Free bikes come to McMaster’s
people are borrowing more than books
from McMaster University’s libraries. At the
Campus Bike Library, anyone with a Mc Master
library card can now add a bike to their
“We catalogue the bikes just like books.
We assign them a serial number and put them
in the library’s catalogue system,” says Shiloh
Covey, a McMaster grad and director of Start
the Cycle, the non-profit bike-sharing pro-
gram that established the bike library. “It’s like
adding a few more books to the shelf.”
Bike share programs
are a growing trend on
Canadian campuses. The
University of Calgary
recently started a bike
share with an annual membership fee of $10
and an additional $5–$10 charged per rental.
Carleton University launched a bike share
last year with $5 daily rentals. McMaster even
has a second bike rental service on campus –
a paid program called Social Bicycles.
Start the Cycle stands out, however, because it’s free to use. Borrowers simply present their library cards to check out one of the
library’s 10 bikes – along with a lock, helmet
and light – for up to 48 hours.
“We purely want to encourage physical
fitness and free transportation for students,
so we don’t want to have pressure or stresses
that students feel when they have fines,” says
librarian Lynne Serviss, who coordinates
Start the Cycle at McMaster’s Mills Library.
“It’s growing in popularity and it’s cer-
tainly a huge success on this campus,” she
says. “[Bicycles] are almost gone all the time.
People are asking to pre-book bikes now.”
Charles Burke, a PhD candidate studying
transportation geography at McMaster, co-
founded Start the Cycle in 2014 with Justin
Hall, who was his lab partner and a master’s
student at the time.
“We started this little bike share program
where people could come to our lab and bor-
row a bike,” Mr. Burke says. “People [were]
knocking on the door all the time.”
Mr. Burke says his goal is to make Start
the Cycle free for all parties through spon-
sorships and ads. Until then, the host insti-
tution pays operating costs. For its part, Mc-
Master contributed $5,000 from its Forward
with Integrity fund, a campus improvement
and innovation program, to pay for identical
bicycles and helmets.
Start the Cycle also has a successful bike
exchange at Hamilton’s Mohawk College and
plans to expand the program to other post-secondary institutions soon, says Ms. Covey.
– ryley white
“ We want to encourage
physical fitness and
free transportation for
Poor judged harshly for ethical purchases
Conference Board of Canada’s Daniel Munro from his op-ed,
“Four things for Ottawa to keep in mind as consultation on
innovation unfolds,” Globe and Mail, May 2, 2016.
A science policy is not an innovation policy .…
Although science is necessary for innovation
success over the long term, it is not sufficient.
do you eat organic fruit Drive an eco-friendly car? If so, society likely thinks you’re
a good person – unless you’re on welfare.
We don’t look kindly on those who use
government assistance to buy expensive “
ethical” items, according to a study in the Journal
of Consumer Research. Purchasing these same
items while earning a medium-to-high salary, however, is perceived as a “moral” choice.
In five experiments, researchers asked
volunteers to pass moral judgment on the
ethical-item purchases of consumers with
varying incomes. They consistently said that
high-income earners deserved to buy the
items, while low-income earners on assistance
“The public views the choices made by
those spending tax dollars as though it were
our own money,” says study co-author Brent
McFerran, a marketing professor at Simon
Fraser University. “The research suggests
that society believes that people receiving
government assistance should go for cheap
alternatives – they are punished for making
more expensive, pro-social choices.”
This punishment could extend to chari-
ties, too: participants were less willing to do-
nate to organizations providing organic food
to the needy.– ryley white
Free bicycle-borrowing program
Start the Cycle has launched
at McMaster University’s Campus