MSU Bikes’ Free Quick Tips Clinics

winter cycling workshop scene

Volunteer instructors Eddie and John helping Chloe get her bike ready for winter riding.

Cabin fever?  Eager to ride your bike this spring?

Learn to get your bike ready yourself with a little help from MSU Bikes!

Come to the MSU Bikes Service Center and learn some quick tips for getting your bike ready to ride and simple repairs that require very few tools or special skills. Each FREE 1-hr. session will cover a different set of topics plus one open session: changing flats, proper lubing/ oiling, proper fit, adjusting your brakes/ shifters, tool-free adjustments of your brakes/ shifters while riding, and emergency wheel repair/ intro to wheel truing (see below for agenda).  Your instructor will be Tim Potter, MSU Bikes’ Sustainable Transportation Manager.


Classes will all be held at the MSU Bikes Service Center and start at 5:30 pm and focus on the following:

Session Details:

101: Proper lubing, changing flats, proper fit – Feb. 16, 2015 – FULL
102: Proper lubing, tool-free adjustments of your brakes/ shifters while riding – Feb. 23 – FULL
103: Tool-free adjustments of your brakes/ shifters while riding, basic wheel truing/ emergency wheel repairs – Mar. 2 – FULL
104: Basic wheel truing/ emergency wheel repairs, other emergency road repair tips (what to pack in your on-bike tool kit) – Mar. 16 – FULL
105: Basics and/or intermediate (depending on student’s experience) of bike commuting – riding tips and gear considerations – Mar. 23
106: Open class format – ask your own questions and specific bike issues or repeat of earlier session – Mar. 30

RSVPs/ Cancellations:

Tim showing some young riders how to change a tube

Tim showing some young riders how to change a tube

Yes, these 1-hr. workshops will be free, but will require RSVPs (using this Doodle scheduler) as they’ll be limited to 10 people per session. You can bring your bike with you if you’d like to practice on your own bike or have it looked at.

If we don’t get at least 3 people per session they’ll be cancelled. PLEASE include your email address with your name so we can let you know if it’s cancelled, or other last minute things that might arise.

Join Team MSU for Natl Bike Challenge

Team MSU - Natl Bike Challenge

MSU is ranked 3rd in Michigan among universities and 36th nationally!  Help us get to the head of the peloton!


It’s not too late to join Team MSU for the National Bike Challenge. You can add your miles ridden staring in May 1st retroactively very easily.  Join and help MSU get in the lead of the pack of other universities competing!

As of June 12, 2014 we’re #3 in Michigan, #36 among universities and #76 nationally.

Click here to join Team MSU or click on the red Join button on the team page as seen in the graphic below.  You have to first create a profile to be a part of the Challenge.  To join the MSU team make sure you put Michigan State University in the School field when creating your profile.

Team MSU - join button

Team MSU – join button

MSU Bike Polo Fridays

After playing on January 11, 2013 in the IM West Turf Grass Arena.

After playing on January 11, 2013 in the IM West Turf Grass Arena.

Come play bike polo in the best (only?) indoor bike polo arena in the Midwest!

Right in the middle of the MSU campus at the IM West indoor turf grass arena every Friday evening from 5:45 pm – 7 pm for spring semester 2014!  Unfortunately all participants/ attendees have to be MSU ID holders (students, faculty/ staff, etc.) to get into the IM facility.  Sorry. I’ll be looking for an off-campus site to open things up more.

MSU Bike Polo Fridays poster

Print out and post this poster wherever you can!

We can provide a limited number of loaner bikes if you don’t have a bike to play on (or would rather not risk damaging your nice bike).  Helmets are recommended.  Polo mallets are also available to borrow if you don’t have your own (here are some DIY instructions for making your own mallet).

If you can please come to the MSU Bike Project workshop at Demonstration Hall at 5:30 pm to help bring the loaner bikes and mallets over to the Turf Arena. 

Protected: Winter Bike Sale!

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New Secure Bike Parking Facilities on Campus

MSU Bike Garage in Trowbridge Parking Ramp

MSU Bike Garage in the Trowbridge Parking Ramp. The Dero Fixit station can be seen holding a bike.  Click pic for more detailed photos of the Garages.

Michigan State University is certified as a Bike Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists, but the high population density and unpredictable weather can be quite unfriendly to bicycle hardware and riders.  (click here for MSU’s BFU profile)

Two new bike parking facilities are opening on campus to help alleviate some of those concerns for students, faculty and staff.

MSU Bikes, a service unit of MSU Surplus & Recycling, has been working with multiple units on campus to develop and install MSU Bike Garage enhanced-security parking facilities inside two vehicle parking ramps.

The first two completed locations are in the ramps on Trowbridge Road and Grand River Avenue.

The MSU Bike Garages are fenced-in spaces on the ground level, providing protection from theft on all sides and some shelter from the elements. Access is controlled by the university’s card sensor technology seen in buildings across campus, and the caged instead of solid walls provide a safe level of visibility inside and outside the structure.

Inside the facilities, cyclists can lock up their ride in a row of Lightning Bolt™ racks, which are designed to keep bikes upright and work especially well with U-locks. Riders can also take advantage of a Dero Fixit™ station and air pump, similar to the self-serve amenities outside the Bikes Service Center in Bessey Hall.

MSU Bike Garage in the Grand River Parking Ramp

MSU Bike Garage in the Grand River Parking Ramp.   Click pic for more detailed photos of the Garages.

The Bike Garage in the Grand River Avenue ramp can hold up to 50 bikes, while the one in the Trowbridge Road ramp has space for 23. Annual and shorter term memberships provide are available immediately and provide access to both facilities.  Since there is a physical capacity of 73 bikes that can be parked between the two facilities and membership will be available on a first-come first-served basis.

“Campus cyclists now have new options: if you live too far away from campus to ride your bike the whole way you can keep your bike in the garage over night and have it ready to ride once on campus.”  said Tim Potter, MSU Bikes’ manager, who will be overseeing the operations.  “Or, if you find the garages too far away from your office consider keeping a 2nd inexpensive bike locked in the garage and then lock your nice bike in the garage and ride the cheaper one to your building.”

One of our customers’ top 10 favorite things about the bike parking garages:
1. Your campus bike (and all its removable parts) will all be there when you need them.
2. Your campus bike will stay dry and rust-free over nights and weekends.
3. It’s lit and safe in the dark winter mornings and evenings.
4. Your campus bike won’t get kicked in on the racks after the bar crawls.
5. You can park your car in the Grand River ramp then jump on your bike to get around campus fast – great during campus construction, game days or when the inner lots are full (that’s all the time.)
6. Leave a bike securely parked on campus and you’ve got easy access to the river trail for weekend rides.
7. Rent is cheap.
8. You get the most optimal parking spot on Grand River.
9. There’s a handy bike pump and repair stand. Super deluxe.
10. Your friends who bike in other cities will be jealous that you have such a luxurious work feature!
(courtesy Marian M. Reiter, Graphic Artist II, Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications)

Access to the two Garages will be free to authorized users for the remainder of the summer semester.   If you’d like to take advantage of the free ‘test ride’ period (the rest of August) please come by our Center and fill out our Bike Garage membership application; we’ll then give you a new sticker and get your MSU ID authorized to access both facilities.  You’ll then have the option to continue using the facilities after the new semester starts up for a fee (full details including membership fees here).

Read more of this post

Local Advocacy & Social Groups

July 27 Ride Around Town - at the new Park Lk. Rd. Burcham round-about

July 27 Ride Around Town – at the new Park Lk. Rd. Burcham round-about under constrution.

Lansing’s Friday Nite Ride Around Town Weekly social ride starting at MSU Beaumont Tower at 5:30 pm (roll-off at 5:45 pm) during warm months of the year.  Destinations vary but are generally within 10 mi. and involve food and drink.  Speeds are low.  Dress brightly and bring lights for the ride home (which is often times getting dark).

Friends of Meridian Township PathwaysWe’re all about promoting, supporting & helping maintain the existing Meridian Township Pathway network as well as doing what we can to see more pathways get built to complete the network both adjacent to roadways and off-road corridors like the Inter-Urban Pathway.

Valet Bike Parking at Great Lakes Folk Festival

One of the MMATC community services, Valet Bike Parking at a Great Lakes Folk Festival in years past.

Mid-Michigan Active Transportation Coalition (MMATC):  This is a diverse group of citizens from Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties.  It is the advocacy group of the TCBA (see below).  We joined together in 2009 to promote policies, programs, and planning which integrate active transportation choices in the Mid-Michigan community.   By doing so, we bring about positive changes in biking, walking, and transit infrastructure and to see an increase in the number of citizens who use these choices as an alternative to strictly automobile use.

Google group discussion group
(where most of the action occurs):   Monthly meetings are the third Wednesday of each month from 6 – 7:300 pm at Gone Wire Cafe, 2021 East Michigan Avenue, Lansing.
Tri-County Bike Assn: The area’s largest bike club who’s members have lots of good group rides about every evening of the week.  Their DALMAC tour from MSU campus to the Mackinac Bridge is their main fundraising event of the year.

MSU Bike’s Commuter Challenge 2011 results

Thanks for your generous patience; the results are in!  

Commuter near MSU campus heading home.The first MSU Bike’s Commuter Challenge, held during National Bike to Work Week (May 16 – 20th, 2011) saw 24 participants (plus 2 who were interested in trying it but were unable to participate).  We collected some interesting statistics and compelling commentary about their commute routes/ experiences (Here’s a link to a PDF file with that commentary and some other data from the Challenge that you might enjoy reading).

Approx. ¾ of them were experienced commuters with the remaining being beginners.  The average mileage for the week was 36 miles and for the year to date 320 miles.

The winning individual commuter in the Experienced category was Laura Carter, who works at the Main Library, who logged 90 miles for the week.  There’s a tie for 2nd place between Mike Weigand (Plant Pathology & MSU Bikes) and Layne Cameron (University Relations) with 70 mi. each.  3rd place goes to me, your illustrious organizer with 55 miles.

In the Beginner category Leslie Galvez wins with 60 miles, then Jane Meland (Libraries) with 27 miles followed by Hollyce Balentine in 3rd place with 21 miles.

The winning campus department was the Library with 4 participants, 2nd place goes to MSU Bikes (yay) with 3 participants and a 2-way tie for 2nd place with the Cyclotron, Fisheries and Wildlife (CANR) with 2 each.

So, now you’re wondering when do we have the awards ceremony?

That will be on June 29th, Wed., at noon here at MSU Bikes on our deck or inside the shop if it’s raining.  We’ll give out some cool awards for the folks named above (except myself) and some certificates for the departments.  Hope to see you here!

To those of you who did, thanks for participating!  We’ll plan on doing it again next May during National Bike to Work Week, but in the meantime keep commuting by bike to save $$, for your health and for the fun of it!

Tim Potter & Crew @ MSU Bikes

PS:  If you’re not subscribed to the MSU Bikes eNewsletter (a Yahoo group), please hit that link and consider subscribing to stay informed of bike events and other bike-related info. on campus and in the community.  Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and our newer blog here.


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