HARROGATE, Tenn. — Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) rolled out a new bicycle check-out program this week, offering students, staff and faculty members a new and eco-friendly way to get around its 1,000-acre main campus in Harrogate, Tenn.
The program, administered by High Adventure Coordinator Turner Bowling, is just one of a series of initiatives the University is undertaking in hopes of receiving designation as a Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) by the League of American Bicyclists and promoting alternatives to vehicle traffic on its scenic campus. LMU aims to provide the campus community with a safe, secure and efficient cycling environment while setting a regional example that shows how safe and easy it is to choose alternative transportation and promote the positive health and environmental impacts of those choices.
“If you look at the Universities who have been designated as Bicycle Friend Universities, you’ll find large and distinguished institutions that are often the epitome of responsible management of resources. We’ve followed their examples, but found a scale that would work for institution and student body,” Bowling said. “The early response has been tremendous and we are still just crawling. As we continue to develop our program and roll out new initiatives, I hope that LMU becomes an example for other institutions our size.”
A fleet of 20 bicycles, 10 mountain bikes and 10 cruisers, are available for free check-out weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Student Center. The bikes are located on the Greek Patio at the front of the building in a high-security, high-capacity bike hub. A campus ID is required for check-out at the Student Services Office, room 318. The cyclist will receive a key to unlock the bike of their choosing. Bicycles may be checked out for a 24-hour period.
“We’re very proud to be offering this program to our community,” said LMU President B. James Dawson. “It’s really exciting to think about how much good 20 bicycles can do on a campus like ours. The benefits are boundless- impacting our environment, our health, our state of mind, parking and congestion.”
In the coming weeks, LMU will further its bicycle-friendly efforts by designating cycling-specific lanes on campus roadways, installing improved bicycle parking at all residence halls and more campus building and posting bicycle safety signage. As LMU continues to grow, University officials believe the bike program could alleviate traffic and parking concerns while creating a more self-sustaining campus and foster a positive culture change. Although the program is less than a week old, it has already proven to be popular with over 80 sign-outs.
The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The league administers Bicycle Friendly Community, Bicycle Friendly State, Bicycle Friendly Business and Bicycle Friendly University programs generously supported by program partners Bikes Belong and Trek Bicycle’s One World, Two Wheels Campaign. The BFU program application was developed with funds from a New Belgium Brewing Company grant.