A dozen new mountain bikes — free to borrow — are providing alternative transportation on and around campus to students, faculty and staff at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs campus.
Members of the Campus Recreation Center can take the bikes for a ride for up to three days, and a total of 10 days per semester, at no charge.
Dan Bowan, recreation center coordinator, and Matt Gaden, center director, worked for six months with members of the Department of Public Safety, the Office of Sustainability and student leaders to design alternatives to individuals driving cars to and from campus.
"We basically brainstormed how to reduce the campus carbon footprint," said William Whitfield, manager of parking services. "This is the idea that we all liked."
Using Public Safety and Recreation Center funds, the bicycles were purchased and added to the Campus Recreation Center's existing array of outdoor equipment available for rent. Team Telecycle of Woodland Park built the bikes and provided an in-kind donation of $1,300. Each bike comes with a helmet, lock, saddle bag, tire pump and basic tool kit. Users must sign a waiver of liability and take responsibility if the bike is stolen or damaged.
"With University Village opening at the end of the month, it's easy to see someone riding a bike from campus through the underpass to go get groceries or whatever," said Daniel Garcia, student body president. "I'm excited about this."
Bowan believes the new bicycles will complement existing efforts in the Recreation Center, which offers basic bike repair classes and use of a bike repair workshop to students, faculty and staff.