Bike DU program a campus success

By Cory Lesniak

November 13, 2013

You’re driving down Division Street in the winter and you’re stuck behind a snowplow driver when a bicyclist goes right past you. You’re thinking, “A bike? Now? But it’s snowing!”

That cyclist might just be Megan Tideman, a year-round bicycle commuter who works for Dominican’s Office of Admissions.

“I bike five miles a day, two and a half to DU and two and half from DU,” Tideman said. “I bike when it is 90 degrees out [or] a blizzard. As long as streets are clear, I bike.”

Others also commute by bicycle, but not when the weather turns nasty.

“When the weather is warmer and nicer I bike nearly everyday. However, when the weather is inclement, it is too cold and dangerous to bike,” said Robert Babcock, director of residency.

Babcock rides round-trip nearly 21 miles.

Students also bike to school, but not always as intensely as staff members.

“I will usually bike until right after Thanksgiving, only because it gets too cold out,” freshman Isabelle Keefe said. “I travel about seven miles round-trip every day.”

For those without their own set of pedal-powered wheels, Dominican offers a free bike program all year round, even during the winter. The fleet of bikes is in full force until winter, when some bikes are taken out of service. The bikes that are still available for rental in the winter give students the opportunity to ride on a beautiful winter day.

“You can check out a bike either at the main campus or Priory,” Mary Sadofsky, assistant to the free bicycle program, said. “All you need is your DU ID.”

Sadofsky explained how both the bike program and process to rent a bike are very eco-friendly. Biking does not release emissions into the environment and requesting a bike does not require paperwork.

Students use two of the seven bikes in the fleet for a full semester. The others are available for daily usage. In August of this year, bikes were checked out 113 times, and in September, usage peaked with bikes checked out 210 times.

 Other bicycle enthusiasts include English Language Students who study primarily at the Priory. On an average day, ELS students have nearly 20 bikes parked at the Priory.

“When winter comes, the average drops about five bikes,” Sadofsky said. “That means at the English Language School nearly 15 bikes are still out there during the winter months. These kids come from all parts of the world with a bike to ride. It’s pretty neat.”

With DU being a commuter school, most people worry about the parking garage filling up in the winter, but maybe more should be watching those bike racks fill up.