First come, first served
Bike rental demand outpaces supply
Jessica Sewing | Collegio Reporter
For nearly 30 years Campus Christians has rented bikes out to students, but this year the demand for bicycles was at an all-time high.
The program started out in the late 70s with less than 10 bikes. Currently Smith says there are probably 250 bikes rented out to students this year. Pastor Don Smith says that most international students rent a bike from the Campus Christians at some point in their time as students here.
“I don’t know if we just didn’t have as many bikes and we usually did or the need for bikes is just that high this year,” Smith said.
If a student needs a bike, but cannot afford to go buy a new one, they can rent one from the Campus Christians. The rental costs $30 and is reimbursed after the student returns the bike. Gloria Parks is one of the many students who rent from Campus Christians.
“Since international students don’t have cars we really rely on this program to help us be mobile,” said Parks, sophomore in psychology. “I’m so glad I got my bike way before this big rush.”
Smith says that he provides some of the bikes, but the program primarily relies on donations.
“Bikes come from people in the community who know that we use them,” Smith said. “President Scott’s wife actually just donated a bike the other day.”
Smith says that this is the first year there has been this high of a demand for bikes, and that Campus Christians ran out of bikes to rent almost as soon as classes started. More than 20 students have been on the waiting list.
“If I can’t get enough bikes, I can’t provide for the students,” Smith said. “I just called about eight students to tell them that they can come check out the bikes we currently have.”
Smith is also responsible for bike maintenance. He inspects his stock for safety issues and refurbishes old bikes. University police collect bikes left on campus at the end of the year and provide any that go unclaimed to Campus Christians.
“We recycle everything we can,” Smith said. “Whatever we can’t use, we send to a metal reclaiming company.”