The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Mac Bike searches for new campus space, encourages student support

By Ainsley Judge

The spaces we occupy as student organizations become homes for members of the group, a familiar and favorite space to meet, work, socialize and help define who we are. Located in the basement closet of 30 Mac, the MacBike shop is an open and safe space for anyone who loves bikes, who is eager to learn the art of bicycle mechanics, or simply to get a free bike fix-up and come hang out. We promote self-sufficiency in mechanical skills as well as advocating for safer streets and paths for our bicycles.

MacBikers past and present have gained a considerable amount of knowledge in our tiny shop and have developed a passion that spurs many of us to continue our work in community bike shops all over the country and world after graduation.

The enthusiasm MacBikers have for bikes is already noticeable on campus and in the local and greater community, but we strongly believe there is room to grow. We believe in keeping things free and empowering others and ourselves with hands-on knowledge to maintain our bikes as our primary mode of transportation.

We have worked our current shop to its maximum capacity. It is overflowing with recycled bicycles, parts, wheels, tools and, especially, people.

Our main goal in the future is to be more accessible to all students, faculty and staff – not just for Open Shop hours, but to expand the popular BikeShare Program and offer space for workshops and maintenance classes.

Our shop currently functions solely as a storage space. Each meeting and Open Shop night we spill out into The Mac Weekly’s office with our work stands and grease, and while we appreciate their hospitality and their couches, it is time that we are actually able to work and organize in our own space.

The administration has been receptive to our requests ,and there is a possibility of moving into the Doty Basement. This would be a much bigger area with a door to the outside, providing better access than the current four doors-staircase -bike(s)-over-shoulder trek into our closet.

Allison Greenlee, Jim Hoppe and Chris Baxter of the Spaces Committee have listened and responded to us in this past year, yet we are still waiting for the official approval to move. It has been a nearly six-year struggle for more room during which time two new buildings, the Leonard Center and the IGC, have been built without consideration of student organizations.

The Doty Basement would give us an opportunity to grow and legitimize our student organization and free services to the Mac community. Once we are given the go-ahead, we are more than ready with new paint, work stands, rickshaws, trailers, tricycles and ample enthusiasm to open a fully functional MacBike shop!

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