Maintenance Minute: Biking on Campus

Fun fact: there is more bicycle parking on campus than car parking. That’s why so many students and staff choose biking to get around. It’s such an integral part of campus culture that there are many bicycle resources on campus to keep your bike’s gears turning.

Air & Repair Stations

A bicycle repair station
A bicycle repair station outside of Sellery Residence Hall
Tools attached to a bicycle repair statioin
Tools available at bike repair stations on campus

There are several repair stations across campus where you can stop to make a quick adjustment on your bike. Conveniently, two of these locations are outside of Conover House (Kronshage) and Sellery. At these locations and other campus locations, you can refill the air in your tires, fix your chain, adjust your brakes, and make other minor repairs with the provided tools.

Learn About Bike Repair

The University Bicycle Resource Center is the place to go to learn more about caring for your bike. They have free classes throughout the year where you can get information on fixing a flat tire, brake maintenance, biking in the winter, and so much more. They also have a convenient do-it-yourself space for tune-ups. Use their tools, grease, repair manuals, maps, and more to help you keep your bike at its best.

Biking & Winter

As the temperatures get colder, it’s helpful to start thinking about your biking plan during the winter months. If you choose to navigate campus during on a bike during the winter, do so with caution. Road conditions can be slippery and salt on roads and sidewalks can lead to rust on your bike.

Make sure you have adequate clothing to keep you warm, but not too warm. Protect your hands, feet, and face, but don’t overdress — you might not need as many layers as you think!

Daylight is shorter during winter months, so ensuring you have working front and rear lights and reflectors will increase your visibility. Wearing reflective materials on your clothing is a helpful idea, too.

Use tires that work for you. Some people prefer slim tires to cut through snow, and others like thick mountain tires for added traction. Choose which you like best, and consider studded tires for extra grip on the pavement.

Keep your bike well-maintained. This can include lubricating your chain and other moving parts, cleaning your bike frequently with soap and water, checking and cleaning your brakes, and ensuring that the quick release levers (often on your tires and seat) are not rusting in place.

Winter Storage

If you choose not to ride your bike during the winter, start thinking of where you want to keep it during this time. Bicycles are not allowed inside your residence hall. Storing your bicycle out of the elements during the winter is another way to keep it in good condition. There are lockers, cages, and an enclosed shelter off Elm Drive near Dejope Residence Hall all available to you as a student.

General Reminders

Always wear a helmet when riding a bike!

Remember to follow all traffic rules and use hand signals when turning corners.

Make sure you are visible to cars and pedestrians around you.

Secure your bike with a lock. U-locks are more theft-resistant than cable locks.

If your bike is stolen, report it to UWPD promptly.

More Information

UW–Madison Transportation Services has everything you need to know for biking on campus. Check out their website for in-depth tips, resources, and guidelines.