Students keeping bikes and butts dry

Photo by Vicente Capala

Snow has officially started to blanket the ground, announcing the arrival of winter. To most students, this means time to put away the bikes and break out the shoe spikes.

However, there are still those avid people who will continue to trek to school via bike, no matter how much snow piles on the ground, and on their bikes.

Many know how to winterize their bikes for the journey to and from campus, but few of those students know how to avoid the inevitable bike burial while parked in between classes.

The secret? Bike lockers.

“I’ve used them, but I don’t bike that much, so I don’t use them often,” said junior Miranda Thompson. “But when I do, they are great. I don’t have to worry about (my bike) getting stolen or anything.”

The lockers were implemented a little over two years ago with the help of Glenna Muncy, UAA Parking Services Director.

Walking around campus, bikes can be spotted crammed together on locked bike racks, seats covered with plastic grocery bags to protect them from the damp weather — while the majority of the lockers remain empty and unused.

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If they have been there for so long and benefit students so much, then why are they nearly a secret? Bike lockers are located in two locations on campus.

The first set is located on the first floor of the Central Garage, next to the Social Sciences Building. The second set can be found outside on the bottom floor of the Student Union, just next to New Student Orientation.

They are large enough to fit most sizes of bikes, and the doors have small hooks to allow hanging helmets or heavy winter coats students don’t want to lug around inside.Unlike most lockers on campus, they are all controlled by a key for each locker.

And also unlike most lockers on campus, they are free, only

requiring a quarter for deposit. Student Amanda Larson said the lockers operate by: “like a coin-op.” One just has to place their bike in the the locker, insert a qaurter, lock the door and the qaurter will be refunded when the key is returned. Some lockers can be more permanent for students who feel they will use them continuously.

A locker can be rented for the semester for $30 at the Parking Services Office, where the student gets a special key for the semester.

So for those who bike rain, shine, sleet or snow, say goodbye to plastic bag-covered seats out in the elements and hello to secure bikes and dry butts.