The birth of an idea

 Uncategorized
Sep 122006
 
Authors: MEGAN BUETTGENBACH The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Seniors Jesse Fagan and Nick D’Innocenzo have a brand new baby.

RamWheels, a new student organization they helped create, is letting people cruise around campus on any of the 12 yellow bikes in its fleet.

“This program is fresh out of the womb,” said Fagan, an English major. “We just finished spanking it, but it needs to mature a little.”

The idea has been around for years, but it didn’t materialize until Fagan and fellow co-director D’Innocenzo took the initiative and broke through the hurdles.

“I really liked the idea of the whole thing,” said D’Innocenzo, a senior math major. “It’s a good feeling. It’s all about doing community service, doing something good for the community.”

Fagan agreed.

“I want to come back in like five years and see people riding these bikes, and be like, I started that,” Fagan said.

With the help of several groups, including the CSU Police Department, the Wellness Zone and Recycled Cycles, Fagan and D’Innocenzo brought the program to life.

The one-speed cruiser bikes come complete with basket, coaster brakes, lock and even a bell.

“I feel classy when I ride this bike,” said Abdelah “Abe” Lomri, a senior sociology major. “It looks like an antique, and you feel like you are a bridge between the ’70s and the new generation.”

One student rides his rented bike to get to classes before hopping in his car to go home for the day, Fagan said. Others use the bikes just to go to lunch so they don’t have to use their cars.

“We hope it helps with traffic congestion,” D’Innocenzo said. “If you have a short trip, you can use a bike.”

Even visitors to CSU and families of students are allowed to use RamWheels, which is part of why Fagan was so interested in the program.

“I remember walking on campus with my grandma, and she was exhausted,” Fagan said. “It was hot that summer, and halfway through she was too exhausted to continue. But I really wanted to show her all the buildings.”

Fagan and D’Innocenzo want to expand the program, which already has more than 60 registered users.

Future plans include 12 more bikes and additional pick-up and drop-off locations.

However, at a cost of about $250 per bike, not including preventative maintenance costs, it may be a while until more can be secured.

And, of course, every baby needs community love.

“We need volunteers,” said D’Innocenzo, “for maintenance, fundraising, promotion and general operation.”

Staff writer Megan Buettgenbach can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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How to check out a bike from RamWheels:

1. Register online at www.ramwheels.colostate.edu.

2. Print off and sign the waiver form, or go to the Information Desk in the LSC to sign one.

3. Check out a bike from the Information Desk in the LSC with a valid CSUID.

4. Take your key and find your bike in the bike rack just south of the LSC.

5. Ride your bike for 48 hours.

6. Return bike to the same rack and turn in your key at the Information Desk in the LSC or drop it off in the drop-off box located next to the desk.

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