Bike Root uprooted

still 18-24 months away. In the meantime they plan to use whatever they can in order to continue to provide service.

When the situation arose, Bike Root considered cutting ties with the campus and coming a Calgary community operation off of school grounds. To answer this question, along with others about the Bike Root’s future, the group held a town hall meeting on July 5.

“It was pretty clear after this that the members of the Bike Root want to stay on campus,” said Ayer. “They see it very much tied to the university. The people who use it are by and large students and staff of the university and it makes all kinds of sense to stay here.”

“But if it comes down to having no shop at all and moving off campus then we would seriously entertain that idea.”

That’s something the Students’ Union doesn’t want to see happen and vice-president operations and finance James Delaney has been working with Bike Root since the notice was issued in hopes of finding a solution.

“We feel they’re a very important part of our campus community and culture so we’ve been working with them to sort out space,” said Delaney. “We did find them some space in the parking garage below MacHall.”

Delaney said the university owns the space and discussions are taking place around some concerns, including the mingling of vehicles and bicycles. The university declined to comment, stating that there was no official request from either the SU or Bike Root to use that space at press time.

Ayer said even if the parking garage space was approved for Bike Root’s use, it would give the group some operational capacity to potentially host their bike library. The space, roughly smaller than a single car garage, isn’t ideal for a number of reasons.

“It wouldn’t be suitable as a shop to entertain cyclists coming in and fixing their bikes,” said Ayer. “It doesn’t have fresh air coming into it, it’s quite a way from fire exits and it was never designed to have people in it.”

Without a workshop, the group would only be able to focus on what Ayer would consider peripheral functions, such as events.

“We’d be at 60 per cent capacity,” said Ayer. “The shop is very much the core of our operation. That’s what most people come for, to use the shop to fix their bike.”

The university announced a plan on July 13 to build several new bike parking facilities across campus over the next year to serve the over 1,000 cyclists that commute to campus daily. Although not all the locations or construction times have been finalized, each shelter is expected to accommodate 40-50 bikes. Ayer has been heavily involved with the development of the structures over the last year. Recently, many members suggested Bike Root use one of the shelters as shop space.

“I think they’re really good bike parking structures and they should probably stay as that,” said Ayer. “Unless you really change them and you put $20-$30,000 into them on top of their current cost, I don’t think they would be able to accommodate Bike Root.”

“It will be in a limited form but we should still be out and about,” said Wilson.

The school encourages students looking to rent bicycles after Bike Root’s closure to visit the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre in the Kinesiology Building.

Bike Root’s current space was created in 2008 with two Students’ Union quality money grants totaling $37,000.

The Bike Root is asking for letters of support from the community to send to the university. Updates can be found at

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.