Bike-friendly campus movement launches April 6


UNL will launch an effort to become a Bicycle Friendly Campus with an April 6 event at the Nebraska Union Plaza. The League of American Bicyclists awards the designation to colleges and universities that create an exceptional environment for bicycling.

"The Bike UNL event also serves as a launching pad for bike education on campus," said Kimberly Barrett, assistant director for wellness services at Campus Recreation. "The event focuses on education through a fun environment that provides games and prizes, along with information."

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Bike UNL will include a variety of vendors, demonstrations and information to raise awareness about bicycle resources and amenities on campus and around Lincoln. StarTran will offer demonstrations on how to use the new bus racks on city buses, and bicycle vendors will be on hand to exhibit and demonstrate new bicycles. The Great Plains Trails Network will provide information about Lincoln Bike Trails and UNL Campus Recreation will offer bike safety check-ups and information about Bike Adventure Trips sponsored by UNL Outdoor Adventures. Participants can visit vendor booths for a chance to win a new bike, a Netbook or an iPod.

Event organizers will also take donations of children's and adult bikes that will, in turn, be donated to MAD DADS, an organization that supports youth and parents. MAD DADS matches bikes with children of all ages, helps them fix up the bicycles and trains them in bike maintenance and safety.

UNL is also launching, a website that compiles everything about the campus cycling scene, from rules of the road to maps of city and campus trails.

The effort to become a Bike-Friendly Campus is a partnership among the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska, Campus Recreation, the Chancellor's Wellness Initiative and the City of Lincoln.

This the second year the League of American Bicyclists has offered a Bicycle Friendly University designation. In the first round, 32 universities applied and 20 earned the designation.

- Mary Jane Bruce, University Communications