If you’ve seen people riding up and down the trail alongside the Saranac River on a tandem bicycle, odds are there are two members of Biketopia, SUNY Plattsburgh’s bike shop club, on it.
According to transalt.org, an organization that advocates for better bicycling, walking and public transit for all New Yorkers, if 10% of people commuting by vehicle or transit walked or cycled to work just once per week, the result would be a reduction of approximately 120 million pounds of CO2 emissions per year.
Biketopia encourages sustainable transport on campus by lending bikes to students. They has a collection of bikes they received in poor condition, and fix them to be rideable.
“We have a garage on the other side of campus with a bunch of junk bikes, some are more junk than others,” Steven Binder, vice president of the club said. “Most of the bikes we have are salvageable, but not rideable, so we get them tuned up.”
University Police gives them bikes that people left on campus at the end of the academic year.
“They wait a couple years [to donate them],” Eric Steckler, the club president, said. “Last time someone came in and found their lost bike.”
Even if someone owns their own bike, members of the club are willing and able to help work on it or even just provide a space to work on it themselves.
They hope to broaden their outreach to more than just the campus community.
“We might be doing it soon for not just students, but community members as well.”
The club plans to do a couple group bike trips this semester. In the past they have gone to Pointe au Rouche, Burlington and Highland, New Hampshire.
The club meets at 7 pm in the bike garage next to the tennis courts every Friday until the weather gets too cold.