The convenience of riding bikes to and from classes has proven to be a popular means of transportation for students. But bikes can break down, sometimes leaving students stranded.
Fortunately there is the N.C . State Crafts Center, an art school specializing in crafts located next to the Honors Village on the first floor of Thompson Hall. The Crafts Center worked with Wolf Wheels, an on-campus bike rental facility, to create a bicycle repair facility.
To many, this may seem just the same as going to a bicycle store and having it repaired there, but according to the Crafts Center Director George Thomas, the differences are much greater.
This new facility at the Crafts Center will offer equipment like bike stands, wheel truing stands and specialized hand tools, according to Thomas. This may seem standard except for the fact that instead of technicians, the student themselves will be fixing their own bikes.
Thomas said the inspiration came from the students.
"One day, a student asked me whether we had equipment to fix his bike, and then he told me that we needed a place for students to work on their bikes. That's what this is," Thomas said. "I spoke with David Crye , the coordinator of Campus Recreation, and by working with Wolf Wheels, we created a one-session class for students to learn how to use the equipment we have provided for them."
Thomas said after taking this class, students will have access to the tools for the rest of their stay at N.C . State free of charge.
"This class and facility is a resource for the students and driven by the students, so we felt no need for them to be continually charged," Thomas said.
The three-hour, $10 class is a basic tutorial on how to use the equipment, and mechanics Shawn Fisher and William Barnes will instruct the course.
The class covers topics ranging from repairing brakes to truing tires. According to Thomas, it is a way to empower students to do the work themselves.
Albaraa Sarsour , junior in poultry science, said she also thinks the facility has potential, especially given the financial advantage.
"I honestly think the [Bike Repair Facility] has a lot of potential," Sarsour said. "It is so much cheaper than getting it fixed at a bike shop. Plus, it is free to use the equipment for years to come."
Classes start on Monday, September 12, and, as of now, continue until November. However, fall registration for the Crafts Center starts July 25, and this is required for students interested in the bicycle repair facility.