Renewing Our Bicycle Friendly University Certification

Many people at Dickinson have heard about the numerous biking activities and resources that groups such as the Center for Sustainability Education (CSE) and The Cycling Club provide on campus. For example, The Handlebar offers education and bicycle repair services to faculty, students, and staff who want to learn about their bikes and take their knowledge of mechanics to the next level. CSE sponsors the annual Bike to Farm Potluck, a group ride out to the College Farm where participants enjoy a leisurely 7-mile ride and potluck lunch. DPS registers bicycles on campus to discourage theft and increase the likelihood of recovering stolen bicycles. Student Senate is working to replace the 3-5 bike pumps around campus available for Dickinsonian and community use.

Even if you’re not a cyclist yourself, you’ve probably heard about the Red Bike fleet, which is a free short-term (daylight only) loan through DPS, perfect for zipping to the store or cruising around town on a warm spring day.

But what you may not know about Dickinson is the fact that it is officially recognized as a Silver rated Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists. The League’s mission is to create a bicycle-friendly America, and it does so by helping cities, businesses, and universities become more bike-oriented through infrastructure, education, and so much more. The Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) program evaluates the college’s efforts to promote biking across a wide range of criteria, and assigns it a score as well as offering extensive feedback about where to improve. Dickinson’s Silver BFU rating, awarded in 2014, is a testament to the hard work and passion of so many dedicated and passionate people at the college who have paved the way for biking at the college. The college has a Bicycle Advisory Committee, which is composed of key leaders from DPS, outdoor education, academic offices, Human Resources, CSE, and User Services. Engaged students also play a crucial role on the committee, and work in collaboration with CSE and other campus offices to improve biking across campus and throughout the greater Carlisle community.

Now, four years after Dickinson’s initial Bike Friendly University evaluation, it is time to renew our certification. This is going to be an exciting opportunity to evaluate how far the college has come in four years, and reaffirm Dickinson’s commitment to sustainability through biking and bike-related initiatives on campus. The Bicycle Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet in March to discuss the re-certification process; members will be involved in conducting surveys, tackling new projects, and writing up the final report. It is an exciting time, and I look forward to the BFU re-certification process inspiring a new passion and excitement across campus about biking at Dickinson.

There is always more to do, and the Bicycle Advisory Committee would love your input! Email with any questions, comments, or ideas for making this campus a more bicycle friendly place.

In the meantime, happy riding!

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