Free bike-fixing stations recently installed in several locations on UW-Eau Claire campus

Student Office of Sustainability takes credit for new bike fixing stations

More stories from Alanna Huggett

Pura Vida
May 15, 2019

Photo by Gabbie Henn

The Student Office of Sustainability has installed new bike-fixing stations at three different locations around campus.

The UW-Eau Claire Student Office of Sustainability recently installed three free bike-fixing stations on campus for student use. These stations, located outside of Centennial Hall, Hilltop Student Center and Haas Fine Arts Center, were purchased two years ago for $2,000 by the SOS.

According to Austin Northagen, director of the SOS, the bike-fixing stations are an obvious landmark that demonstrates that UW-Eau Claire is a sustainable campus.

“You come here, and you see bike fixing stations — that gives off the image that we not only want people to bike here because we have bike racks, we’re also willing to say ‘Hey, if your bike gets broken we don’t want you to stop riding your bike — we want you to fix it,’” Northagen said.

Even though the bike-fixing stations were only installed a few weeks ago, Northagen said he has already heard from students who have successfully used the stations to fix their bikes.

“I’ve already had a few students come up to me and say ‘Oh, I’ve used them and it works great,’” Northagen said.

Bike-fixing stations are located all over Eau Claire and on other college campuses, Northagen said. With the placement of these new bike-fixing stations on campus, it promotes the image that UW-Eau Claire is a sustainable campus and wants people to bike, Northagen said.

“We want people to bike to school because it’s environmentally friendly and conscious,” Northagen said. “And you know if their bike’s broken they can’t do that.”

The bike-fixing stations provide an opportunity for students to fix a variety of

issues that might come up with frequent bike use, including problems with bike chains, breaks, tires and bike locks.

For students like Lizzy Keena, a second -year nursing student, bike-fixing stations are an added benefit. Keena said if she experienced problems with her bike, she would use the bike-fixing stations on campus.

“Oh my gosh, yes — because it (bike breaking down) has happened and I didn’t know what to do and I had to YouTube it,” Keena said.

Northagen said he has experienced issues with his own bike as well, and had to take it into a shop to get it fixed. With the bike-fixing stations installed, that problem can now be fixed faster and with no cost.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, the bike-fixing stations require very little maintenance. UW-Eau Claire facilities, who also played a role in the installment of the bike-fixing stations, only have to check every few months to make sure the stations are functioning properly, Northagen said.

Northagen and the SOS said they hope these stations will benefit both on-campus and off-campus students.

“It will save students money, it’ll save them time, it’ll teach them some cool skills on how to fix a bike and hopefully it gets more students to keep riding their bike,” Northagen said.

The SOS has more plans in store for bikes on campus. Now that the construction fences are down, Northagen said, the SOS plans to discuss implementing new bike lanes and adding two new bike shelters on campus.

Huggett can be reached at huggetam3698@