Wandering through the lobby of the University of Nevada, Reno library recently, I noticed that someone had a bicycle up on a rack and was repairing it. It was Billy Vicks of the Reno Bike Project, who does repairs to help keep people interested in biking.
Tell me what this is about.
It’s about supporting cycling on campus. So what I do is I come up every week, and I provide every service that I can. That usually involves minor adjustments to bearing service overhauls for students and faculty on campus. Essentially, we’re there to support and build a cycling culture on campus. The majority of what I do is fix flat tires. And I’m affiliated with the Campus Cycling Coalition. So they’ve brought the Reno Bike Project onto campus. And we’re [the RBP] a nonprofit community bike shop, located on East Fourth Street. This is part of our many programs.
You do know that you’re in the lobby of the library, right?
How did this happen?
I’m usually outside in the summer months, but they want me to come year round, so the Campus Cycling Coalition is a student organization here … so they decided to put me inside throughout the winter months. I’m going to be heading back outside soon, but I am doing it in the library. I’ve been doing it in the library for the past five months.
I would think that a campus would be a fairly easy place to sell cycling. A lot of them are already into it.
It makes a lot of sense. I mean, there’s a huge parking problem on campus, so cycling is a really easy solution to that problem. You know, you can park closer to buildings, you don’t have to walk as far, and it’s easy to get on and off campus cycling, and around campus.
How much reaction do you get from administrators, staffers, professors?
They love it. I mean, I support everyone who comes in, so they’re fully supportive of what we’re doing. Part of the future of this program is trying to figure out how to make this a permanent thing on campus. So, you know, there’s ideas for putting a, like a student-run bike shop on campus. And so we would be overseers and help them get their feet on the ground as far as that program goes. But, yes, I mean, the faculty really like us.
Actually, I wasn’t asking so much whether they support the program, but, how many bicycling professors are there around here?
I’ve probably fixed between five and 10, I would say. … I don’t always know if they’re professors. I’ve only talked to a few of them.