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A rack of bikes sit outside of Baker Center Nov. 16, 2023.

ReBike Program sells bikes on a budget

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure at Ohio University’s Office of Sustainability’s Rebike Program. The Program was part of a series of events in celebration of Earth Day on Tuesday, continuing the tradition of celebrating “Earth Day Every Day.” In efforts to promote the reuse of long-lasting products such as bicycles, the ReBike Program is a good start to practice being environmentally friendly.

The idea of a bike reselling event stemmed from when the Office of Sustainability learned about OUPD marking bikes that are left on campus over summer, and if they are not claimed, the bikes are moved through the court system to the Moving and Surplus Department, where they were auctioned off online. 

Sam Crowl, the Director of the Office of Sustainability, spearheaded the in-person event after learning about the useless fate of the auctioned bikes. 

“In most cases, (they were) for scrap metal,” Crowl said. “What I was trying to do is to get more people on bicycles, and so when those bicycles are sold for scrap metal, they're never going to be ridden again. And so I've learned at a conference about having the ability to take abandoned bicycles and get them back to the community. So, we started the ReBike Program.”

Since 2017, in collaboration with OUPD and the Moving and Surplus Department, the Office of Sustainability has hosted the Rebike Program. On the Walter Rotunda lawn, located at 25 S. Green Dr., students come on a first-come, first-serve basis and can purchase used bikes in their as-is condition for a flat price of $40. This year, Crowl turned to some of his students in his Environmental Studies class to take over the ReBike program. 

Sean O’Donnell, a senior studying mechanical engineering, took charge of this year’s ReBike program as part of a class project.

“I am taking a sustainability class with Dr. Crowl and for that we have a semester-long project, and in the beginning, he helped me find this because it had been going on in the past,” O’Donnell said. “(Crowl) has been helping me work through revitalizing and getting it back into action.”

Crowl commended O’Donnell’s efforts and expressed interest in pursuing the route of more student-led projects. 

“I think that's definitely a model I want to do going forward, is to have a student be primarily responsible for it,” Crowl said. “A, there's a lot of things going on and it takes it off my plate, and B, I think they do a better job.”

The turnout this year was satisfactory for O’Donnell and the Office of Sustainability in terms of their ultimate goal being to promote bike usage.

“There’s been a lot of good bikes and a lot of people finding stuff that they like and so it's been pretty good so far,” O’Donnell said. “I'm happy just to get these bikes out of a storage locker and back into use.”

Justice Bentil, a graduate student studying educational leadership, was among the several people purchasing a used bike Tuesday and was grateful for the program and its efficient cost.

“If you should go in for a bike it will cost more than $40, so we just try and maybe fix the little problems with it and you're good to go,” Bentil said. “The one that I picked was pretty much good, it had no problems at all. It's a good deal for a good bike for just $40.”

Bentil plans to use his new bike as motivation to get out of his room more, which would fulfill Crowl and the Office of Sustainability’s goal of getting more people on bikes.

“It's summer and we've stayed in our rooms for a very long time,“ Bentil said. "I feel it's time for us to be active a little bit. It gives me that opportunity to ride, have fun and exercise.”


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