On-campus bike shop to open Tuesday

Plans for shop in Mac-Brown Hall in development since April 2011

Scott Leon, ArtSci ‘12, is the technical director for the new bike shop in MacGillivray-Brown Hall.
Scott Leon, ArtSci ‘12, is the technical director for the new bike shop in MacGillivray-Brown Hall.
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After almost a year of planning, the AMS Bike Shop is set to open Tuesday.

Located in MacGillivray-Brown Hall, the shop has been an ongoing project for the Commission of the Environment and Sustainability (CES) since last April. CES Commissioner Adam DiSimine said the shop will provide repair services for students who need tune-ups or replacement parts.

It will sell miscellaneous cycling items, such as locks, seats and reflectors as well as offering a bicycle reselling service.

“The bike shop has two main goals: first is to take in bikes from people who don’t want them anymore, then refurbish them and sell them back to the community for a cheaper price,” DiSimine, ArtSci ’11, said.

The shop was originally slated to open during fall of 2011.

“There was, to be honest, a lot of logistical and technical work that I don’t think I completely appreciated,” DiSimine said.

“It’s a hard thing to set up because it’s so unique and there are so many very specific, very technical aspects to it.”

Among the delays was a flood at MacGillivray-Brown Hall last summer.

“We figured this was one of those things that’s better to do properly and take a little bit of extra time than to rush it and get it out, and have it not be as good as it can be,” he said.

DiSimine said the total operation expenses for the shop this year are just over $5,300.

“$1,500 was spent on the honouraria of the directors,” DiSimine said, adding that the shop will be staffed by five to seven volunteers and three directors.

The CES received a sum of $6,300 from the AMS Board of Directors last year for set-up costs.

“I imagine we’ll spend just about all of that this year,” DiSimine said. “We should be right on budget.” The new bike shop hopes to service up to 20 bikes per week.

“Hopefully it will be a little slower in the beginning, and it will pick up as we become more comfortable with how the shop is supposed to operate,” he said.

DiSimine added that he hopes the bike shop will make life easier for students.

“A lot of people want to be able to fix their bikes and ride them but they just don’t have the necessary experience or tools,” he said.

The shop is modeled on a similar repair centre run through the University of British Columbia’s student union.

“UBC has one the best bike shops in the country. Ideally we can be chasing after a model like that,” he said.

Laura Vaz-Jones, CES deputy commissioner, oversees the Bike Shop directors and volunteers.

She said the value of the shop lies mainly in its accessibility and affordability. “Although there are bike fixing programs and places you can go to in the Kingston community, it’s just so convenient,” Vaz-Jones, ArtSci ’14, said.

She added that she doesn’t think the shop’s location in MacGillivray-Brown Hall will affect the number of students interested in using it. “I know it’s not the most ideal location, but I think that once you discover the building, you know where it is,” she said. “It’s still on campus.”

MacGillivray-Brown Hall is located at the corner of Barrie and Earl Streets.

She said she hopes the shop will help promote a cycling culture at Queen’s. “I know that there’s this divide between west campus and main campus,” she said.

“To be able to promote cycling as a mode of transportation between the two — that could be an opportunity we could tackle in the future.”

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