May is National Bike Month, and we’re totally on board, even as the month wraps up. Biking is such a fun, healthy way to get around campus, and these days, so many colleges are making it a super convenient option. With extensive bike racks, maintenance shops, and even bike rentals, lots of schools are taking great steps to encourage biking on campus. The League of American Bicyclists recently announced their second annual Bike Friendly Universityawards, and we’re so inspired by the incredible amenities and resources that these top-notch biking schools have to offer. Read on, and we’ll explore what these schools have done to become havens of college biking.
Topping off the League of American Bicyclists’ list is Stanford University, the very first university to be named a Platinum Bicycle Friendly Campus, and currently the only one to hold this rank. The honor is well deserved, as Stanford boasts an amazing list of bike-friendly achievements. More than 21% of the university community bikes daily, and it’s easy to understand why: Stanford makes it incredibly easy to bike, on campus and off. They’ve created a Commute Buddy program that pairs experienced bike commuters with newbies who need help getting started, the campus offers access to showers and lockers for bikers, and there’s even a free bike safety class held twice a month. Plus, visiting alumni can enjoy two-wheeling as well, with free bike use offered for former students.
University of California, Davis:
One of two UC schools in the top 10, University of California, Davis is an incredible place to be if you’re a bike-loving student. Although Stanford took top honors, UC’s numbers blow them out of the water: 45% of UCD’s students, faculty, and staff have a bike on campus each day, compared to Stanford’s 21%. UC Davis encourages these numbers by providing a staggering amount of resources for bicyclists: services include bike classes, DIY bike repair and maintenance, summer bike storage, commuter showers and lockers, and even maps and directions created just for campus bikers. But Davis isn’t just providing practical bike love; they’ve embraced the history and art of biking as well with the Pierce Miller Bicycle Collection, an exhibit of vintage bicycles that is the core of what will eventually become a major bicycle museum. Off campus, the city of Davis, Calif., is recognized as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world, with more than 100 miles of bike lanes and paths, designated lanes and signals, and local bike maps.
University of California, Santa Barbara:
At UCSB, almost half of the student body bikes to school. Really. With 49% of students, and 9% of faculty and staff commuting by bike, it’s clear this campus has a lot of bicycle support. UCSB takes care of their legion of bikers with enough secure bike racks and parking spaces to accommodate each one of them, as well as bicycle lockers, free showers and clothes lockers (including towel service), and several bicycle roundabouts. The university has clearly made an ongoing investment in the future of campus biking with infrastructure offerings including 10 miles of Class I bicycle paths, and freely distributed bike maps showing these campus paths as well as a Santa Barbara County bike map. The UCSB campus is home to the Associated Students Bike Shop, where campus bikers can find repair and maintenance services to keep them on the road safely.
Boise State University:
Boise State has been hard at work to create programs that support campus bicycling, including repair services, parking, and maps. They’ve created a Cycle Learning Center, where students can find information, instructional clinics, as well as bike repair services. There are plenty of places to park bikes on campus, with many bike racks and bike barns operating in a variety of different locations, plus showers, lockers, towels, and free compressed air stations. The university doesn’t just make it easy to make biking a part of the daily commute, though: they also offer bike-friendly services for special events with a bike corral for football fans riding to Bronco Stadium. Boise State is also working to further the future of bike transportation, hosting a Community Bicycle Congress since 2004 to offer an open forum for bicycle knowledge, research, and progress.
California State Long Beach:
California State University, Long Beach is in the perfect climate for biking, with manageable temperatures, flat terrain, and low rainfall. But beyond this natural advantage, the university encourages biking on and off campus with a wealth of resources. Rideshare @ The Beach boasts events including weekly rides, scavenger hunts, bike checks, and traffic skills courses. Plus, Rideshare boasts a $1 million annual fund devoted to supporting not just these events, but infrastructure, services, and other resources that support the needs of CSULB cyclists. Cyclists who commute by bike also enjoy special perks like a $1/day reward point for cycling that can be turned into bike shop gift cards.
Colorado State University:
Colorado State University has a long history of supporting biking on campus, so their BFU Silver award is no surprise. A large part of the CSU population uses biking as a primary means of transportation, with 36% of students, 25% of faculty, and 15% of staff commuting by bike on a regular day. CSU estimates that there are about 15,000 bikes on campus each day. This is made easy thanks to the CSU Campus Bicycle Advisory Committee, which works to make sure that the needs of cyclists are met with every new development and rule on campus. Along with the CBAC, CSU has invested greatly in biking infrastructure, including a recent six-figure installation of new campus bike racks. Of course, this bike-friendly attitude is just an extension of the overall situation in the city of Fort Collins, which has long been recognized as one of the nation’s most bike-friendly communities.
Georgia Institute of Technology:
Georgia Tech does so much to make biking a viable commuting option for its community. The Bike GT resource is home to resources and programs including advocacy, the StarterBikes co-op, viaCycle bike sharing network, and a Bicycle Infrastructure Improvement Committee tasked with improving bike infrastructure on the Georgia Tech campus. Plus, Bike GT hosts Bike Week, a celebration of biking on campus that encourages everyone in the community to ride their bikes to and around campus, including fun events like a music video, bike fashion show, and a social ride.
Northern Arizona University:
Northern Arizona University has provided immense support of cycling culture on campus. Perhaps most impressive is the university’s Yellow Bike program, which offers students, faculty, and staff an absolutely free bike to borrow along with a helmet and bike lock, making it dumbfoundingly easy to bike on campus. In addition to this great program, NAU has bike registration, public air hoses, locker storage, and recently improved bike pathways to facilitate cyclist transportation. Plus, they have fun biking events including bike-in movies and bike-in tailgating.
Oregon State University:
Oregon State University’s status as a bike friendly university has a lot to do with its home, the city of Corvallis. This college town is known as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in America, second only to Davis, Calif. The city has an astonishing bike lane infrastructure: 97% of its streets have bike lanes, and by percentage, more people take trips by bike in Corvallis than any other Oregon city. It’s no wonder that this culture has spread to OSU, with 30% of students biking to campus. Bikers at OSU can take advantage of amenities including used bikes for sale in the university’s surplus property, free bike repair, bike maps, and plenty of lockers for storage.
Portland State University:
PSU has done a lot to make commuting by bike as easy and affordable as possible. With extensive bike parking facilities and the PSU Bike Hub repair shop, they’ve gone a long way to making their campus bike-friendly. There are plenty of free maps, changing stalls, lockers, and repair resources sprinkled around campus, and students can even rent a bike for just $45 per term through the VikeBikes program. They’ve recently launched a campaign to encourage even more biking at PSU with the Bike2PSU Challenge, creating competitive biking teams, workshops, prizes, and more.
previously published here
- Becoming “bike friendly” (thegazette.com)
- Scottsdale, Tempe, Tucson among best cities for bikers (bizjournals.com)
- DC Deemed One of Nation’s Most Bike-Friendly Cities (washingtonian.com)
- Maryland, Delaware In Bike-Friendly Top 10 (baltimore.cbslocal.com)
- Hey Congress, It’s National Bike Month (sierraclub.typepad.com)