You won’t find the spot that quickly became Justin Kardel’s favorite on the official campus tour map. But trust him when he says: If bikes are your thing, you’ll want to pedal on over to 202 South Broadway Ave.
“The campus spot that I think about most of from my time at UIUC — other than the lab and the basement at the MRL — is the Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign,” the Sextus Industries president (MS '16, materials science) says from Piedmont, Calif.
“I had been working on my bikes for years before coming here and the existence of a bike co-op where discounted parts, project bikes and knowledgeable volunteers was amazing to me. I learned how to do basically all repairs one could do on a bike and soon took to volunteering there, which I did for most all of my time at UIUC.
“I found a lot of free thinkers — which are surprisingly rare on a university campus — all united by their love of bicycles, community and the DIY ethos. These friends turned me onto many bike-related activities, including group rides and bike polo, and I even used the knowledge I learned to work as a bike mechanic at a shop in town while I was in grad school.
“I have fond memories of the Bike Project. I learned so much and made what I think will be lifelong friends. I got a lot out of it and I think anybody in the Champaign-Urbana area who is into bikes should check it out.”