It seems like just yesterday that I walked into my first club meetings as a nervous, yet excited first year student. At one meeting, I, along with another student (who has since become my best friend, thank you Biking @ Dickinson), volunteered to audit bike rack placement and use on campus. Our task was simple, or so we thought. It was twofold: We were to walk around campus with a GPS and mark every location where we though a bike rack ought to be installed and we had to mark down the locations of the current bike racks (this part proved difficult only because the six or so bike racks that existed were so well hidden). To make a long story short, we faced some technical difficulties and ended up re-auditing the entire campus two more time. Let’s just say Christine and I became quite familiar with the bike rack situation on campus. The verdict: Dickinson NEEDED more bike racks and fast; six or ten racks for the whole college was not going to cut it especially if we wanted to start promoting biking on campus. In the months to follow, bike racks began to appear around campus. You probably have never seen someone as excited as we were about a bike rack…ecstatic.
Biking @ Dickinson has grown tremendously since the days Christine and I spent GPSing precise locations for bike racks. Basically the only bike program that existed when I arrived at Dickinson was the Red Bikes program through DPS. Winter bike storage began my first year. We sat in the basement of Kaufman waiting to receive bikes for hours and were thrilled when we had ten whole bikes to store! The Bike to Farm Potluck was just getting rolling; there may have been thirty people at the Spring 2011 ride. You get the point. In the three short years I have been at Dickinson, biking has transformed from non-existent to a central aspect of our sustainability efforts.
Over 100 students biked to the farm during the Spring 2013 semester. The Handlebar exists and is a fully functioning, student-run, teaching bike shop. We have a bike powered coffee cart thanks to the Idea Fund! The Green Bike program allows students to borrow bikes built out of reused bike parts by Dickinson students, faculty and staff for an entire semester. There are bike lanes on High Street and Hanover Street. We offer winter and summer bike storage. And bikes are everywhere!
Get excited because there are even more biking initiatives and program on the horizon!