Since fall 2016, the UM Bicycle Club, or UBike, has provided students the opportunity to serve the campus community while also participating in an environmentally friendly activity.
Composed of 15 to 20 students who share a passion for cycling, the student organization sets up free tune-up stations at the Rock or the Breezeway to assist other students with mechanical problems. Since its inauguration, members have helped around 60 students.
Club President Allen Liu plans to take the repair station to remote areas, including homeless shelters. With a $500 social innovation grant the club received from the Butler Center, Liu wants to set up shop outside the shelters at least three times a semester.
The club not only provides services to other cyclists but also hosts regular rides to two main destinations in Miami-Dade: Key Biscayne and Deering Estate. Each ride can be between 20 to 40 miles long depending on the route they decide to take. The club is open to all skill levels, from beginners to experienced cyclists.
“Our goal is to appeal to all the facets: the hard riders, the casual riders and everyone who commutes,” said long-distance cycler Kawan Amelung.
So far the club’s method for recruitment has been word-of-mouth, mentioning it to anyone with a bicycle.
The bike club plans to appeal to members who do not currently own bikes as well. The club recently purchased bikes that can be rented out to students.
The bike club has been a great way to bring people together and to participate in an environmentally friendly and healthy form of exercise, Liu said.
“We see a lot of people who ride to class and we see a lot of people who ride recreationally,” said Liu. “The bike repair program really brings everyone together.”
Correction, April 21, 12:39 p.m.: A previous version of the story stated that the UM Bicycle Club was planning on purchasing club bikes. At the time of publication, the club had already purchased club bikes available for rent.