Flat tires

Campus Christians run out of bikes

| Val Vita reporter |

If you have been looking for a way to make that old bike in your garage, the one you never ride, useful again, now is the chance. Don Smith, Campus Christians minister, currently has 52 people on his bike wait list.
The list, which keeps getting longer every day, is something new for Smith. He says in his 32 years of renting out the bikes via Campus Christians, this is the first time the organization has ever run out of bikes before classes start.
For students, especially internationals who rarely have cars to move around, the lack of bikes is more than an inconvenience.

Don Smith, minister of Campus Christians, fixes a bike at his shop, to loan to one of the 54 students who signed up for bicycles in the beging of fall semester, on Friday, August 22.

Don Smith, minister of Campus Christians, fixes a bike at his shop, to loan to one of the 54 students who signed up for bicycles in the beging of fall semester, on Friday, August 22.


“I have been walking to places,” says Leila Kola, international student from Finland in business. “I like the warm weather, but when walking, sometimes, it’s a bit too much.”
Besides walking to the buildings for her classes at, Kola says she walks to the Rec Center as well.
“I also walked to Walmart with my friends once, but I don’t think I’ll do that again,” she said.
Kola is one of the 52 on the list.
Abhishek Hebbar, whose name is currently the 50th in line, says walking during these hot August days is also giving him a hard time.
“I live at Crimson Villas, and it is kind of hard to walk in the sweltering heat,” Hebbar, international student from India, said. “When I need to go to places away from campus, I travel with my friends in their cars.”
Campus Christians has 250 bikes rented out to students for the price of $35 each. All of these bikes were donated.
This fall, PSU received 180 international students, 80 more than last spring.
Smith says many students who rent the bikes have failed to return them. Last year, 20 bikes were stolen.
All of these factors have increased the problem of providing bicycles to students who need and want them.
Tamires Lietti, international student from Brazil in communication, says she had the bad luck of having her rented bike stolen this summer, only a week after moving to Pittsburg.
“My only solution was buying one,” she said. “I spent $120 and I had to call my dad to explain it, because that was not in our budget.”
Campus Christians’ bikes are not only for international students. Any student who needs a bicycle may rent one, if there are any.
Ayman Syed, junior in communication, says he decided to put his name on the waiting list because a bike is an easy way to save gas.
“And it’s easier to go around campus and find a place to park,” he said. “Plus, it’s also a good way to exercise.”
Getting back to that old bike in the garage, anyone interested in helping to cut the wait list down should contact Campus Christians at 213 E. Williams St. or call (417) 529-6470.
“If you have a bike and you are not using it, why not giving it? We would love it,” Smith said. “Even if the bike needs to be repaired it’s OK, just bring it here and I will repair it. Everybody can be a participant on finding bikes.”

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