comfort. Materials are NOT included and we’ll NOT have enough time to actually make your own studded tires but instead you’ll see a demonstration of how they’re made.

 

 

Any questions about the class? Call Tim Potter, instructor: (517) 432-3414 or email here.

Area Group Rides

We get quite a few people asking about regular group rides happening in the area.  You might be surprised how many different groups are riding, even throughout the winter w/ the advent of fat-tire/ snow bikes.

Here’s what I’m aware of organized by type of riding:  (Photos courtesy of each group’s Facebook photo gallery – If I’ve missed any please drop me a line with a link to the group)

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Casual/ Social/ Family:

Lansing Bike Party – LBP is a party on wheels! Casual slow roll cruise exploring town and nifty events. Food ’n’ bev stop. Nite ridin’ w lites. Boomboxes.  Depart Fridays 6 pm Broad Art Museum, MSU & 6:30 pm Bike Co-op, Kzoo St, Lans. (Easter > Halloween. 6p Co-op starts Oct.)

Roll Lansing – The intent of the group is to promote fun social rides while doing things safely. We may evolve into more as we go and the group grows.   Some Basics for Roll Lansing Rides: Have fun but not without being safety conscious. Promote Cycling.

Kidical Mass Lansing (MI) Area – A Family Bike Ride – This fun, open, and welcome group is for families (and family-friendly-folks) who want to ride bikes, build community, and enjoy the area together. We meet once per month on the weekend and start and end the ride at the same location.


MTB/Cyclo-Cross:

MSU Cycling – MSU Cycling is a multi-discipline athletic club affiliated with MSU. As the oldest univ.-affiliated student-run organization, the club continues its long history of representing MSU through participation in regional and national cycling competition. Outside of the athletic world, MSU Cycling is actively conducting research in order to suggest the implementation of improved infrastructure on the MSU campus, as well as promoting the fight against skin cancer by partnering with the MSU Gran Fondo, the 4th largest such charity ride in the nation. As an athletic club that is highly involved in the community, MSU Cycling is continuously working to improve performance in sport and educate those interested in learning to ride safely and enjoy a healthy, active pastime.

Epic Mountain Bike -This group was created to help share information about mountain bike group rides, primarily in Mid-Michigan. Our regular group rides are on Wednesday night at Sleepy Hollow or Rose Lake.  (This group does regular fat-bike rides thru the winter)

Denny’s Central Park Mountain Bike Group – This is a group of employees, customers, and more importantly friends of Denny’s Central Park Bicycles (Okemos, MI store). This group of mountain bikers consists of a very, VERY wide range of ages for men and women that also have equally the same wide rage of skill levels. Every Thursday night (weather permitting) we ride at different trails in Michigan.

SPIN OFF-Road events – happening throughout the year – Hosted/ organized by Spin Bicycle Shop, Old Town, Lansing.

Capital City Cyclocross (CCCX) – A Facebook group that offers Greater Lansing area info. on CX training rides and races.

 

Road:

MSU Cycling – See listing above in MTB/Cyclo-Cross section.

SPIN Monday Night Ride! SPIN Monday Night Rides are an enjoyable, safe, cohesive social group ride of roughly 22 miles, at a 16-18 mph average pace.  Hosted/ organized by Spin Bicycle Shop, Old Town, Lansing.  Road ride season ends sometime in October.


Touring/ Road/ Family/ Other
:

Tri-Co. Bike Association – (Facebook group for discussion, sharing info; Facebook page for official announcements re: events, etc.) Largest and oldest club in the region, serves bicyclists in the Tri-County area surrounding Lansing, MI and beyond. Visit the web site (www.biketcba.org) for information about scheduled club rides and our organized rides.  Four organized/invitational rides each year including DALMAC, a nationally recognized multi-day ride from Lansing to Mackinac City. Group rides of varying lengths and speeds scheduled almost every day, weather permitting. Various other services to bicyclists.

The Detroit Randonneurs group – Rides around lower Michigan, with a ride out of Okemos, May 2018.  Full schedule here: detroitrandonneurs.org

 

The Door Prize You Don’t Want!

WARNING to my campus biking friends!

While walking to get coffee across the river one lovely fall day in 2016 I observed 3 students quickly jumping out of the passenger side door (getting dropped off for class) into the bike lane on the Farm Ln. Bridge where the lane is extremely narrow and very little room to avoid being in the “door zone”.

This is a very real danger when riding next to parked or stopped vehicles on campus or anywhere. Stay very aware and out of the “door zone” to avoid the “door prize” you really, really don’t want.

“Dooring” has contributed to killing many people and seriously injured thousands more; if it happens on the driver’s side you can be thrown out into the travel lane.

Excellent blog from Cycling Savvy with more in-depth explanation of why door-zone riding and door-zone bike lanes are an extremely hazardous place to ride.

Just because some bike lanes are painted up next to parking areas doesn’t mean it’s the safest place to ride!  Use your best judgement and exercise your legal rights to ride where it’s safe in the road (NO! That’s not up against the curb or always the farthest right where you can physically ride contrary to popular opinion; see bullet #7 on this handy page summarizing Michigan Bicycling Laws courtesy of the League of Michigan Bicyclists).

Here’s a great video by a friend/ colleague Preston Tyree that demonstrates how far away from parked cars you should really ride to be safe and ready to deal with sudden opening doors and not swerve into a car/truck speeding by you.

Tired of a wet backside and feet?

Yep, it’s cold and wet out there and you like getting to class and home again quickly by bike but don’t enjoy the wet stripe up your backside and soaking feet all day long.  What to do?  Make your own?  There are plenty of ideas out there….

Examples of DIY bike fenders
Examples of DIY bike fenders (courtesy of The Plume Kickstarter – http://www.core77.com/posts/24896/another-minimalist-mudguard-the-plume-rolls-out-on-kickstarter-24896

These ideas can save you some $$ and give you some protection for the short term, but if you want to keep the junk off you and your bike for the long term come on into the Center and check out the various fenders we stock to fit just about any bike made starting at about $12.00.


Pros-Cons of Different Fenders – Different Bikes
If you’d like to read more about the pros-cons of different sorts of fenders and the strategy of having a ‘rain bike’ vs. using one bike rain or shine, read this excellent blog by Jan Heine of Bicycle Quarterly.

Personally, I’m a big fan of full-coverage fenders (whether plastic or metal) vs. the shorter “beaver tail” style rear and mini front fenders that don’t block that much of the water and other gunk coming off the roadway before during and after rain. The other critical issue mentioned in Jan’s article above of a “rain bike” vs. a nice-weather bike is the salt factor here in the Midwest. I have a ‘bad weather’ bike as I don’t want to subject my nicer bikes to road salts as it will quite rapidly destroy anything metal on a nicer bike.  I write that from experience of having gone thru several ‘bat weather’ bikes.  Even if you try keep the exterior clean by wiping or spraying it off the salt water that gets inside the frame and other spaces will rust and destroy anything metal.

Comparing Bike Lubes

How to oil your chain
This is the way you should apply your oil NOT with a spray can. Spray-on oils can get overspray all over your rear rim which causes brake failure and will collect gunk on other components making things wear out faster.

Wet roads are coming and when they’re covered with salt they are really harsh on chains and the rest of your bike.  One of the most common questions we get in the bike shop is what type of lube is best to use. The short answer is that dry lubes are for dry conditions and wet lubes are for wet conditions.

Dry lubricants go on wet but dry and leave lubricant where it’s needed.  The lubricant is resistant to dust or dirt and therefore works good in conditions when there is a lot of dust and dirt. Off-road riders will especially benefit from a dry lube when the ground is dry and dusty.  These types of lubes do not hold up to  wet conditions and will wash off with a rain.

We sell the following lubricants:

  • Tri-Flow Superior Lubricant – Teflon (PTFE) based, affordable and easy to use.
  • Finish Line Dry Bike Lube – Teflon based lube, all riding conditions.
  • ProLink Chain Lube – “Cleans and lubes as you ride!” Larry’s favorite!

Wet lubricants go on wet and stay wet after application. They are great for rainy and wet conditions and won’t wash away (as quickly) but attract dirt and debris and therefore should be avoided in dry, dusty conditions.

For the best results of any lubricant it is important to start with a clean chain. With any lube you should give it a minute to penetrate after application and then wipe off the excess so it doesn’t get all over the rim of your bike (which can cause your rear brakes to stop working), your pants, your carpeting, etc.  A dripping-wet chain also attracts more grime leading to a real nasty chain that wears out your whole drivetrain much faster than a clean one.

A lighter lube like the Tri-Flow Superior Lubricant, is excellent for keeping other components of your bike lubricated and help prevent them from seizing up.  We recommend a drop of lube on the pivots or hinges of your derailleurs (the things that shift your gears) and your brake pivot bolts (NOT your brake pads!) to keep them moving smoothly.  Salt water can and will get inside your brake and shift cables and cause them to get  sticky or completely seize from rust and ice, so a little chain lube inside the cable housing will help keep them sliding smoothly.

Finally, chain lubes are excellent for bringing a rusty or sticky lock mechanism back to life.  It’ll also help keep it from freezing up by chasing out water.

Grease:

A word about this type of lubricant: it’s the heaviest form of lube used on bikes and cars, etc.  It’s the consistency of toothpaste and is something we only use when overhauling ball bearings in hubs, bottom-brackets, headsets, when assembling bikes and installing seat posts inside the frame, or installing pedals, or other bolts (like those that attach things to your bike) to prevent them from rusting in place.  Grease is NOT used on your chain or places that are exposed to the elements.

Stop by the shop any time and we’ll look your bike over for no charge and give you more specific recommendations and estimates for getting it back in good riding shape!

Back to school repairs alert

Attention MSU Bikes customers:

Due to the start-of-semester rush, we are unable to perform tune-ups and other large repairs from August 19th – September 18th. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

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2017 MSU Bike Month Events

Banner for Natl Bike Month

May is National Bike Month and there are a number of events happening on or near campus to celebrate & encourage bicycling, improve bike safety, spread bike friendliness around MSU and have some fun along the way.

CONCLUDED –
Approx. 25 people attended this 1st ever event and we had great open discussion about all forms of commuting to work (other than Single-occupancy-vehicles).

Archived Description:
Now that the weather has turned nice, have you ever thought to yourself, “It’s such a nice day! It would be the perfect day to bike or walk to work!” If that thought ever crossed your mind, no matter how fleeting, this event is for you!   Join us for a funny and informative brown-bag session from several “regular people” who walk or bike to work on campus.)

Download the event poster/ flyer here (JPG) / (PDF) and post/ forward along to friends, colleagues!


  • Our lead vehicle, courtesy of Go Green Trikes!
    Our lead vehicle, courtesy of Go Green Trikes! http://www.gogreentrikes.com

    10th Annual Greater Lansing/ MSU/ E. Lansing Ride of Silence

    When: May 17, 5:30 pm ~9 pm
    Where:  Wells Hall Courtyard (near Starbucks)

    CONCLUDED:
    In almost perfect weather, on the evening of May 17, 2017, over 250 bicyclists participated in the nine-mile ride from the Wells Hall Plaza at Michigan State University campus to the Michigan State Capital in downtown Lansing.

    As in years past, we rode in memory of cyclists who have been killed or injured. This was the 10th annual event held on the MSU campus with the route going thru E. Lansing and Lansing finishing at the State Capitol building steps. It’s a signature event for the TCBA Advocacy Committee and supported with private donations and funds from TCBA.

    The post-ride gathering to celebrate the efforts of advocates and others who work towards safer roads and facilities for bicycling in the area was at the Lansing Brewing Company which is becoming one of the most bike-friendly establishments in the Lansing area.

    Media coverage:
    Lansing State Journal story & photo gallery
    WILX – 10 story – video archive
    WKAR story
    WLNS story
    HOM-TV story
    – More photos and videos on our Facebook event page

    Archived Description:
    MSU Bikes once again will host the Ride of Silence on the campus for the Greater Lansing area.  Approx. 200 people joined in this very significant event the last couple years that honors/ remembers bicyclists who’ve been seriously injured or killed in crashes with motor vehicles.  The evening wraps up with an after-party at the Lansing Brewing Co. to celebrate all the hard work area advocates are doing to improve things in the area to make it safer for cycling.  The TCBA Advocacy Committee is one such group that has monthly meetings open to the public and needs more people concerned about improving our roads.  The Facebook event page for the ride has full details and links to photos from last year for your viewing pleasure.  There is also a Facebook page for the Greater Lansing Ride of Silence that you might want to plug into to stay abreast.


IMG_4929
CONCLUDED:
Approx. 40 campus bicyclists came together for the annual event to hear the thoughts and insights regarding the future of bicycling on and near our campus from the lead of the MSU Sustainable Mobility Plan, Dr. Wolfgang Bauer.  Thankfully, Mark Haas, Vice President of Finance & Treasurer, a life-long bicyclist and avid bike commuter, also attended and was able to answer additional questions related to the future of bicycling at MSU.

Archived Description:
Join your fellow campus bicyclists to celebrate National Bike to Work/ Campus Day with a free continental breakfast and get inspired by our guest speaker, Dr. Wolfgang Bauer, who will update us on the MSU Sustainable Mobility Plan and how it will positively impact bicycling and other non-motorized modes of transportation on and near campus in the near and long term.


Near Campus & Other Events – Activities



 

 


Darwin Award tips for Cyclists

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So, you’re an aspiring Darwin Awardee and have a bike handy, what are your options to make history?  Here’s my top tips based on years of observation, listening to incredible stories of crashes and researching fatal crashes all over the country that will give you a pedal-up on your competing wanna-be awardees! *

Ride your bike while…

1. …staring at your phone and rarely look up, just go by “feel”.  You’ve been all over this campus so many times, you know every bump, bush, pothole;  who needs to actually see where they’re going?!

2. …wearing ear buds or better yet, full ear-covering headphones w/ music cranked up.  Your hearing is designed for awesome music not buses or trucks passing nearby.

3. … drinking coffee and going  no-handed for extra coolness just like the hip song “I can ride a bike with no handlebars!”.

4. … going no-handed in the bike lane just a few feet from moving motor vehicles!  What could possibly go wrong?!?!

BETTER YOUR ODDS!  Combine 2 or all 3 of the above for more  chances of a fatal crash!


Jump on your bike…

img_2070-750x1000
Extra points for non-working front brakes!

5.  …without checking whether your brakes are working; who really needs brakes?!  Maybe just take them off altogether to save weight and use your feet to stop?!

6. …with your fork mounted backwards (just the way it came out of the box!).  Assembling a bike is easy-peasy like walking and chewing gum.

7. …without making sure someone hasn’t stolen your front wheel skewer that holds your wheel on the fork.

8. …with your handlebars flopping around completely loose.


Don't be a Ninja cyclist!
If you can see them that’s all that counts!  Right!?

Ride your bike….

9.  … on the sidewalk, in the bike lanes, wherever is the fastest (against traffic)!

10. …at night with no lights and dark clothing.

11.  … through red lights, stop signs, whatever.  Street laws are for cars/ trucks and wussies.

* This article is satire and not intended to be a serious guide to your demise.  Please DO NOT do these things if you would like to continue livingRead this article for REAL tips that will help save your life.

Pedal for Platinum @ MSU

The League's Silver level award seal.
The League’s Silver level award seal which MSU received in Nov. 2015

After receiving the news in November 2015 from the League of American Bicyclists that MSU was upgraded to a silver-level Bike Friendly University award the MSU Bike Advisory Committee (BAC) decided that rather than just plod along towards gold we’d embark on a bold mission of jumping over gold and “Pedal for Platinum”.   “Spartans Will… Pedal for Platinum!” has a nice ring to it!

In true Spartan fashion, our mission launched with action.  We broke down the BFU applications of all the other platinum-level and new gold-level universities to see where the big differences were most apparent in MSU’s case (those comparisons can be viewed here for reference).   One of those that popped out at us were that other platinum universities had neighboring communities that were either platinum-level or gold, such that they were clearly working closely together to assure that the overall experience for their university community from home to campus would be a top-notch bike-friendly experience not just on campus.

downtown-el-grand-river-ave-pano-2010
We began thinking how we might be able to facilitate helping our neighboring communities in their journey to become more bike friendly.  Bringing in some experts to meet with the community leaders came up as an option.  The costs for doing that quickly made it apparent that we’d need help in covering those costs.  The concept of a conference where we’d invite not only our neighboring community leaders but area business leaders and university staff as well was born.

highlights-video-screenshot
Click for a highlights video of the event.

Little did we know at the time, but we ended up leading the way with the country’s first-ever Bike Friendly America conference highlighting the League of American Bicyclists‘ entire award program to other universities, communities and businesses last May.  A wrap-up of the conference is here.

A host of other Bike Month events were also planned and hosted around the conference which all dove-tailed together to form a series of bike culture building opportunities.

img_4891-fx
Tour de MSU group shot

Over the summer the BAC focused their attention on developing a more detailed plan for how MSU will reach platinum.  The draft below has been incorporated into the 2016 update of the Campus Master Plan (which has yet to be approved by the Board of Trustees) which is our current Pedal for Platinum campaign plan.  Additional action items and projects are being discussed and debated within the BAC which will be finalized and posted soon.

If you’d like to suggest some changes or additions to the plan please email Tim Potter or attend one of our upcoming public monthly meetings.


3. Goals & Recommended Strategies

The university will continue striving to improve its standing from a silver-level to a platinum-level Bicycle Friendly University based on the League of American Bicyclists’ ratings. Future goals and recommended strategies are organized around the League of American Bicyclists’ five essential elements: Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Encouragement, and Evaluation/Planning.  In addition, Michigan State University incorporates two additional elements, Environment and Economic, to form the basis for future actions.

3.1   ENGINEERING

Goal:
Strengthen and expand campus infrastructure to support safe, effective, and efficient bicycling.

Recommended Strategies:
1.    Design and construct all campus roadways as complete streets, complying with Michigan Public Acts 134 & 135 of 2010 and update university design and construction standards accordingly.
2.    Fund and construct the final segments of the MSU River Trail.
3.    Enhance and expand parking facilities within priority locations of the academic districts.  Incorporate a minimum bicycle parking ratio for new buildings and major renovations into the Standards for Construction – Design Guidelines.
4.    Increase parking supplies within the residential neighborhoods with a goal to accommodate 30% of the resident population.  Work with REHS to establish a prioritized strategy for implementation.
5.    Work with the lighting committee to assess and implement new night lighting in priority locations.
6.    Investigate traffic signal progressions per Campus Master Plan modality priorities (pedestrians first, bicycles second, transit third, private automobile last).
7.    Eliminate obstructions from potential ‘Clear Vision Areas’ to enhance safety for all users.

3.2   EDUCATION

Goal:
Develop and implement educational programs that promote bicycle usage and bicycle safety.

Recommended Strategies:
1.    Continue working with, and providing information for, student and parent orientation.
2.    Continued cooperation on safety campaigns with MSU Police and other campus groups.
3.    Enhance and promote the MSU Bikes website.
4.    Continue sponsoring bicycle maintenance educational sessions.
5.    Continue to conduct campus rides to increase bicycle awareness.
6.    Analyze results of the parking permit test concerning campus policies.

3.3   ENCOURAGEMENT

Goal:
Establish ongoing strategies promoting bicycling for faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

Recommended Strategies:
1.    Create and communicate incentives promoting bicycle commuting for faculty and staff through Human Resources and MSU Police.
2.    Identify, map, and promote secure storage and showering/locker facilities.
3.    Develop an annual fall bicycle event to promote bicycle registration, appropriate use, and safety.
4.    Create engaging community outreach events centered on bicycling.
5.    Execute a campus version of the International Car-free City Day.

3.4   ENFORCEMENT

Goal:
Clarify and reinforce observance of university ordinances, policies, rules, and regulations related to bicycle use on campus.

Recommended Strategies:
1.    Clarify nomenclature of bicycle facilities and revised ordinances as needed.
2.    Work with MSU Police to increase enforcement of traffic rules and to identify areas of repeat safety violations.
3.    Monitor and adapt the bicycle impoundment practices as required.
4.    Strengthen university bicycle registration efforts.
5.    Encourage bicyclists to report all collisions to MSU Police.

3.5   EVALUATION & PLANNING

Goal:
Monitor progress on recommendations, working through existing protocols and standing committees.

Recommended Strategies:
1.    Annually evaluate the progress on recommendations.
2.    Update the bicycle plan every five years as part of the Campus Master Plan update cycle.
3.    Work through AUTTC (All University Traffic and Transportation Committee) to draft position memoranda identifying bicycle system enhancements relative to new construction projects that not only benefit the project but the larger campus community as well.
4.    Continually assess existing and new recommendations through activity of the MSU Bikes Committee and AUTTC.
5.    Work with the Bike Collaborative initiative and other ad-hoc groups supporting bicycling.

3.6   ENVIRONMENT

Goal:
Encourage bicycle use to reduce scope 3 emissions related to vehicular circulation, especially single occupant motor vehicle operations.

Recommended Strategies:
1.    Incentivize bicycle use and other alternative modalities.
2.    Incorporate scope 3 emission savings into bicycle promotional advocacy.
3.    Continue the partnership between IPF, REHS and ASMSU to expand the existing bicycle share program.
4.    Continue to promote and strengthen CATA’s Clean Commute program and its Emergency Ride Home (ERH) voucher incentive.

3.7   ECONOMIC

Goal:
Reduce university costs associated with building and maintaining a robust vehicular circulation system by increasing bicycle use as a core modality for students, faculty, and staff.

Recommended Strategies:
1.    Encourage and incentivize faculty and staff bicycle use as a means of commuting to, and moving around, campus.
2.    Invest in secure and weather-protected parking facilities at strategic campus locations.

Departmental Bike Service Examples

A number of MSU departments provide bike-related services to their staff to encourage them to ride bikes more often for a host of reasons that are well known.  This blog article illustrates some of those bikes at work around campus.  The following are additional services & amenities that have been installed and/or purchased by departments.  Consider asking your department administration about providing something similar to improve the bike-friendliness of your department.  Our departmental fleet services are described on this page of our website.

Cyclotron Secure Bike Parking facility:

One of the newest department facilities on campus, this secured bike storage facility offers space for approx. 40 bikes under cover and behind fencing that is card-access controlled.  It also features a security camera to monitor access.  The Cyclotron has also had a traditional key-access bike locker on their premises for a number of years that’s been available to 2 bicyclists at any given time.  A video tour of the facility can be seen here.  Questions about this facility can be sent to Tim Potter.  Here are some photos of the facilities:

 

Bio-Engineering Secure Bike Parking Facility:

One of the newest research buildings on campus, the four-story, 130,000-square-foot Bioengineering Facility, features a nice secure MSU ID card-accessible bike parking facility on the exterior for area staff to use.  While it doesn’t feature a roof over the parking this is certainly a much improved amenity for staff in the buildings in this area who are concerned about the security of their bikes while at work.   This facility will be opening soon.  It is located between the Life Science and the Clinical Center buildings in the South Academic District.  Questions about this facility can be sent to Tim Potter.  Here are some photos of it as of taken this past summer:

Infrastructure Planning and Facilities’ Bike Services:

Gus on one of his work bikes
Gus on one of his work bikes in the IPF parking lot.

Employees of this large department have had the use of a growing fleet of bikes for decades.  Oftentimes trips to buildings on campus to check into maintenance issues can be easily done by bicycle to minimize costs to the department and provide options for staff to get some exercise and fresh air during their work day.  On the nicer days of the year it’s not uncommon for the 30 bike fleet (as of 10/18/16) to be in use.  Jeff Groll, the bike fleet manager for IPF, reports that of the 30 bikes in the fleet 6 are available for checkout by any IPF staff and the rest are assigned to individual employees.  Some of those assigned bikes even feature electric-assist systems to make the bike trips even less of a physical challenge as well as extending the possibilities of trips that can be done by bike.  Questions about the IPF bike fleet can be sent to Jeff here.   This IPF article (Aug. 2014) features the story of Gus Gosselin, who championed bike use within IPF for many years for additional background information.

Additionally, IPF has provided access to a bike locker for employees at the Simon Powerplant for a number of years.  Staff at this facility found the work environment inside to not be conducive for storing bikes inside, so the locker has helped provide an great alternative for some of their regular bike commuters with nicer bikes.  Some pics of that locker below:

Bikes at Work on Campus

Many people may not realize how much MSU departments and their staff use bikes to help make their work on & around campus more enjoyable, efficient and green.

In recent years MSU Bikes, Surplus and Recycling have all been utilizing bikes with large trailers to do even more work on campus that previously thought possible.  Their medium length Bikes at Work trailers allow them to haul up to 300- 600 lbs of cargo and with the help of electric-assist bikes staff don’t need super-human bicycling strength to haul those kinds of loads.

The newest addition to our work-bike fleet is this electric-assist trike that has been setup and customized in order to haul the BAW trailers (updated 4/25/18).  Here are some photos of it and then a short video of it in action too:

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Here’s a photo gallery of Cayden Bunnell (formerly of Surplus & Recycling) at work w/ our standard rig on a nice fall day on campus (2015):

cayden-bike-trailer-video-screenshot
This video
highlights the work by one of the Surplus/ Recycling staff who was the inaugural bike-trailer worker bee to start regular rounds collecting compost material and delivering recycling related supplies.

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. Some photos below show you the variety of cargo we’ve hauled over the years.

This past summer the Bailey Greenhouse and Urban Farm students (part of the MSU RISE Program) began making pedal-powered deliveries of their vegetables around campus with a little help from MSU Surplus/ MSU Bikes.  This video shows their delivery bike-trailer in action.

For over three decades the Infrastructure Planning and Facilities department has had the largest fleets of work bikes on campus (23 in Aug. 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.  (This article gives more background on this history of bicycling within IPF).

bikeunitThere 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. The MSU Police Dept.’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).