Ten years ago a 140-square foot garage opened its doors to the San Marcos community and started The Bike Cave. Owned and operated by students, it has proven the lasting impact one group of concerned self-starters can have on campus.
Matt Akins, Taylor Powell and Daniel Palomo cofounded The Bike Cave in 2007, simply as students who sought an alternative transportation method in San Marcos. Auxiliary Services, now Parking and Transportation, took the shop under its advisement in 2009. Since then, The Bike Cave, now located in the Colorado Building, has helped students and community members purchase and repair bikes.
After graduating in 2008 and leaving The Bike Cave in Texas States’ hands, co-founder Matt Akins said he credits it as his greatest accomplishment, and he is excited to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Akins said he was inspired to co-found the shop because while so many students lived within walking distance of campus, they still drove to classes, causing a variety of solvable issues. Parking problems, environmental impacts and financial burdens seemed to be arising.
“Biking is a simple solution,” Akins said. “The more people do it, the easier the problems will be to solve.”
Since 2008, the student population has increased by about 10,000 students. Numerous parking lots and garages have been constructed to accommodate these students, but not without the use of various resources.
Cory Brown, electrical engineering and reaction administration senior, has been biking to school since his freshman year.
“The biking community can help preserve the land around the school because you can park basically anywhere.” Brown said. “But with every new car on campus, a new parking space has to be created.”
In order to build a parking lot, the natural land has to be wagered. The Speck Street Garage is built on a piece of green land that used to be a disc golf course.
“They ended up spending 50 million dollars on a parking garage rather than 1 million on a world class bicycle facility,” Akins said.
According to Akins, with 50 million dollars put into a parking garage, each parking spot costs about 50,000 dollars. On top of that, students must pay for parking passes. The expense of the environment and the pockets of students can get heavy according to Atkins.
“Biking and walking as alternative means to get to campus provide a potential to save money and encourage students not to drive to campus,” Akins said.
The Bike Cave has been running on its own since Akins graduated in 2008. He said he is pleased with a number of people who care a lot about the shop as well as the university’s commitment to alternative means of transportation.
“The university supports it which is really neat,” Akins said. “When they’re cutting costs, they could easily cut a little bike shop but they choose to keep it open.”
After 10 years, The Bike Cave is ready to celebrate its longevity and ability to assist students on campus. The 10th year anniversary will be an opportunity to meet Bike Cave workers and the biking community of San Marcos. This celebratory gathering will be held in Kissing Alley on Oct. 26 from 7-11 p.m. There will be free food, socializing and live music. There is a requested $5 donation for the band.
Akins is eager to celebrate his greatest achievement alongside the community of San Marcos.
“I’m really proud the university was willing to give us money, space, and take on the risk to have students run this program on campus,” Akins said. “They didn’t have to do that but it means Texas State is committed to making biking a primary means of transportation.”