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Notre Dame bicycle shop remains closed

Nicole Toczauer | Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Campus bike enthusiasts will have to pedal on without the Notre Dame Bike Shop, which closed last semester for the foreseeable future. However, student bike technicians said they are working hard to reopen in a new location.

Phillip Johnson, director of Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP), said the shop’s garage in the Old Security Building was reallocated in December to support a growing need for academic space on campus. NDSP cannot run the program without the garage, he said.

Johnson said the bike shop’s services started small and expanded gradually.

“A number of years ago, NDSP was involved in making minor repairs to abandoned bikes that were auctioned at the beginning of the school year,” he said. “Over time, students came to ask for minor repairs.”

Sophomore Chris Glueck, a student employee, said the shop provided free bicycle repair services for students, faculty and staff. The shop supplied labor and used parts from abandoned bikes, which are now recycled rather than auctioned.

“It’s repairs that would cost people a hundred dollars that we do for free. We also [gave] advice on bikes to buy and register them,” he said. “We [had] a high success rate.”

Glueck said student bike technicians have worked with the Office of Sustainability to promote the use of bikes for commuting and the reopening of a bike repair garage on campus.

Rachel Novick, education and outreach program manager with the Office of Sustainability, said the University supports biking for its carbon-free mode of transportation and reduction of local air pollution. She said the Bike Shop provided an important service to the campus community.

“Every biker needs an occasional tune-up for both performance and safety, and the bike shop has enabled countless students, faculty and staff members to keep their bikes in top form,” she said. “We hope that a new home can be found for it in the near future.”

Johnson said he is not certain the Bike Shop will reopen as it is not part of NDSP’s core campus safety services, but he said he realizes how important it is to the Notre Dame campus.

“This will depend on what space is available and who might be in the best position to operate the shop,” Johnson said. “We see the value in biking … It’s healthy and supports sustainability.”

Glueck said ideally the shop would reopen in a new garage or move into an existing unused space on campus. He said he hopes the shop will open in the near future to further provide services for students and their bikes.

“All we want is a place to put our tools and somewhere to check into. We’re looking for a new home and we do good work,” Glueck said.