Volunteer kicks off workshops for CSULB’s bike fix it stations
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 00:09
Anders Mattsson from Jax Bicycle Center visited campus yesterday to tighten brakes and pump tires for students as part of the first monthly on-campus bicycle repair workshop.
Mattsson, sales manager of Jax, hosted the workshop to teach students how to use Cal State Long Beach’s new bike workstations.
Free workshops will be held for students on the second Wednesday of each month throughout the rest of the school year, according to CSULB Sustainable Transportation Coordinator Elissa Thomas.
Mattsson worked on students’ bikes during the workshop, adjusting steering wheel forks and re-leveling bicycle seats at the workstation next to the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.
“We used to have free safety checks each second week on the quad,” Mattsson said. “But with these new bike stations, we’ll be doing them here.”
Mattsson, who has more than 20 years of experience in the bike industry, spent 15 minutes working on Leeav Sofer’s bike and providing tips for the student. The senior music major said he was impressed with the result.
“The gear shifts like magic,” he said. “Before it took five seconds. I didn’t know I had such a nice bike, and I learned a lot.”
Mattsson saved students money at the workshop too, providing free services and adjustments when the work would have been pricey at a bike shop, he said. He said he didn’t mind doing it for free.
“We want our clients to be safe,” he said. “To have a safe bike to ride is the most important thing.”
Three permanent bike workstations were installed on campus during the summer, one by the Parkside College, one by the Hillside College and one near the SRWC.
Thomas said she began considering the installation of bike workstations on campus while attending a California higher education sustainability conference at University of California, Davis in June.
“I saw them on UC Davis’ campus and knew we had to have them with the number of bicyclists we have on campus,” she said.
The stations, which consist of nine tools and a bike-mounting apparatus, cost $900 each. They were funded by the Department of Physical Planning and Facilities Management.
The stations provide tools for basic procedures. When no volunteer is present to help, students can use their phones to scan the QR code posted above the tools, which brings up biketutor.com, a website with simple tutorials for minor bike procedures.
Kevin Alfaro, a junior chemical engineering major, said he rides his bike 30 miles a day to get to and from school. He said he was unaware of the bike station and the workshop before, and he noticed them only because of the large black pop-up tarp erected by Mattson prior to the workshop.
“I didn’t even know this existed,” he said before filling his tires with air.
Michael Pratts, a senior Chinese studies major, said he hadn’t noticed it either.
“I was here yesterday at the gym, and I didn’t see this here,” he said.
Thomas said visibility is an issue, but she hopes the stations will be increasingly utilized by the 5,000 students who commute to and from campus by bike.
Mattsson serviced about four bikes within an hour. His next workshop will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 10 at the workstation by the SRWC.