The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

SBCC bike shop provides students resources for repairs

Lynneal Williams, mechanic for the Campus Bike Shop, helps mechanical engineering student Alex Reichmayr with his rear brake cables on Thursday, Nov. 10, at the City College Campus Bike Shop. The shop is a satellite location of Bici Centro, where Williams also works.

Adjacent to the bridge on East Campus, City College’s DIY Campus Bike Shop provides students and staff with free tools and mechanical knowledge.

The small shop, which is across from the Earth and Biological Sciences Building, is covered with a printed picture of the bike lane that runs parallel to the 101 Highway and La Conchita Beach, which can be found close to the frontier between Santa Barbara County and Ventura County. The shop is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. It gives the campus a place to repair bikes, and provides stands and a wide array of tools. It also sells basic parts at an affordable price. Guidance and a pair of gloves are always available.

“I always tell people we can tackle 85% of their bicycle problems,” said Sergio Garcia, Bici Centro Shop Manager, who also works at City College’s bike shop..

“I can do basically whatever I want to do here,” joked student Nicholas Ruiz.

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The shop is a satellite version of Bici Centro, a cyclist community store in downtown Santa Barbara.

He said the shop was established partially to alleviate the chaotic campus parking. It replaced the old motorcycle parking lot on East Campus.

Garcia added that he knows a lot of students that only have their bikes as a means of transportation and learning to fix their problems allows them to commute to school.

“We are big about educating people in how to use hands-on tools and service their bikes,” Garcia said.

“Seeing people’s faces when they figure out how to repair something, that is pretty neat,” he added.

When mechanical problems require more particular replacements, users are encouraged to go to the Bicycle Coalition headquarters instead.

While the number of permits purchased has decreased from 6,627 to 6,386 over the last three years—the number of students enrolled at the college has also dropped by 1,448, said Robert Else, senior director of the office of institutional assessment, research and planning.

There isn’t enough information to tell if the program is helping the parking situation on a bigger scale.

There are 2,466 parking spaces available inside campus and proximal external areas, according to the SBCC Business Service Division. From 2014 onward, an average of 4,000 parking permits were purchased beyond the campus capacity.

Alexandra Forbes Thierjung works in the Business Services Division and the SBCC Commute program, which advocates for using more affordable and healthy means of transportation while reducing carbon footprints.

She said the shop’s location is a double victory because it invalidated a parking spot for motorcycles that proved distracting for students in neighboring classrooms, while encouraging motorcyclists to use the parking lot on Loma Alta Drive.

The first Thursday of each month the shop works together with the SBCC Commute Program and local radio station 92.9 FM KJEE to promote sustainable transportation with prizes and free breakfast for students that walk, bike, skate or take the bus to campus.  Passersby are usually welcomed with a smoothie and free swag.

The last event of the semester will be from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Dec. 1 outside the shop.

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