SUU Students Partner to Establish T-Bird Bikes

Posted: November 05, 2020 | Author: Kierstin Pitcher-Holloway | Read Time: 3 minutes

Two students open T-Bird BikesThis year Southern Utah University opened T-Bird Bikes, a bike shop with the goal to make alternative transportation methods easier for students and employees on campus. This wonderful addition to campus is all thanks to the hard work of students Paul Rhodes and Greyson Jones.

Originally from upstate New York, Rhodes came to SUU after previously attending a school in his home state. So, he found SUU online and decided to give it a shot.

After transferring to SUU Rhodes got involved on campus and became the president of the Sustainability Club.

“Last year we held our first climate strike on campus,” said Rhodes. “We had a big proposal for the school to adopt so we went to President Wyatt and we showed him our student climate resolution and we said we want to see some big changes on campus.”

SUU President Scott L Wyatt told the students he liked their proposal, but issued them a challenge in return. He asked them to find a way to get more T-Birds to start walking or biking to classes. The majority of students live less than a mile from campus and can save time, money, and the environment by choosing alternative ways to travel.

“We took his challenge and came up with a few ideas but a campus bike shop was the big overarching thing we wanted to work towards,” said Rhodes. “So in Spring 2020 we really kicked off the idea.”

Jones became part of the project in a different way. With a father that works at SUU and a sister that graduated from the University, Jones felt that the decision to become a T-Bird was an easy one.

SUU student Greyson JonesWhile driving to class one day Jones had the idea of purchasing bikes for SUU Outdoors to rent to students who needed them and in return Jones would eventually be reimbursed for purchasing the bikes. Jones spoke with Keith Howells, assistant director of SUU Outdoors, and learned there was a group of students already working on a similar idea.

Howells encouraged Jones to see if he could help with the project and connected Jones and Rhodes. They soon started working together and spearheaded the project in tandem. Then campus shut down to the pandemic.

“The start of quarantine worked in our favor a bit,” said Jones. “Because all the people we needed to meet with had their schedules open.”

Despite being able to meet with all the necessary staff and faculty members, there was still a lot of work to be done. The two spent the summer working on a proposal and shared it with President Wyatt.

“Halfway through our meeting President Wyatt interrupted us and said, ‘I don’t need to hear anymore, we are going to make this happen, I’ll go talk to my folks and we’ll do it.’ So, we were able to get some funding and a much better space than we were hoping for.”

The main focus of T-Bird Bikes is providing free bike rentals for students, with a strong secondary focus on education. Open shop time is on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and as needed by appointment. Students who bring in bikes will be taught how to maintain and repair them.

As a senior in SUU’s marketing program, Jones hopes to one day run the marketing for a prominent bike company and is hoping the experience will help him with these future aspirations. Rhodes is a senior majoring in civil engineering. In the future, he hopes to continue finding sustainable solutions by working in environmental policy.

Students who are interested in the services offered at T-Bird Bikes are encouraged to visit the T-Bird Bikes website, visit their Facebook page, or email the shop at

Tags: SUU Outdoors

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