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Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

City Cycles launches bike program

Members of City Cycles, a new volunteer student initiative at the University, say they may have the antidote for those soaring prices at the pumps. To encourage students and staff to "go better," they've launched a new bicycle borrowing program on campus as a way to promote what they say is a healthier and more affordable alternative to the car or SUV.

With a valid University ID, students or others who are members of the Goergen Athletic Center can check out one of 15 bikes, including a tandem bike, for day or night use free of charge for 10 business hours. The bikes come with helmet, rack, front and rear lights, bell, lock, and optional saddle bags.

"By providing the University community with the necessary equipment and with safe recreational and commuter cycling opportunities, we promote a culture that views cycling as an attractive, viable, and sustainable mode of transportation," says Andrew Hall '06, one of several students who helped develop the program.

City Cycles is cosponsored by Grassroots, the University's student environmental action and awareness group, and the University's cycling and outing clubs. The group tested the program with a trial run in the fall, using equipment on loan from the North Clinton neighborhood bicycle program, Second Life Bike. Hall says the response to the pilot program was very positive. As a result, the group secured funding from Student Activities and was able to upgrade equipment and establish a fully equipped bicycle shop in the athletic center.

"Bikes are a great way to get where you have to go, and this program helps remind people of that," says Rebecca Fine '08, a Grassroots member from Saratoga Springs. "It will also help students and others take advantage of the campus' proximity to the city and other recreation sites."

In addition to the check-out program, the group also cosponsors a weekly bike ride on Sundays. Trips include both trail and street riding, and are open to the public. Those interested in participating should meet at the front steps of Wilson Commons at noon.

City Cycles also plans to offer several clinics about bicycle maintenance and mechanics and to post a ride board as well as route maps.

"The program will be open all summer for those who stick around to see Rochester's sunny side," says Hall. "The riding here is phenomenal, and we encourage everyone to leave their cars at home and get out there."

To learn more about City Cycles or to become a member of the group's task force, contact Hall at ah004m@mail.rochester.edu.



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