MSU Bikes 10th Anniversary & Renovations Open House

Many thanks to those of you who came to the event and celebrated this past decade of spreading bike love on campus with us!   Here’s a video of the speeches given during the event.

 

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Archived content:

newly expanded and updated porch of the MSU Bikes Service Center
The newly expanded and updated porch of the MSU Bikes Service Center as of this spring (2016). You can see the new glass doors with electric-assist opener, new wider porch area for displaying bikes out of the way of visitors, safety railings and the newly rebuilt Red Cedar Yacht Club deck in the background.

Come celebrate our 10th year of operations with the crew of MSU Bikes and a bunch of new safety/ access improvements to the entry to our Center!

Light refreshments will be served on the newly rebuilt deck outside the Center, another reason to celebrate!

Plenty of bike parking is available outside our Center! Sorry we have no visitor car parking available.

If we have rain we’ll have our reception inside the Center.

Please RSVP via our Facebook event page here.

For more information about all the renovations done to the Center this past year check this blog post and photo gallery.

Enjoy a walk down memory lane with MSU Bikes here (Facebook photo gallery).

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MSU Moves up to Silver Bike Friendly University Award Status!

The League's Silver level award seal.
The League’s Silver level award seal. Click to view the MSU press release.

It’s an exciting time for 49 universities and colleges around the country who are new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Universities including MSU which moved up to a silver level award!  We’re now one of 28 silver-level BFUs!

This new list of BFUs represents a tremendous amount of work by hundreds if not thousands of people in these universities not to mention the monetary investments too in the effort to make campuses more bike friendly and educate the next generation on safe bicycling habits.

IMG_5717
The finished new porch staircase (as of 8/24/15)

Read MSU’s press release from Nov. 6, 2015 here.

Read the League’s full press release here which links to award information on all of the awardees.

Interested in helping MSU go for Platinum? Get involved with the MSU Bike Advisory Committee.

Lunchtime Rides Around Campus

Riding along Farm Ln., spring 2015 during Tour de MSU
Riding along Farm Ln., spring 2015 during Tour de MSU

Looking for something fun and a little different to do over one lunch hour a month?  Join some of your fellow campus bicyclists and take a slow, leisurely ride around MSU for fresh air, discover new things about campus, enjoy some conversation, etc.

We’ll meet up outside the MSU Bikes Service Center at noon on the last Wednesday of the month and ride for about an hour finishing up back at MSU Bikes.  Rides will feature several stops/ breaks, have a leader and sweeper (someone riding at the rear to help w/ anyone who might need assistance) and will cover anywhere from 3-10 miles at the most depending on the leader and route selected for the month.  Any bike type should be fine and air and mechanical assistance will be available at the start at MSU Bikes.

Brighter clothing, helmets, lights encouraged.  We’ll be following all rules of the road and the campus ordinances, so we won’t be riding on sidewalks, but will use the paths marked for bicycling.

Tim chatting about the Tour de MSU ride
Tim chatting about the Tour de MSU ride at the Sparty statue. The lunch time rides concept was birthed by this first successful organized ride around campus the spring of 2015.

If it’s pouring we’ll cancel the ride. If it’s light drizzle we’ll ride, Seattle/ Portland style!

We’ll continue riding throughout the year, so you’ll have the opportunity to learn about cold weather riding too by actually doing it!

Looking forward to riding with you!

The MSU Bikes Service Center's new exterior
The MSU Bikes Service Center’s new exterior – meet-up here.

Bike Friendly Improvements to Campus this Summer (2015)

Those of you just returning to campus will be pleasantly surprised to find some significant improvements to our campus making it more bike friendly.

There are several areas that have had new bike parking facilities added including some new and much improved bike parking racks as you’ll see in the slideshow below.  These racks, called Varsity Docks by Park a Bike, help keep bikes upright (by preventing the wheel from rolling), feature a more intuitive design for proper locking of bikes and has padding where the rack contacts a bike to prevent damage to bikes.  They are more expensive and don’t easily allow for locking up more bikes than they’re designed for (like the common U-loop style rack we’ve got all over campus) but it’s hoped fewer bikes will fall to the ground (which leads to abandonment oftentimes) and reduces theft due to improper locking.

Additional improvements to the bike parking situation on campus:  83 new U-loop style racks in front of E. Akers Hall to replace old-school style racks, 23 new U-loop style racks in front of E. Akers Hall, 48 new U-loop style racks to the West side of the front of W. Akers Hall, 16 new U-loop style racks in front of W. Akers Hall, an expanded cement pad on the East side of Holden Hall for more moped parking to reduce conflict at the bike racks and to allow for more bike parking loops in the future.

Other bike-friendly improvements:

  • Chestnut Rd. is now another “Complete Street” on campus from North to South (from Trowbridge near the IPF Hqrs. to Kalamazoo St.) with safe accommodations for all road users including bike lanes.
  • Resurfaced and redone bike lanes on Farm Ln. north of the bridge to the Auditorium Rd. intersection.
  • Reinstalled many bike lane symbols around campus that had become worn-off from snow plows, etc.

Our New Improved Entryway and Extended Patio – Now Open!

The finished new porch (as of 8/24/15)
The new porch (as of 8/24/15) ready for arrival of students, awaiting railings.
The finished porch of the Center
The finished porch of the Center with the new hand-rails, stairway and doors. In the background you can also see the newly renovated deck overlooking the river and Erickson Kiva across the river. (as of April 13, 2016)

Below is more information and a photo gallery of pics of the improvements made to the entryway and porch of the Center which started in August and wrapped up late in 2015.

Construction began Monday (Aug. 10) on our new entryway!  Sorry for not forewarning everyone.  The entrance will be safer to access for our customers, particularly those with mobility challenges.  There’ll be new railings and a completely new staircase off to the west side of the entrance rather than off the front as it has been.  This will allow us to display bikes outside without them obstructing access to the shop and the ramp leading up to the entrance.  We’re also getting a new electric-assist door unit to make it easier for our customers to get inside when their hands are full, etc.

Here is a slideshow of the construction, installation and finished new porch and entry way with electric assist door opener including the renovation of the deck:

Greater Lansing’s 1st Ever Bike Movie Night! – CONCLUDED (archived article)

Greater Lansing Bike Movie Night poster
Greater Lansing Bike Movie Night poster

MSU Bikes is excited to be teaming up with the Tri-County Bike Association and other supporters to have our first ever bike movie night on May 29th, 2015, the last Friday of National Bike Month.  The movies will be showed twice with the start of the first showing at 6 pm and the 2nd at 8 pm at the Midtown Brewing Company, one of Lansing’s finest brew pubs.  The movies will run twice so that if you’re late or helping out with the valet bike parking you won’t miss any of them!  No food or drink will be provided by the sponsors but MBC’s full menu will be available to order from.

The movies will be provided by the good folks of the Kalamazoo Bicycle Film Festival, an annual event that has been showing great bike movies since 2010.  It will be a show of 22 short movies spanning the entire spectrum of bicycling that you won’t want to miss!  The line-up of movies is listed on their website if you’re curious.


Check out our Facebook event for the show here.


A $5 donation is suggested in lieu of an admission fee.  Donations will be shared between some of our local community bike programs to be announced at the event. Supporters providing some assistance to make the event possible so far include:  TCBA, Go Green Trikes, the League of Michigan Bicyclists, the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council & the Curmudgeonly Cyclist.  Mid-MEAC will be providing their Valet Bike Parking equipment for the event and volunteers from our community bike programs will be helping run the VBP service.

Thanks to Allison McKenna of allielune designs (online portfolio: allielune.carbonmade.com) for doing the artwork for our event poster (& for the original Kalamazoo Bike Film Fest poster)!!

3rd Annual MSU Bike to Work & Campus Breakfast – CONCLUDED (archived article)

Poster for MSU Bike Week events
Poster for MSU Bike Week 2015 events

Mark your calendars for Friday, May 15, 8 am – 9:30 am, National Bicycle to Work Day, for our 3rd Annual Bike to Work – Campus Breakfast to honor and recognize those who bicycle to work/ campus and celebrate bicycling as an important part of MSU’s Bike Month activities.   Join us for a free breakfast in the large private dining room of the Brody Square Cafeteria.  Just give your name and the event name at the register.

Enjoy free bicycle valet parking provided by Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council just outside the main entrance to Brody Hall.

Free food!
Free food! Yummm!

There is a limit of 56 people for the room so please RSVP using this form. There is a short survey on the RSVP form which we hope will allow us to have some interesting data to share during the breakfast regarding our attendees and their bike commuting.

We’re lining up speakers now and looking for volunteers to sit on a panel discussion.  There will again be raffle prizes.

News:  We’ve confirmed one of our speakers, Dr. Greg Holzman, who’s heading up the Healthy Campus Initiative, which is a program of the Provost.  HCI is assisting with pulling together all stakeholders on campus to develop some effective ways to improve the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians on the MSU Campus.  We’ll get an update on that initiative.

Download the PDF version of the poster for printing and hanging in your work place to help promote the events.

Click here to go to MSU’s inaugural Tour de MSU Campus information.

Mid-MEAC's Valet Bike Parking crew
MSU Bike to Work/ Campus Day 2013 – Mid-MEAC’s Valet Bike Parking crew (Brandon and Julie Powers in purple shirts) w/ Tim and Lauren Olson of MSU Sustainability.

May is Natl. Bike Month!May is National Bike Month!

It’s the official kickoff to the bicycling season.  If you’re looking for materials to help promote bicycling in your work place the League of American Bicyclists have got a bunch of stuff here.


Sparty on bike - Beaumont Tower

National Bike Challenge Starts May 1!

Calling all MSU bicyclists! It’s time to start warming up for the National Bike Challenge again. If you’ve never participated in the past, it’s very easy to join the fun.  You’ll be eligible for great prizes and get to see how your miles compare to others at MSU and around the country!  Be sure you’re registered under MSU as your school and then our miles will all be counted together! (We don’t have a Team MSU per se as there are limits on how big a team can be and other logistical headaches) Here’s MSU’s summary/ profile: https://nationalbikechallenge.org/school/6394

New DIY Bike Repair Stations and Resources at MSU

Needing to put a little air in your bike tires, fix a flat tire or do a minor adjustment?  Well, if you’re on campus you’re in luck!

MSU Bike facilities map
MSU Bike facilities map, updated May 2015

This map shows you where you can find eight do-it-yourself bike repair stations on campus and further below are some photos showing you what they look like so you can recognize them.  (Brody Complex station is on the east side of Emmons Hall; E. Neighborhood station is outside W. Akers entrance near bike parking area [the dot on the map is slightly off on this location; sorry!).

The five newest stations (made by Bike Fixtation) installed in the five residential neighborhoods were purchased and installed thanks to donors, Rick Brown and Kathy Donahue Brown through the Brown-Hoover Charitable Trust (established by Rick’s mother and stepfather, Carroll Brown Hoover and James Hoover).  This State News article gives more information about the newest stations.

You can also view a video showing how these stations can be used here.

There have been three Dero-brand stations on campus for a while and have proven very popular.  There is one outside the MSU Bikes Service (installed 2008) and one inside each MSU Bike Garage (secure bike parking facilities –  details here).

Is there a special bike in your life needing TLC?

So, is there a special bike in your life that’s been languishing in your garage or basement waiting for that day to get back on the road? Perhaps it was involved in a crash and you bent the frame or forks and figure it’s a goner? Well, we’ve got good news for you! Our mechanics would love to bring your pride and joy back to life in time for Valentine’s Day or other special occasion for you or your loved one.

Bring your bike in now for a free estimate; you’ll beat the spring rush and
your bike will be in tip-top shape when the warmer weather arrives!

Over the years we’ve done some very nice renovations.  For example, here are some before-and-after photos of a 70’s vintage Schwinn 3-speed – from garage-hanger to beautiful city bike!


… and a couple videos of our mechanics straightening a “goner” frame giving it new life.

Bike frame-repair part 1
Bike frame-repair video, part 1
Bike frame-repair video, part 2
Bike frame-repair video, part 2

Our 2014-2015 Holiday Schedule

Santas on bikesOur shop will be closed from December 20th through January 4th , 2015 for the university holidays.

We’ll be open again on Monday, January 5th.


Until then our mechanics are caught up and turning around repair work rapidly.  Consider bringing in your bikes now rather than waiting til spring like everyone else!  Avoid the long lines in the spring!

Click here to read more about the magic our mechanics can work on older bikes in bringing them back to life.

Lovely 70's Schwinn 3-speed brought back to life
Lovely 70’s Schwinn 3-speed brought back to life

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! https://nationalbikechallenge.org/school/6394

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

New CATA Rep for MSU Campus

Bikes and Buses safety video
Bikes and Buses safety video

As of April 30, 2014 there is a new CATA MSU campus representative, Deb Kirby.

She’s your go-to person for any CATA related issues you observe or experience on campus.  Her email:  dkirby@cata.org  and campus office phone #: (517) 432-0888

FYI: Here’s a link to a very well-done video created by the Chicago ATA that CATA has been using for their driver training.  http://vimeo.com/7949969
It’s also got very helpful advice for bicyclists to safely interact with buses, so take the time and watch it to learn more about staying out of trouble on our roads.

Note:  The painted-on bus #, location, direction of travel and time of day of an incident is critical as the digital bus route numbers change throughout the day.

Nervous about putting your bike on a CATA bus rack?

Using the CATA bus bike racks
Using the CATA bus bike racks

CATA has a great web page describing their bike-related services including using the bike racks on all of their buses.  Watch this (non-CATA) video to see how easy it is!  The racks in the video may be slightly different than CATA’s but it’ll give you a real good idea of how easy it is.

Bike lockers are also available for rent at the CATA Transportation Center (CTC), downtown Lansing, 420 South Grand Ave.  The units are located on the northeast side of the building.

General CATA information:
Customer Service/Fixed-Routes:  517/394-1000
Mon-Fri 7AM to 7PM & Sat-Sun 9AM to 5PM

MSU Lot Link
517.432.8888

Mon-Fri 7PM to 2AM
Sat-Sun 9AM to 2AM

MSU Night Owl

Mon-Fri 2AM to 7AM
Sat-Sun 2AM to 9AM

Web:  http://www.cata.org
Contact info:  http://www.cata.org/Contact/tabid/59/Default.aspx

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Bike Registration and Impoundment

A load of impounded bikes ready to haul away.
A load of impounded bikes ready to haul away.

Note:

MSU’s primary bike cleanup/ impounding starts each year after move-out and continues for several weeks.  Impounding does occur throughout the year but mostly for the most serious offenses or in response to complaints by staff.

Consider using our enhanced security MSU Bike Garages to keep your bike protected from the weather, vandalism, theft, accidental impoundment, etc.

 

 


Example new and improved impound tag
Example new and improved impound tag listing all the reasons that a bike might get impounded.

Registration

Registering your bike is not only required by the MSU ordinance it is a very helpful service in other respects that you might not think about.

  • Registration (a free process that gets you a permit or sticker with a unique number) proves your ownership of your bike.  This helps the police (not only the MSU Police but other police outside of campus) be able to contact you if your bike happens to get stolen.  It also helps you prove to the police that you own the bike if you need them to cut your lock (if you lose your key or break it off in the lock; pretty common problem in the colder months on campus).
  • How to get an MSU DPPS permit?  You can easily apply for one online, they’re free and will come to you through the mail in a few days.  Go to this page and click the “online” link in the 3rd paragraph to begin the process.  If you need additional help finding your bike’s serial number refer to this web page.
  • Where to put the permit?  We see many creative placements of permits which may result the impounding staff not seeing your permit and impounding it.  See photos below so you know exactly where to put your permit.
Where you should place your permit
Where you should place your permit – under the seat on the frame where it’s easy to spot for impounding staff.

Where you should place your permit 1

 

 

Impoundment

Since MSU has over 20,000 bikes on campus the university has rules regarding bikes that are breaking those rules (improperly locked up, abandoned, no registration, etc.).  Go to this page to learn all about the impounding process at MSU so your bike doesn’t get thrown in the bike slammer.

Michigan’s Bike Related Laws

If you wonder about the applicable laws related to bicycling in Michigan here’s a great page that summarizes them all.