Story by Veronica Burns, Staff Writer
Photo Courtesy of Facebook
Ryan Wendt, AQbikes Manager, and student assistant Isabel Streed have been making AQbikes a growing success. Their innovative ideas have struck interest with students and are providing a fun source of energy on campus. Their dedication to AQbikes is shown in the amount of things that they’ve done since starting up. AQbikes currently offers 32 bikes to rent by the day, weekend, month and semester.
Wendt said, “This includes a couple of Fat Tire bikes that are great to ride through the snow and mud. We also offer HammAQ rentals by day and weekend, and we have just added AQSleigh rentals this winter. The snow sleds can be rented for $3 per day.”
In the fall they had a big AQbikes appreciation day event. They had free bike tune-ups, free t-shirts and popcorn. Wendt said, “We had a great turnout this fall for the event. We worked with Grand Rapids Bicycle Company and did 57 bike tune-ups in three hours. After the tune-ups, we did a bicycle safety ride around Reeds Lake with a group of eight students. We are planning another bike tune-up day this spring sometime in April along with more group bike rides around the West Michigan trails.”
They are collaborating with other groups on campus as well. In the fall they partnered with the Sustainability Department and did a bike ride event around Millennium Park. They supplied lunches for the group during the event, and held other bike riding events this past fall as well. Wendt would love to hear any ideas people have, potential partnership opportunities, or any questions someone might have on how to get involved.
HammAQs are available for rental as well. When talking about the new project, Wendt said, “Brigid Avery contacted me this summer and asked me if I would be interested in adding Hammock rentals to the AQbikes program. She said she was going to enter the AQ Great Ideas Competition in September and wanted to see if I would help her with it and support the idea of hammocks on campus. We teamed up together along with the AQ Outdoor Recreation club and made a presentation to the Great Ideas Competition committee and won the money needed to purchase the hammocks. Our HammAQs come with the AQ logo on them and 2 tree straps and are available at the same affordable price as our bikes ($3.00 per day).”
They currently have 10 HammAQs. If you’re interested in reserving one just email AQbikes@aquinas.edu.
So where does all the money from rentals go? Streed said, “It’s cool because all the money made from rentals goes back into buying more supplies and being able to rent out more types of things. Ryan and I are always trying to think of new things to rent out that the students will enjoy.”
They are already planning possible ideas for upcoming events. “Our biggest things will be a snow-ball fight/snow art contest, etc. and our obstacle course towards the end of the semester,” Streed said. They also want to put together a HammAQ day on campus for sometime this spring.
Make sure you check out their various social media accounts to stay up to date on all the latest updates from AQbikes.
About the Writer…
Veronica Burns is a senior studying a dual business communication major and journalism. Her loves include cats and actor Tom Hiddleston.