Apr 272009
Authors: Chloe Wittry

Student government has partnered with Recycled-Cycles and other bicycle companies in Fort Collins to recreate what was previously known as Ram Wheels, a CSU program that rented bikes out to students free of charge, into a more efficient, quick and easy service.

The program will be a step up from the original system of renting out bikes, coordinators said Monday, and will serve as a alternative transportation system for those students who want a green alternative to the bus.

“I wanted to start the program again because I kept hearing from students about how they wished there was still a program where they could check out bikes for free,” said Chris Diedrich, director of environmental affairs for the Associated Student of CSU.

“They wanted something other than a bus system.”

Recycled-Cycles, the bike shop on campus, Fort Collins Bike Library and Bike Fort Collins signed a contract on Friday, agreeing to collaborate and oversee the new program, which was started about five years ago by a group of students but dissolved last year due to lack of organization and funding.

“We are not bringing Ram Wheels back, we are partnering with Fort Collins Bike Library to bring their program to our campus,” said Lance Wright, Director of Campus Activities.

“From a user perspective, it will be very similar.”

With the new program, which Diedrich said he hopes will be implemented within a couple of weeks and will run year-round, students, faculty and CSU guests will be able to check out bikes for a five-day period at the Information Desk in the Lory Student Center.

“You have to sign up at the Information Desk and fill out a waiver,” Wright said.

“Then you will be issued a bike library card which will have a unique ID number on it to make the check-out process easier in the future.”

Wright said the bike ID can also be used at the Fort Collins Bike Library in Old Town to check out bikes.

Diedrich said any of the 29 bikes, which were donated by the Democratic National Convention, can be checked out and returned to Recycled-Cycles where they will fix any maintenance problems.

Seriously damaged or stolen bikes, however, will be the responsibility of the renter.

The 25 yellow bikes that were used previously are now out of commission, many of them beyond repair, and cannot be given away because they are state property.

ASCSU has agreed to give $2,500 a year for the next two years from their student fees budget to fund the new program, distributing money to different places such as Recycled-Cycles to maintain the bikes.

“People love the program,” said senior history major and Information Desk employee Adrianna Cabrera. “It’s cool we have something like it at CSU because not a lot of universities do it.”

“The need for it won’t go down,” Wright said of the free bicycle-renting program.

“If anything, the need will increase.”

Staff writer Chloe Wittry can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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