September 9, 2020

About the Purple Bike Coalition

Ride our Williamstown's only tall bike built by students in 2014

Williamstown’s only tall bike, built by students in 2014!

**COVID-19 UPDATE** To allow for social distancing in the restricted space of the shop, we will not be holding traditional open hours. If you need a bike fix, leave your bike outside the shop (ideally locked) and email us the combination and details about what is not working. Thanks for your cooperation.

The Purple Bike Coalition (PBC) is Williams College’s free bike service organization, based out of the bike shop on the ground floor of Mark Hopkins dorm in Greylock Quad. Run and staffed by students, we offer free bike repair and rental services to students, faculty, and staff during the school year and summer. The best way to get your bike repaired is to stop by with your bike during weekly open hours, which will not be running during the COVID-19 college shutdown. Contact us via email and we will do our best to work something out. Typically in order to get your bike repaired, you need to stay with it so we can teach you how to work on it and what to expect, as no two bikes are exactly the same.

The Rental Program is a free bike loan program started by the PBC. We now have more than forty bikes sporting spiffy yellow seats for your use! To get started with the program go to the Request a Rental Page! If you forget your lock combo, you may also request your combo. Go to our Request a Rental page to fill out a rental request. If it is closed we are not currently accepting Rental Requests. You will have to wait until our next rental cycle.

We are always trying to figure out a system that works best for the people using the program and the people running it. If you have thoughts you would like to share, we really want to hear them; this program is for you! Leave a comment on the “comments” section of this website.

Bike Repair Open Hours: In addition to our rental program, we offer free bike repair to any students, faculty, and staff who stop by our shop during open hours, which will not be running during the COVID-19 college shutdown. A basic understanding of bicycle mechanics is a great tool for any rider so we do our best not only to help fix your bike but to show you how to fix your bike on your own. At the very least, come in and learn to fix a flat tire! As increasing general public knowledge of bike repair is a priority of ours, our open hour policy is that you work with us to repair your bike. We’ll give you any part you need that we have in the shop from a tube to a new wheel; if we don’t have it, we’ll happily give you advice on what you need and help you install it.

Need to transport large objects around campus? Contact us about using our cargo bike, built this winter by students

Need to transport large objects around campus? Contact us about using our cargo bike, built  winter 2015 by students

How Can This All Be Free? We would like to thank our primary sponsor, the Center for Environmental Studies, as well as College Council, for their financial and organizational assistance. Also, this program could not exist without big help from Campus Safety & Security.

Where Do All The Bikes Come From? While we get some bikes from directly from the donations of students and others who live in the Williamstown area, bikes are mostly donated by Campus Safety and Security. They are bikes which have been confiscated from around campus. To avoid having your bike end up in our rental program, please register your bike! This can be done by bringing your bike to the CSS office, and takes approximately 3.5 minutes.

The Purple Bike Coalition hires! Get paid to work on bikes! Our hiring process is subject to change but recently has consisted of an application form sent out at the beginning of the school year. The alternative way to get hired is to come to open hours to learn how to fix bikes and volunteer. If you start showing up consistently and get some solid experience, we may hire you to work at open hours or run the rental program. Experience is a bonus, but only enthusiasm is required; we are happy to train you up. Contact [email protected]

Like us on Facebook or Instagram (@williams.pbc) to get the inside scoop!