Cyclists have a new home on the University of Minnesota campus.

The U Bike Center, located in the Oak Street Ramp, features bike racks, a trip-planning kiosk and meeting space. Paying members will get 24/7 access to its showers, changing area and secure bike storage. Memberships are open to U students and employees for $85 a year.

The Hub Bike Co-Op, which manages the center, will offer tune-ups and repairs for a price, as well as biking apparel and merchandise. On Tuesdays and Wednesday evenings, the Hub will hold "Open Shop" classes, free for U students, to help them learn about fixing their bikes.

The center is a partnership among several groups: the U, Bike Walk Twin Cities and the Hub. About $560,000 of the project's $777,000 price tag was paid for through the federal Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program.

About 12 percent of U students commute via bike, a U document notes.

The U Bike Center is celebrating with a grand opening today. Here are the details:

What: Free food, tours, group rides

Where: Oak Street Ramp

When: Noon to 2 p.m. Thursday

More information: http://www1.umn.edu/pts/bike/bikecenter.html

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