Associated Students is currently developing a proposal to upgrade the World War II-era trailers that have housed the A.S. Bike Shop for the last 38 years.
A.S. Executive Director Don Daves-Rougeaux said the plans for the new facility are expected to include elevated trailers, office space, ramps, an enclosed repair and storage area, an exterior deck, a kitchen and locker space. Once A.S. has completed its proposal for the trailer replacements, it must present it to Facilities Management for location and building approval. A.S. must then seek funds to pay for the upgrade, possibly from outside sources, Daves-Rougeaux said. Because the proposal is still being developed, it is unclear how much the upgrade will cost.
The facilities of the current shop were originally used to transport cargo and supplies to naval bases in the Pacific Ocean, said A.S. Bike Shop service manager Sam Masson.
“These buildings are shipping containers from World War II” Masson said. “They would carry cargo over to troops in the Pacific and they were never meant for human habitation.” The current trailers lack adequate lighting, insulation and air conditioning. The proposed facility would have better ventilation, air conditioning and secure window frames, Daves-Rougeaux said.
The bike shop staffs three to four mechanics, except during Fall Quarter – the shop’s peak season – when there are 10 mechanics on staff. The shop serves an average of 100 customers per day, Masson said.
“Fall Quarter might have as many as 100 [customers] an hour, which sounds ridiculous, but come by the first week of school – it’s very busy,” Masson said.
The shop offers students free tools, chain lubricant, air and advice, Masson said. Inner tubes are priced at $4 with an additional labor charge of $5, if repaired by a mechanic. The shop charges $35 for a tune up, while a downtown repair shop would charge between $50 and $60 for the same service, Masson said.
The bike shop receives an annual budget of $41,750 from a campus lock-in fee. The 2003-04 school year marked the first time in several years that the bike shop was able to cover its costs of operation. Prior to 2003, the bike shop averaged an annual deficit between $5,000 and $10,000, Daves-Rougeaux said.
“I’m not uncomfortable with the bike shop running in the red. A.S. business services don’t operate as business enterprises,” Daves-Rougeaux said. “Up until last year, it had been operating in the red, and, currently, we are at least breaking even. We’re not generating revenue, which of course is not our intent. It is a service, it’s not a revenue-generating business.”
The A.S. Bike Shop, Notetaking and Publication Service, and Cashier’s and Ticket Offices all share one budget and pool their business services revenue. In the past few years, the bike shop deficit has been offset by revenue generated from the other A.S. business services, Daves-Rougeaux said.
“Where there’s revenue generated in other areas, it covers the shortfalls of any of the other areas,” Daves-Rougeaux said.
During the summer 2002, A.S. purchased a new computer cash register system that records the daily retail of products and services, allowing the shop to better track sales and monitor inventory purchases. Because of the new register system, A.S. has been able to avoid purchasing excess inventory and overstaffing during less active business periods, Masson said. These changes have helped the shop come out of debt.
The A.S. Bike Shop is currently open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays.