Go for a ride with Bike Lane; free loan program promotes bicycle use

The Kona Dew is one of Bike Lanes loaner bikes that are rented out to students at the beginning of each term.Photo by: August Frank

The Kona Dew is one of Bike Lanes loaner bikes that are rented out to students at the beginning of each term.
Photo by: August Frank

Daemion Lee
For The Torch

When preparing for next term, students can add “check out a bicycle” to their to-do list thanks to Bike Lane, LCC’s bicycle loan program. Bicycles will be available for checkout beginning around finals week and during the early part of winter term.

Any student who pays the transportation fee as part of their tuition is eligible to participate in this free program. Bikes are checked out on a first-come-first-served basis. “Almost every term since it’s started all the bikes have been checked out,” Jennifer Hayward, Sustainability Coordinator at LCC’s Institute for Sustainable Practices said. “There seems to be a big need and appreciation from the students.”

Participants in the program receive a bike, lock and helmet and can use their bikes however they wish for the term. “There are no restrictions on the use of the bike,” Mike Sims, coordinator of Bike Lane and Recycling Coordinator at Institute for Sustainable Practices said. “You can use it for anything you want.” Students bring the bike home and many use it to run errands while not at school.

“There’s no requirement to ride up the hill,” Sims said, referring to the climb up 30th Avenue on the way to LCC’s campus. Most students put the bicycle on the bus for this part of the commute.

The program is not just about getting a free bike. The goal is to encourage students to try out biking. “We work to educate our participants,” Sims said. Students learn about road safety and how to keep the bike secure while not in use. The idea, Sims says, is for students to buy their own bicycle after borrowing one.

Lee Martinez, culinary arts student, says he walked by Bike Lane at the beginning of fall term and decided to borrow a bike. “I ride it a lot,” Martinez said. “I use it for everything.”

Martinez says he rides the bike to Eugene Station and then takes the bus to campus but also uses it for trips around town. “I’m totally grateful for this,” Martinez said. “It’s a blessing.”

Maya Danielsen, administrative office professional student, checked out a bike last year. “Sometimes it was sketchy to get in,” Danielsen said, referring to the long commute she used to have from Springfield to campus. She rode the bike to her bus stop, which made the commute easier. “The bus drivers were really friendly,” she said, recalling how they helped her load the bike onto the bus if she had heavy bags with her. “I think it’s great,” Danielsen said about the program. “I talk it up like crazy now.”

A small minority of students commute by bicycle to school, according to the 2014 Transportation Survey administered by LCC’s Institute for Sustainable Practices. According to this survey, 4 percent of those who responded use a bicycle to commute. In comparison, 58 percent of respondents come to campus in a car driving alone.

To check out a bicycle, it is necessary to fill out the registration form on Bike Lane’s website, www.lanecc.edu/sustainability/bike-lane-program or email bikelane@lanecc.edu. Registration is currently closed. However, once bikes from fall term are returned, winter term registration will open. Filling out the form, however, does not mean a bike has been reserved. Students must go in person to the Bike Center, located on the PE Building access road north of the soccer fields in the north part of campus.