Teaming Up to Bring a Bicycle Shop to the Students

UCR Women's Resource Center, Pedals Bike Shop Work Together to Bring Service, Shop to Campus

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — Romanie Arterberry saw that students at the University of California, Riverside had a bike problem. More specifically, they had a problem when their bike broke down or suffered a flat tire, because the nearest bike shop – Pedals Bicycle Shop in downtown Riverside – was almost five miles away.

Arterberry, the student affairs officer at the Women’s Resource Center and staff advisor for the Campus Safety Escort Service, had heard tales of students having to take their broken bike on the bus or scramble to find a ride with a friend to get it repaired, and that it was causing them a lot of frustration.

But in the summer of 2012, as Arterberry visited Pedals to purchase some bikes for the safety escort service, she found a solution in the person of Pedals’ owner Jason Markley. After discussing the challenges that the students were facing in getting to his shop, he agreed to partner with the Women’s Resource Center and to bring his bike shop to the students.

“In fall quarter of 2012 we invited Pedals to come out and do a workshop and see if people would actually bring their bikes out to be repaired,” Arterberry said. “It was so popular that we kept extending it and we ended up extending it for seven weeks.”

pop up bicycle store

Pedals Bike Shop’s on-campus presence began with a trailer and EZ-Up canopy. They have since moved to a storage container in Parking Lot 19. Photo by Ross French

“We started off doing it out of a truck and a trailer and a little EZ-Up tent and it worked really well,” Markley said of his weekly appearances near Olmstead Hall and later the Bell Tower. “Everyone has been so receptive. It was overwhelming.”

The “pop-up shop” offered basic services and repairs, equipment such as tires, tubes, seats, lights and even bikes themselves, and even other modes of transportation, including skateboards and scooters, at a student-friendly price.

“The rates we’re charging are just enough to be out here and to pay the guys who work out here,” Markley said. “We want to keep everybody rolling.”

Markley, a life-long Southern California resident and a former professional mountain biker whose career was ended by a broken neck suffered in an accident during a downhill race, opened his bike shop at 3765 Jurupa Ave. in 2011. He describes himself as “super passionate” about bicycles and bicycle safety.

“I have just been totally enveloped in bikes ever since I was a kid, and I have been all over the world because of them,” he said. “We want people to know that your bike is not only a great form of transportation, it’s exercise, and it’s good for your state of mind.”

“It’s really important to us that your bike gets fixed properly,” he added.

The shop had a constant flow of students throughout the weekly visits to campus, by the end of fall quarter, both Arterberry and Markley knew they had a winning idea on their hands. So they sought to provide the shop with a more permanent on-campus location.

Arterberry brainstormed with Irma Henderson, alternative transportation manager at Transportation and Parking Services, and Lindy Fenex, director of the Student Recreation Center. Henderson was able to loan a converted storage container that had previously been used by “The Bike Lounge,” a campus bicycle club/cooperative that had gone inactive. The container was moved from Parking Lot 25 to Lot 19, near the Highlander Union Building (HUB), where students could have easier access to it.

The shop was open Wednesdays from 10-to-4 throughout winter quarter and Arterberry said there are plans to expand the days and times during spring quarter to include Tuesdays from 10-to-4.

“This service has really taken off and we are glad to be able to help them out,” she said.

Henderson said that the shop helps get and keep more students, staff and faculty on their bikes, which helps the campus meet state clean-air mandates to reduce the number of single occupant vehicle trips and lessen campus and community congestion.

“I am very appreciative of him being on campus,” Henderson said. “As we try to get people out of their cars and onto their bicycles, we want them to do it safely.”

Another resource for campus cyclists are five new Dero “Fixit Stations” that were purchased by Transportation and Parking Services and installed near campus residence halls. The bright yellow units have all the tools and resources that one would need to do basic bike repair, and are available to students 24-hours-a-day. The units are located near the A&I residence hall, Lothian residence hall, Transportation and Parking Services, as well as outside Pedals’ Lot 19 location and were funded through the Alternative Transportation Program.

Henderson said she could envision the Student Recreation Center having a larger role in the campus’ bicycle culture in the future, particularly after the building expansion is completed in 2014.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-4756

Additional Contacts

Romanie Arterberry
Tel: (951) 827-3777

Jason Markley, owner, Pedals Bicycle Shop
Tel: (951) 683-5343

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