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Bike Shop re-opens in new location, promotes sustainability, outdoor activity

The university Bike Shop plans to host several community events, including “Breakfast Burrito Rides"

A+university+bike+propped+up+by+one+of+the+rural+roads+in+Rockbridge+County.+Photo+by+Liv+Cooper%2C+%E2%80%9820.
A university bike propped up by one of the rural roads in Rockbridge County. Photo by Liv Cooper, ‘20.

A university bike propped up by one of the rural roads in Rockbridge County. Photo by Liv Cooper, ‘20.

A university bike propped up by one of the rural roads in Rockbridge County. Photo by Liv Cooper, ‘20.

Liv Cooper

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Washington and Lee community members frequently drive across campus, but the team at the newly-opened bike shop on Nelson Street is hoping to change that.

Located between the Sigma Chi and Kappa Sigma fraternity houses and adjacent to the ARC House, the Bike Shop opened this summer in the basement of the Sustain- ability House. The house leads a number of environ- mental initiatives on campus, including the shop, which is aimed at increasing biking around campus.

The Bike Shop was previously located with a smaller inventory in the Outing Club House and Outing Club Barn before it opened this summer in the Sustainability House. The move was made possible when Andy Hunter, owner of the Lexington Bike Shop, sold his entire inventory to the college after his shop went out of business.

Director of Outdoor Education James Dick oversees all aspects of the shop, in addition to manager Rolf Prianian, ‘74, and five students who work shifts throughout the week. Dick said he hopes the presence of the shop on campus will help to normalize biking around Lexington.

“Hopefully people will stop driving from Red Square, Davidson Park, the sorority houses or Third Year Housing to campus. Bike it, and it goes much faster,” Dick said. “We hope to add way more bike racks on campus and increase awareness of how beneficial biking is.”

The Bike Shop will work to achieve these conservation goals by offering bike rentals, the Blue Bike program and a repair stand with tools for people to work on their own bikes with guidance and advice. The shop also sells some retail items, like tubes and tires.

“Hopefully people will rent a bike and go for a great ride around Rockbridge County, local mountain trails or just on the streets of Lexington for a recreational outlet with their friends,” Dick said. “This place is great for quick, easy, local opportunities that students don’t get a chance to see and experience being in the bubble of campus.”

The shop is open to the entire Washington and Lee community, including students, alumni and employees. Dick said community members can get involved by attending the shop’s upcoming events, including “Café Rides,” local free rides followed by drinks and snacks, and “Breakfast Burrito Rides,” a morning ride followed by burritos and free coffee.

The shop will also sponsor a number of upcoming Outing Club trips, which are listed on the Outing Club website. Dick said stu- dents should also feel comfortable stopping by the shop during its open hours.

“We want people to feel like the shop is another place to hang out and meet people,” Dick said. “You don’t have to be a mechanic to come meet some cool new friends.”

Julia Jane Duggan, ‘20, began working at the shop this fall. She said she is excited about the impact the shop will have on campus. “As a fairly new establishment, it’s going to take some time to get the word out to the entire student body about this amazing new resource at our disposal,” Duggan said. “My goal is to get those interested out on a bike and exploring this great place we call home on some of the most beautiful trails around.”

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Bike Shop re-opens in new location, promotes sustainability, outdoor activity