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  1. #1
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    Bikes IN the classroom (college)?

    Has anyone ever taken thier bike into a college class instead of locking it up outside? Tried and been denied?

    A few months ago I got a CX bike and started doing road rides, now I want to start commuting. I thought a good way to ease into it would be riding to (my only) class twice a week. It is only 7 miles each way which is half of what it would be to work. Plus my wife is not convinced of my safety riding to work "downtown", but the school is still in the suburbs so this would also help her get used to the idea.

    I realize that if everyone took thier bike into the classroom that would not work. However I live in an area with little "cycling culture" so there are VERY few others riding to school and 99.9% of those are on X-mart bikes. Also the "campus" is a satellite of a community college so it is only one 3 story building, and what passes for a bike rack is small, flimsy, and "out of the way" I am not locking up to that. Thoughts, suggestions? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Good luck with that one "Yeah, um, my bike's better than your so I don't want to leave it outside", you just take that argument in there and I'm sure they'll let you bring it inside Buy an old beater to commute, if not do as everyone else does and take the risk, there's a reason people only ride beaters for commuting
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  3. #3
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    Ummm.....

    Sorry, that is not what I was saying at all. When I say that few people ride to class I mean like 3-4 bikes on the rack at Main campus (pretty big), and 0 bikes on the rack at the satellite on a rack that will hold maybe 6 bikes.

    Buying a beater is not an option. Some people on these boards would consider my bike a beater anyway, it's a $500 Bikesdirect bike. It has nothing to do with me or my bike being special. Just because people in my area don't take bike transportation seriously and fail to provide a secure place to keep my bike I should just accept that it is going to get stolen or vandalized? And why would I want to put the most miles on my worst bike? Not everyone commutes on a beater.

    But thanks for that advice, sheesh.
    Last edited by Pedal/Paddle; 12-20-2008 at 06:15 AM.

  4. #4
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    I would say to maybe email the professor and see if he's cool with it. If he is, then go ahead. If the bike rack is out of the way, unsafe, and/or not protected from the elements then I probably wouldn't use it either. $500 or $2000, it's still your bike and $500 is still a lot of money. I can't imagine that they would really care in a non-biking town if a bike was in the building, unless of course it was covered in rain and snow and dripping all over the place. They probably think you're poor and feel bad for you and will let you park your ride where ever you want.

    Other than taking it in the building, I would probably lock it up right outside the door, under a light, to a tree or sign, or something secure.

    Also, biking downtown, i.e. in the city, is actually pretty safe IMO. I don't do it all the time but when I do, I find it's easier to mingle with traffic since they aren't going too fast.

  5. #5
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    I posted my .02 over in the Road Bike Forums
    Last edited by Caffeine Powered; 12-20-2008 at 09:28 AM.
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  6. #6
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    You can always try painting the bike. Make it so that it doesn't really grab any ones attention. Flat black worked for me (with some red and white reflective tape at various places). I painted out all the branding on my components too. Basically you want to make the bike LOOK like a beater. Spray paint for the frame and just some touch up paint for the components (try matching the colors and be careful not to get the paint into any moving parts).

    If you do lock the bike up outside and not in the bike rack then you should talk to the police department to see what their policy is. Some schools strictly forbid locking up anywhere other than the bike rack and you can get your bike impounded. But if yours isn't a big commuter school then it probably won't be much of a problem.

    The only time I saw people bring their bikes inside was for cycling team meetings. But this was a pretty finicky bunch and they all had designated commuter bikes for when they went to class (which could still be pretty nice bikes).

  7. #7
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    I've done it a couple times at Purdue, where the number of bikes on campus is borderline ridiculous (although 99% of them are walmart bikes as you said).

    I forgot my lock a few times when riding into class. Once, I was there early, so I picked a seat in the classroom with a little extra space around it and parked it right there. I left it in the hallway outside the classroom twice, and the second time it disappeared. The maintenance guy took it because it was a "fire hazard." That scared the crap out of me. I won't do that again.

    But as far as "in the classroom" goes, I'd ask the professor and see what he says. It probably won't be a big deal.

  8. #8
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    I bought mine in the building at Evansville and sat it outside the classroom. It might of helped that the teacher also locked his up in his office and we would usually walk in together but this was during a summer session on a private college. I'm wondering If IUPUI is the same way because I just spent 900 on a new bike and 200 on upgrades and I don't want it to go missing.

  9. #9
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    I would contact campus security and see what they say myself. I commute to college where I teach, and it is a satellite of Indiana university, although it is fairly big (5 buildings or so). Anyway, I leave my 500$ trek with accessories locked up on the bike rack with an onguard lock and I havent had a single issue. The racks are located up by the entrances though. We have nearly ZERO bike commuters here- so NO bike culture. One other adjunct professor with a surly is the only other regular cyclist.

    FWIW, we fall under IU regs, which state that you cant ride on walkways and that all bikes need to be locked to the racks. I am sure that the occasional professor would be fine with you bringing one in the building, but IMO it is just too much of a hassle and draws too much attention- maybe negative attention from the "rule makers". Not to mention if it is raining/ muddy or something and you come dragging a nasty bike down the hallway.

    If it were me I would write down the serial number, contact campus security and voice your complaints- try to get the rack moved to a better location. I would also make sure a nice lock or multiple locks are on the bike and just keep pressure on security to make sure your property stays safe. Just my .02

  10. #10
    Blind biker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmsdini
    I would contact campus security and see what they say myself. I commute to college where I teach, and it is a satellite of Indiana university, although it is fairly big (5 buildings or so). Anyway, I leave my 500$ trek with accessories locked up on the bike rack with an onguard lock and I havent had a single issue. The racks are located up by the entrances though. We have nearly ZERO bike commuters here- so NO bike culture. One other adjunct professor with a surly is the only other regular cyclist.

    FWIW, we fall under IU regs, which state that you cant ride on walkways and that all bikes need to be locked to the racks. I am sure that the occasional professor would be fine with you bringing one in the building, but IMO it is just too much of a hassle and draws too much attention- maybe negative attention from the "rule makers". Not to mention if it is raining/ muddy or something and you come dragging a nasty bike down the hallway.

    If it were me I would write down the serial number, contact campus security and voice your complaints- try to get the rack moved to a better location. I would also make sure a nice lock or multiple locks are on the bike and just keep pressure on security to make sure your property stays safe. Just my .02
    what college Iu schools is that? Im going to the one in indy. Also you cant ride on sidewalks isnt that kind of dangerous in a major city. I hope they dont enforce it at iupui as Ive almost got run over crossing the street during my college visit.

  11. #11
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    Indiana University East, Richmond IN. The walkway thing is sort of a funny rule. We dont have any "sidewalks" per se that go from public ground onto the campus property except for one which was newly constructed. The walkways in question are the ones connecting the buildings running through the courtyard.

    Sort of a funny story as to how I know that rule exists: The city built a new bike/ walk path that connects a main road to campus (the one "sidewalk" of sorts that I mentioned). Once on campus it spills out into a campus "walkway". One morning I was going to work, about 1/2 hour before classes start- so no students on campus yet. It was freezing, so in an attempt to be lazy and not walk my bike down the walkway- I just rode up to the front doors. Officer hawkeye catches me and makes it a point to roll up in his vehicle and tell me to "walk it" as he looks at me over his sunglasses. I stopped and looked around- there wasnt any foot traffic what so ever but I jumped off and walked it to the rack anyway. I did research later which is how I found out about that "rule". I can see the point in it if the campus is very busy with footwalkers, but any other time it seems rather silly to me. I guess technically you are supposed to walk your bike on campus walkways, but I just ride through the parking lot now and walk the 15 feet from the lot to the rack so no big deal. Seems like one of those rules that can be very beneficial from keeping people from getting hurt, but instead it is typically enforced so a cop can get his fill of authority. Just sort of feel it out on your campus. The security will let you know if you are in the wrong, I can promise you that- and obviously use your best judgment and try to stay clear of all pedestrians and give them the right of way.

  12. #12
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    I work at a community college, ride every single day, and never park outside. Find a guy like me who works for the college and there is a good chance that person will give you an inside hook up. There are many closets, storage rooms, and unused weird space hiding inside any college, you just gotta access it. Find a sympathetic employee and your trouble is over. An impassioned letter to the college newspaper can also produce surprising results. Good luck.

  13. #13
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    I got to a small school (950 students) with a rather large biking community (40-50 regular bikers) so i have seen bikes inside academic buildings and offices, usually locked to the handrail of the bottom flight of stairs

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I will drive the first day and see where my classroom is in relation to an entrance and and talk to the Prof first. Don't want to make them mad, this is my last pre-req. for Nursing School.

    The advice to talk to security is really good. If the classroom doesn't work out that will be my next tactic. I might even go to them if the Prof. says that it's okay, just to be on the safe side.

    I live in Central Florida (Orlando) so an icy/muddy, nasty bike is not an issue. This is our dry & cool season.

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    I have my bike insured as a declared addition to my renter's policy. It may be a $3000 bike, but cost isn't the issue here. The point is, you CAN insure a bike. Insuring a $500 bike may not be expensive...just make sure the deductible is low enough for your comfort level.

  16. #16
    Blind biker
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    i was wondering about that. how much does it cost?

  17. #17
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    Surprisingly cheap to add bikes as a scheduled item to your home owners/renters policy, I looked into it last month and was pleased.

    I'd like to store my commuter inside as much as the next guy, but the first place you guys really should be looking to see whether or not you can bring bikes inside is your local fire/building code. Many cities prohibit bikes inside non-residential buildings since there is a historic trend of bicycles blocking egress routes during fire evacuations. Either left in the hallway or more likely the owner attempts to carry it with them during a mass exit and block everything up.

    I don't like it at much as the next guy but is a historic reactionary code due to several accidents. I'm pretty lucky where I work that we've been given locked bike sheds that are monitored on CC TV, adding a small level of security and a roof to keep the rain of my bike.
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  18. #18
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    Cost depends on how expensive your bike is and your zip code...talk to your insurance agent, but mine is less than 1% of my bike's value per month. As my bike gets older, I'll drop the insured value, or raise the deductible. Cheap peace of mind.

  19. #19
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    could ask the professor... I rode a few times in HS and was in good with a few teachers that let me leave my bike in their office... if i was riding in college i'd have done the same... talk to my music professor and barrow a closet or office... just a matter of knowing and befriending the proper person...
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  20. #20
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    I always took my bike into the classroom with me at college. There was no way in hell I was going to park an Eddy Merckx with Campy Record in a bike rack. I never got hassled about it, either.

    I figure it's always easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission.
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  21. #21
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    mono... how big of a school?... i can see the professor not noticing something like that in a huge lecture hall type class...
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  22. #22
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    Small community college. My largest class was <20. I usually got to class early & parked it in a back corner out of the way.
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  23. #23
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    haha i think community college professors expect odd things... it is after all typically 13th grade... so i can absolutely see that working they also are typically fairly down to earth people... at least compared to university professors who have their heads up their arse
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  24. #24
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    I keep my bike in the classroom all day, every day. I've never had a problem at all.....but I'm the teacher.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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    (no excuse for that either)

  25. #25
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    I even parked my bike inside when I had Jury Duty. I simply called ahead and explained the situation, and was told there was a back hallway where I could park it that was out of the way, and that Court Staff only had access to the hallway, so it'd be safe. The Bailiff tried to give me **** about it, but I held my ground and he relented. I later learned that the Jury also had access to that hall, but it was safe.
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  26. #26
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    Why not invest in a good lock (maybe something like a kryptonite chain?) and lock it up somewhere (creatively) secure?
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  27. #27
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    Many schools have secure bike lockers that you can rent by the semester. Here in Tucson, U of A has lots of them, although we also have lots of bike commuters so they fill up quick. They also have designated bike lanes throughout campus.

    If you are eligible, check out USAA for renter's insurance. Their customer service and coverage is fantastic, and my regular policy covers my bikes.

    If you drop good money on some locks, they come with a guarantee that if it's cut they will pay replacement value on your bike. I have had good luck with a beefy U-lock for the frame and back wheel with a cable for the front wheel. Also make sure you don't have a quick release seatpost.

    The lucky thing is that since so few people ride at your school, I doubt there are many bike thieves. Theft is a huge problem at U of A, but there are also lots of dumbass college kids who use crappy locks.

  28. #28
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    Well good news and bad news. First class today, prof is very cool and would likely not care about the bike, plenty of room in the back of the class. HOWEVER, there is no way I could get a bike in the building. This is a brand new campus/building that I have never attended class at. Just inside the entrance is a security desk and info booth and a bunch of seating, lounge type area. Too crowded + security right there = no bike inside. Oh well.

    Good news is that they actually moved the bike rack to right in front of the entrance! So I feel more comfortable with locking it up there with the security people basically staring at it through the glass front of the building. Still a pretty lame rack but it will have to do. Rack was empty going to and leaving class so maybe if my bike is the only one it will be too conspicuous to mess with, I hope.

    Quote Originally Posted by sonoranbiker
    Many schools have secure bike lockers that you can rent by the semester. Here in Tucson, U of A has lots of them, although we also have lots of bike commuters so they fill up quick. They also have designated bike lanes throughout campus.
    That would be nice, although I don't see that happening at my school anytime soon.


    Quote Originally Posted by sonoranbiker
    The lucky thing is that since so few people ride at your school, I doubt there are many bike thieves.
    This is a very good point, I hope it holds true.

    I am really looking forward to commuting, just waiting on my lights to arrive from DealExtreme.

  29. #29
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    did you try t o walk the bike in?... i do it from time to time at the store (if i need to pick something on the way home from a ride or something... it's not staying on the rack unlocked)... i'll just toss the nose of the saddle on my shoulder and walk around holding it... never had any employee ever say a thing to me about it... more or less walking in acting like it's normal i guess helps...

    worth a shot... toss it on the shoulder and walk on in... if they say something lock it up...
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by donalson
    did you try t o walk the bike in?... i do it from time to time at the store (if i need to pick something on the way home from a ride or something... it's not staying on the rack unlocked)... i'll just toss the nose of the saddle on my shoulder and walk around holding it... never had any employee ever say a thing to me about it... more or less walking in acting like it's normal i guess helps...

    worth a shot... toss it on the shoulder and walk on in... if they say something lock it up...
    I've done this numerous times at various stores from Meijer and Lowe's to CVS and gas stations. Only place that ever gave/gives me trouble is this one CVS near my work; can't figure out why... But I just leave the bike up by the registers, NBD.
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  31. #31
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    I occasionally used to bring my bike into the classroom as an undergrad. Never had a problem, but it was a small campus and I was adamant that if they wanted the bike locked up outside, they'd provide me with a secure place to lock it. Otherwise, the bike went EVERYWHERE I went.

    Now, in grad school, I've got a good rack outside. But, if I need to, I have an office where I can stash it inside. It's small, but I'm creative.

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    Ahh you're not to far away! Is this UCF we're talking about?

    I've seen kids do it, you just have to put up with the stares and comments from everybody, most of the time, if it isnt a small classroom, if theres space, its yours..

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    I guess it does depend on the rules. I'm a grad student and have a pretty big research lab to myself and was just told by the department manager that it is against university rules to have a bicycle in a lab. 450 square feet and I'm not allowed to stash my bike away in the corner! Par for the course, I guess, as she goes by the book no matter what.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trddave
    Ahh you're not to far away! Is this UCF we're talking about?

    I've seen kids do it, you just have to put up with the stares and comments from everybody, most of the time, if it isnt a small classroom, if theres space, its yours..
    No, SCC-Altamonte campus.
    The rack is working out OK. I hate to be so conspicuous going in the main entrance, up the elevator, down the hall. At main campus (Sanford/Lake Mary) alot of the classrooms have outside entrances so it would be alot easier.

    I will probably end up at UCF for my masters, how is bike thievery there?

  35. #35
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    Im in high school and my friend rides to school on his moots mtb . He has something worked out with the Environmental Science teacher where he gets to stash the bike in the store room.
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  36. #36
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    An alternaitve

    id that you lock it up in the stairwell of the building.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    id that you lock it up in the stairwell of the building.
    Very poor alternative. It's against fire code and inhibits a quick evacuation. Not to mention it just gets in the way of everyday stairwell use. I see this as a very good way to make the College even more strict about enforcing any "no bikes in buildings" rule they may have.

    (from someone that routinely breaks the "no bikes in buildings" rule)

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caffeine Powered
    I posted my .02 over in the Road Bike Forums
    I read that. No one rides a bike at UW. Just get a moped and fit in already.
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  39. #39
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    Bike thievery....
    Well, if your bike doesn't have a lock on it, its toast. If you have a nice bike, with a good lock over night, you'll most likely find that someone has mashed your wheels in anger that they weren't able to walk away with it.
    I ride my 08 Hardrock to school during the day. I haven't had any trouble with anyone tampering with my bike, but thats probabally because of the huge U-bolt and steel cable duo that is protecting the bike.
    Basically, dont keep your bike on campus overnight, and lock it in the day, you should be good to go.

  40. #40
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    I will allow a bike in the classroom.....I will allow a giant skateboard, why not a bike too.

    On a given day I have 3-5 skateboards in my class, if a bike rolls in the door I would not mind at all.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by harry2110
    what college Iu schools is that? Im going to the one in indy. Also you cant ride on sidewalks isnt that kind of dangerous in a major city. I hope they dont enforce it at iupui as Ive almost got run over crossing the street during my college visit.
    You'll be fine riding your bike wherever. I think that may be just an IU East rule because it definitely does not apply in Bloomington.
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  42. #42
    jrm
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    Worked for me..

    i locked mine UNDER the staircase and so did others.

  43. #43
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    For gen-ed classes I know a lot of proffs who get irked when anything in their classroom was out of place. When I started taking my major specific upper level classes we had much closer personal relationships with our proffs and they pretty much don't care what you do as long as it doesn't disrupt the class. I usually park my bike in our majors undergrad lounge that has a locked door and then walk wherever I need to go on campus.
    Bike good, work bad.

  44. #44
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    Yes and no. In one of my classes, my professor brought in his very expensive LOOK bicycle. I have taken my new felt mt. bike in a class or two, but i know the professors well enough that they do not care. Now for a general ed. credit, when I really could care less what the professor is saying, no way.

  45. #45
    jrm
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    i had one upper level

    Quote Originally Posted by Clutchman83
    For gen-ed classes I know a lot of proffs who get irked when anything in their classroom was out of place. When I started taking my major specific upper level classes we had much closer personal relationships with our proffs and they pretty much don't care what you do as long as it doesn't disrupt the class. I usually park my bike in our majors undergrad lounge that has a locked door and then walk wherever I need to go on campus.
    that the prof let 4 of us bring our bikes in.

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    Here's a different idea. Why not get the college to provide a bike check room manned by security only. You check your bike, get a claim check and your bike is protected by security. Sort of like a cloak room. To offset some costs offer to buy a permit per semester to allow you to park inside.
    Larry

  47. #47
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    I tolally agree. If my office was bigger I would ride to work everyday and keep her in my office, but it is not and I am not going to keep my bike outside.

    BUT space and cost would be the 2 main issues. the college I work at is busting at the seams, the college is starting to buy the near by houses, demo, and build classrooms. with the current state budget and economy; paying for security, and space would not be top priority.

  48. #48
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by tbulluck76
    ...If my office was bigger I would ride to work everyday and keep her in my office, but it is not and I am not going to keep my bike outside.
    ...
    Two words: folding bicycle

  49. #49
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    A couple of times i have forgotten my lock I have brought it up to my studio space at school. Bit different from a classroom/lecture hall.

  50. #50
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    Reputation: froth14's Avatar
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    When I was in school, both undergrad, and grad school, I commuted by bike from time to time. As long as I talked to my profs ahead of time, they were always cool with it. If I ran into problems about space in a classroom, one of the math profs would let me keep it in his office (that was pretty cool of him). Anyways, like it's been said previously, just talk to the profs beforehand, I bet, most of them would be cool!

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