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Lack of rubber hose leaves bicycle repair pump airless

Essential bike tool stolen over winter break, still missing

By Lorenzo Morotti, associate editor
On February 14, 2014

  • The Bike Repair Station, behind the temporary Bookstore, has been without a rubber hose for the bike pump due to a theft over the winter break. Janae Harris / The Advocate

Students commuting to campus on bicycles will be unable to fill their tires with the pump at the Bike Repair Station because the rubber hose was stolen over the winter break.
"I still need to order the rubber hose; it should take about two weeks to a month," Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said. "Right now, I'm buried in issues that are higher priority - like construction on campus. Not that it isn't important, I plan on ordering the missing piece soon."
The pump is bolted to the ground and every tool is tethered to the stand with metal. Without the hose, a pump is useless. With a hose it becomes a cyclist's most important tool, especially in an area with bike lanes that provide anything but a smooth ride.
"Last week I went with a student to check out a green bike locker for him," Police Services Lt. José Oliveira said.
Students who pay a flat rate to Police Services will be able to store their bikes in the green bike lock-ups for the entire semester.
One of the lock-ups is adjacent to the Bike Repair Station.
"We saw that there was a pump bolted to the ground," Oliveira said. "But were trying to figure out how you would get the air from the pump into the tire without the rubber hose."
Before this instance, Oliveira did not know about the missing hose.
The theft was not reported in Police Services crime log, he said.
Construction on campus has increased the number of students riding their bicycles to campus because of the lack of parking space.
More bikes can be seen locked to railings, poles or the designated bike racks located in front of the Library, Student Services, and the Bookstore than last semester.
The existence and whereabouts of the repair station however is not generally known on campus.
"I first saw the bike stand when they moved the Bookstore to the parking lot," humanities major Marcelo Santos-Perez said. " I don't think a lot of students know about the stand."
He said since he regularly rides a bike to the school he always carries small repair tools in his bag just in case something goes wrong on the road.
"I was only able to use it for a week or so cause someone cut off the rubber tubing on the pump. There is no point in using it now," Santos-Perez said.
The theft came as a surprise to King who said he noticed the missing hose when he was walking by the Bike Repair Station at the beginning of this semester.
"I don't see the value in stealing a hose. If it were made out of copper, maybe," he said. "It seems like it was done just for the sake of causing mischief."
Oliveira said, "Nothing is 100 percent fool-proof, but there are ways to make it more challenging."
He added that if the rubber hosing were securely fastened to the pump with a lock maybe it would not have been stolen. 

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