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Tuneups, safety, theft on a roll at bike event

Anya Ursu / Lantern reporter

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As many people find more than one way to roll onto campus, some students said it was important to learn about bicycle safety and how to maintain your bike.
The second annual Ohio State Bike Fair kicked off at 11 a.m. and lasted until 2 p.m. Thursday at the 17th Avenue Wexner Plaza with a bike sale, free tuneups, repairs and cycling and safety information.
Share the Road, an educational initiative to make pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists safer around campus, collaborated with Department of Public Safety and Transportation and Parking Services to host the event.
Jacob Biser, a member of Share the Road, said everyone should share the road and work together to make a safe environment.
“There are pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists on campus,” Biser said. “Frankly, just about everyone is at least two of those three. Bicyclists use the bike line. Pedestrians stay on the sidewalks and use the crosswalks. Also, motorists notice that people are crossing the road and there are bikes on the road with you.”
Students perused 10 different booths, such as Trek Bicycle, OSU Police, Bike OSU and Yay Bikes! that promote biking and the importance of safety.
Trek Bicycle, a bicycle manufacturer, tuned and repaired attendees’ bicycles for free.
Bianca LaBarbera, a third-year in animal science, said she attended the Bike Fair to get the free tuneup.
“I think it’s beneficial to students, especially ones who ride a bike or can’t afford tuneups,” LaBarbera said.
Officer Mark Sandbrink said University Police is running a Bug-a-Bike program to reduce risk of bike theft. The Bug-a-Bike program is a service that can track a stolen bicycle by scanning a little chip attached on the bicycle.
“It’s something that helps us get someone’s bicycle back to the right owner,” Sandbrink said. “The program is totally free. Not many students know about this, so we are trying to get the word out at the Bike Fair.”
Police officers at their booth also handed out brochures on bicycle safety and laws.
Alex Smith, president of Bike OSU and a first-year graduate student in city and regional planning, said Bike OSU was present at the fair to promote the group.
“I don’t think a lot of people know that a bicycle advocacy group is on campus,” Smith said. “We promote all forms of cycling. We are dedicated to making campus and the surrounding community safe and fun for cyclists.”
Anyone who came to the event could buy one of the abandoned bikes that Transportation and Parking Services has collected on campus for $25. Bikes were sold on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 11 a.m. All proceeds went to support Share the Road and Pelotonia, a grassroots charity bike ride to end cancer.
“I think many people don’t want to buy bicycles because they think they are too expensive,” said Kaela Laird, a third-year in hospitality management. “It is very nice to get the bike cheaper here than in the regular store.”

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