CMU’s MavBike offers wheels to its student body |

CMU’s MavBike offers wheels to its student body

Caitlin Row / Free Press
Staff Photo |


According to Colorado Mesa University’s website, the Outdoor Program is the “headquarters for Outdoor Adventure and Education. The O.P. is not a club; anyone (faculty, alumni and especially students) can participate and enjoy the wonderful area we live in. No experience is necessary to enjoy the majority of adventures.”

Using a bicycle to commute on Colorado Mesa University’s campus creates positive impacts in many ways. Proponents say it lessens the burden of limited parking, it’s a healthy outlet for students living sedentary lifestyles, and it promotes ecological sustainability.

“We’re trying to create a bike culture on campus,” said Chad Thatcher, Colorado Mesa University’s Outdoor Program (O.P.) director. “Many students live within one to two miles of campus, and parking is a big issue for students. Bikes are allowed all throughout campus.”

To get even more students on two wheels, Thatcher recently bought 30 new commuter bikes for $8,000 to add to the O.P.’s existing fleet of 30, as part of MavBike (a CMU-funded program to lease out bikes to students for free with a $150 deposit). Through MavBike, students are able to use an O.P. commuter or cruiser bike for as long as they need (from six months to even four-plus years).

“The program is invaluable,” said 21-year-old CMU student Amanda Stahlke. “Transportation determines our lifestyle in a lot of ways,” from being able to get a good workout and maintaining sanity in a stressful classroom environment to saving money on gas. “There are endless benefits.”

And starting next week, the O.P.’s new bike fleet will be available for reserve.

“We live in Grand Junction,” Thatcher added. “There’s literally no excuse not to ride a bike. We live in a flat valley, and there’s sun 90 percent of the time.”

Don’t know how to change a flat? No problem, Thatcher said. Students (or anyone else in need of help) can stop into the O.P. on CMU’s campus for in-depth instruction.

Three bike-repair stands complete with tools and pumps are also going in around campus this summer, said Ryan Dutch, the O.P.’s assistant director.

“It will have everything,” Dutch noted.

To learn more about MavBike and the O.P., visit

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