Handy dandy bike guide. Everything you wanted to know (and then some)

Hello bike-o-sphere!  Hope everyone is still biking as the temperature dips (pro tip – wear layers!). I wanted to share with you a beautifully crafted bike safety guide from the League of American Bicyclists.  It’s so easy to read and understand.  Please give it a look and improve your bike ride!

Spinnin’ spokes and tellin’ jokes

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Bike Friendly University

BFU silver_14-18 (2)In case you haven’t heard, we got some big news today!! Dickinson College was officially recognized as a Silver Rated Bike Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists. The League’s aim is to create a bicycle-friendly America, and does so by helping states, communities, universities, and businesses each become more bike-friendly. Every year, these kinds of groups can be evaluated by the League in order to see how they can improve.

The Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) program evaluates the college’s efforts to promote biking in the areas of engineering, encouragement, education, enforcement, and evaluation/planning. Dickinson’s Silver BFU award is a testament to the hard work of many people at the college who have successfully improved biking awareness by: bettering biking infrastructure through increased bicycle parking both indoors and outside, along with the new bike repair stands and bike pumps; opening and maintaining the Handlebar bike co-op and swap-shop, which has gained popularity with both volunteers and the community; increasing the number of biking events each semester, including the Bike to Farm Potluck held each semester; and boosting the number of people who are riding bikes through the Green Bikes and Red Bikes programs.

On top of all these programs we already offer, we’re expanding every day!


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New Additions!!

Bike repair stand and pumpHave you seen our new addition to campus? The bright red fixtures at the entrance to Morgan Field at the Britton Plaza crosswalk are a bicycle repair stand and a bike pump!

The bike repair stand not only holds your bike, but also has hanging tools – screwdrivers, wrenches, Allen keys, and more! Not sure of how to use these tools? Swipe the QR codes on the stand to learn more!

The heavy-duty bike pump adapts to both Presta and Schrader valves, meaning it can inflate any kind of bike tire! Additionally, there is a wheel holder next to the pump, meaning you can prop up your bike while you pump, and not have to worry about it wobbling over.

Two more bike pumps and wheel holders will be installed on campus soon – one on Britton Plaza and one in the Quads. Keep an eye out!!

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Bike to Farm!

It’s the most wonderful time of year – Bike to Farm!

Bike to Farm is a fun and sustainable way to go to Farm Frolics. Participants can bike both ways or take a shuttle back to campus. To accommodate various riding skills, there are multiple groups based on riding speed and ability. Don’t forget your helmet!

If you are interested in participating in Bike to the Farm, RSVP by September 4. Pre-registration is requested – fill out our google form please! bit.ly/1qbbZJ2

Red bikes from DPS will only be available on a limited basis for riders who can demonstrate basic riding competency (please email herrmant@dickinson.edu for more information). Riders should meet at the Kaufman parking lot at 12:45 pm.

Farm Frolics 14 P8

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Get Greasy

You’re reading the Biking@Dickinson blog.  You’re off to a great start, but do you want to fix bicycles? Want to just learn how to fix your bicycle? Want to dismantle the automobile-centric hegemony? If you answered “yes” to any of these, come to The Handlebar Bicycle Co-Op volunteer training! You’ll learn the basics of bike repair and what makes The Handlebar so darn special. No previous experience necessary!  All you need is a good attitude.

Email  biking at dickinson.edu to RSVP. Training sessions dates and times are:
Sunday August 31st 11 – 2 pm
Sunday September 7th 4 – 7 pm
Saturday September 13th 6 – 9 pm

Pizza provided! Much delicious!

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 3.05.44 PM

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Top 10 Reasons to Bring Your Bike to Dickinson

When I first came to Dickinson, I made the mistake of leaving my bike at home. I quickly realized how much I missed and needed my bike, and was lucky enough to have my parents bring it up to campus the next time they visited. Now I’m going into my final year at Dickinson, and couldn’t imagine not bringing at least one of my bikes to campus. Bikes have become an important part of my life.

Biking has become extremely popular on Dickinson’s campus, especially in the past few years. Most students now have bikes campus, and the biking resources have expanded exponentially. So now that you’re on your way to campus, what are my top 10 reasons to bring a bike to campus? Let’s take a look!


1. Easy Access to Carlisle

I would say that the most useful part of having a bike on campus is the easy access to various places in Carlisle – especially for those of us who don’t have a car! If I need to run to CVS to grab a prescription, speed over to Walmart, Giant, or the Appalachian Whole Foods Market to pick up snacks, take a ride to Target, or want to get to the movie theater extra fast (when my friends and I decide last minute to catch a show), I can just jump on my bike. While I could walk to most of these places, biking is typically much faster and way more convenient – and you don’t get nearly as sweaty riding your bike as walking in the heat!

2. Running Late to Class? Bike It!

I’ll admit that for the most part, I don’t bike to class since my classes are so close together. However, this summer I found that there’s something fantastic about biking from Denny to Kaufman in 2 minutes, as opposed to spending 10-15 minutes walking between the two. I also have a couple vivid memories of waking up late my freshman year, and jumping on my bike to dash from Adams to Tome so that I wasn’t late for my 8:30am calculus class. It’s always nice to know that you have a quick mode of transportation when you’re trying to dash to class.

3. Kick the Freshman 15

Unfortunately, the Freshman 15 – or at least the weight gain during your first year of college – is real. Between caf-sitting for hours, stress eating, and the lack of motivation towards exercise, many students do indeed gain some weight. However, adding in an enjoyable form of exercise is a fantastic way to kick the Freshman 15 to the curb. Cycling burns hundreds of calories an hour, but is enjoyable, so it doesn’t necessarily feel like work. Additionally, the change in scenery of the outdoors can be more engaging than riding a machine in the Kline. This leads me to…

4. Stress Relief

If I’m ever having a stressful day (which happens often when you’re taking upper-level classes and working multiple jobs), I look forward to jumping on my bike to take a break. Cycling gives me the mental reprieve that I so desperately need when I’m overloading my brain with studying and homework. Riding through Central PA is cathartic, and allows my mind to go blank – no stressing about that test tomorrow, how much more research I need to do, what grad school work I haven’t done, etc. Studies have shown that people who exercise are smarter and are able to process more information. In addition to being exercise, cycling gets you into the great outdoors, where you get positive benefits from the sun and fresh air.

5. The LeTort Trail

One of my favorite outdoor activities in Carlisle is walking or biking the LeTort Trail. It’s a 2-ish mile long trail, where I’ve seen herons, beavers, brown snakes, Rainbow Trout, ducks, swans, and more. On really hot days, I’ll stop down there to dip my feet in the cool spring water, or lie in the shade on one of the small wooden bridges. It’s the perfect place to go for a break in the afternoon!

6. The Cycling Club

If you’re looking for more than just simple pleasure riding, then the newly formed and funded Dickinson Cycling Club is for you! This year, the club has been granted money for equipment and travel to races, so it is finally getting off the ground! We have both avid road and mountain bikers in the club, and fantastic riding conditions for both. Mountain bikers from the area go out a few times a week, and us road bikers make sure to hit the long country roads as much as we can when the weather’s permitting. Email  cycling at dickinson.edu for more information!


7. Bike to the Farm Potluck

The most popular biking event on campus each semester is the Bike to the Farm Potluck. This semesterly event involves biking the 7 miles out to the Dickinson College Farm, where everyone’s potluck dish is taken by van. Once at the Farm, everyone is given a couple hours to mill about, socialize, and eat delicious dishes made by other students, faculty, and staff. Typically, a bonfire is involved, too. This coming semester, we have a special surprise announcement about the Bike to the Farm Potluck, so stay tuned for the exciting details!


8. The Handlebar

A unique feature that Dickinson has to offer is The Handlebar, which is a bike shop in the basement of Davidson-Wilson that aims to have student, faculty, and staff volunteers help other students, faculty, and staff learn how to do bike repairs and maintenance. Because all of the workers in The Handlebar are volunteers, labor costs for repairs are free, as well as the majority of parts (all secondhand parts are free, while new parts are sold “at cost”). I know from experience that working on bikes, especially one that is your own, will give you so much pride and accomplishment – you fixed something with your own two hands! Additionally, the community that is built within The Handlebar is extremely strong, and you’ll always have a good laugh when you come in.


9. All The Cool Kids Are Doing It

More and more Millennials are ditching cars and are instead opting for other forms of transportation – busses, trains, skateboards, bikes, you name it, we use it! This shift has been seen both as an environmentally conscious (a person that bikes to work instead of driving saves an average of 26 lbs of CO2, depending on the distance of their commute) and health-concious choice. While you might not be really “commuting” on campus, using your bike to get around from place to place is becoming more trendy every day!

10. Fun!

Let’s be honest – the best reason to bring your bike to campus is because of all the fun you can get from it. Whether it’s riding your bike down the LeTort trail, coming on a Bike to the Farm Potluck, or just riding through the country roads of Central PA, you’ll always have a good time on your bike!


And what if you don’t have a bike? Never fear! Check out our Green Bikes program to learn about getting a bike loaned to you for the semester!

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Make Biking Better

Hey all!

This Thursday, a group will be riding to the Tri-County Bike/Ped Plan open house!  Please join – you’ll connect with others who love walking and biking and you can help shape our region’s transportation network!

Bike ride for Tri-County Bike/Ped Plan open house

Bike ride for Tri-County Bike/Ped Plan open house

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Summer Handlebar Hours!

Hi all!  The Handlebar will be open this summer!  Wahoo!!!  Come visit us on Mondays from 4 – 6 pm.  The Handlebar will not be open June 2 or 9.

Have a great summer and keep biking. Like this guy vvv

Austin legend keepin' it real.

Austin legend keepin’ it real.

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Summer Bike Storage

you left me to die

This is definitely not what you want to come back to next semester – a sad, dilapidated, rusted, and half-stolen bike. This isn’t ride-able!!

To prevent this from happening to your precious bike, you should put it in Summer Bike Storage! It will be kept in the basement of Kaufman, where it will be secure and out of the elements.

If you are going abroad next semester or next year, you can even store your bike while you’re gone, so that you don’t have to worry about it!

Just bring your bike and ID to the Center for Sustainability Education (Kaufman 190) during the last week of classes:

April 28th – May 2nd 
9am – 4pm

Trust me, your bike will thank you!

For questions, email  biking at dickinson.edu

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A few of the new Dickinson Cycling Jerseys made their debut at Red and White Day on Biddle Field after a short 15 mile ride to the Dickinson College Farm and back! We all really love these jerseys! If you are interested in one, please visit or call the Dickinson College Bookstore (717-245-8874). There are still some left, so get them while you can!

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