Musical bicycle coach makes scurrying students smile
The campus has been crawling with bicycle coaches, campus coaches and building coaches these past few weeks. And of all the coaches decked out in their brightly coloured vests, the most noticeable would have to be Utkarsh Anand, who goes by the nickname of Archie. Armed with his guitar, he’s making sure that the university bicycle storage facilities look nothing short of immaculate. And he’s putting a smile on the students’ faces.
Theoretically, the bicycle coach’s brief is simple: make sure that all the bikes are stored neatly in the racks. But for Archie and his colleagues it’s a full-time job. ‘People are often in a hurry and just drop their bike anywhere. So, I put it in the right place in order to free up space for the other bikes.’
Archie’s perfectly happy doing this type of job during the coronavirus crisis. But his real passion is making music, playing in a band or further afield. And that’s why he decided to start bringing his instruments along to the campus so that he could inject a little pizzazz into his work. Settled down between the parked bikes, this self-taught musician (who started playing around fifteen years ago) spent the whole day making music.
That was until recently. His colleagues got so fed up at having to listen to him strum his guitar that they contacted his boss. It’s now been agreed that Archie’s only allowed to make music on his lunch break. And Archie thinks that that’s a bit of a pity, but he does understand where they’re coming from. ‘Strictly speaking, it’s not all that professional of me to make music while I’m working,’ says the musician. ‘I mean it’s not like I was hired for my musical talent.’
The cheerful Archie now spends his lunch breaks armed with either a guitar, harmonica or recorder, and can usually be found in the vicinity of the Erasmus building. He says that the best part of his job is all the positive reactions that he gets from the students who drop off their bikes. ‘Everyone reacts pretty enthusiastically and asks how I came up with this idea.’
Archie himself is an Automotive Engineering student, but is studying at HAN University of Applied Sciences. Given that he’s about to graduate, he won’t be on campus for much longer. ‘I’ve landed myself a real job at a car dealership in Amersfoort. It’ll be nice to have the extra security, but I’m really going to miss this job.’
Campus inundated with coaches
Most students and staff members recognise the bicycle coaches by their yellow vests. But who are the people in the red and white vests?
The building coaches (in the red vests) are stationed inside the buildings and it’s their job to ensure that people comply with the 1.5 metre social distancing rule. ‘And to also assist students and staff in finding the right way around the campus now that many routes have changed due to the coronavirus measures,’ says David Niessen, Project Manager at Campus & Facilities.
In addition to the red-vested coaches, there are also white-vested coaches patrolling the outside of the campus. Niessen: ‘Their job is to confront those people who don’t comply with the social distancing rule.’ And they’re also there to enforce the smoking ban that took effect on 1 August in higher education institutions.