Iowa City Bike Library moving to larger space on South Capitol Street

Iowa City Bike Library
Volunteers will soon say goodbye to the old Bike Library location on College Street. — photo courtesy of Anne Duggan

If you’ve been to the Iowa City Bike Library (ICBL) lately, you may have noticed some recent changes to the hours and program offerings, not to mention the interior is almost entirely packed up.

No, they aren’t going out of business; they’re relocating to 840 S. Capitol St., with plans to re-open in late-January 2015.

“The new location is a 10,000 square foot space, so we’re very excited about the opportunities it allows us,” said Anne Duggan, steering committee and board member of the ICBL. Exact hours and programs for the new location have not been finalized at this time, though Duggan suggests the larger space will offer more programming than ever before, including more classes.

This weekend, the ICBL will move nearly everything out of its current location at 408 E. College St. However, customers will still be able to check out bikes (for up to six months, with deposit) from the old location on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Dec. 20. In addition, many ICBL programs will close immediately through winter break, including Wheely Fun, Rent-a-Bench and volunteer work nights.

Volunteers plan to reopen the new South Capitol Street location in late January to coincide with the first week of classes at the University of Iowa.

The reason for the move, according to Duggan, has to do with a possible rezoning and redevelopment plan.

“It’s possible come spring we’d be forced out of here, which is a problem because that’s when we make most our money,” said Duggan. “It makes sense to move out now, because business is down in the winter.”

The move will allow the ICBL to expand its volunteer-run non-profit business.

“What that means is we’re getting more butts on bikes, which is really a gateway to fun,” said Duggan.

In its 10 years of operation, the ICBL has reconditioned and checked out more than 1,300 bikes, most of which are either returned and then checked out again or purchased for keeps. Last year, it checked out 248 bikes, 143 of them newly in the system, and its volunteers donated well over 3,000 hours. In its first decade, it has reused or recycled thousands of pounds of metals and rubber that would have otherwise been tossed in the landfill.

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