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LMU rolls out bike borrowing program | Environment

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LMU rolls out bike borrowing program
LMU rolls out bike borrowing program

An East Tennessee just rolled out a new program to convince students to ditch their cars and ride some bikes.

It's happening at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate.

Kristi Blaisdell is a junior from Chicago who has always biked.

She brought her own bicycle to campus her first two years but this time she left it at home.

"Being that the bikes are here I decided not to bring my bike down and I'm actually going to use Turner's bikes," she said.

Turner is Turner Bowling. He is the High Adventure Coordinator and he runs the new bike check-out program at LMU.

"Students come in and out of my office all day. Can I get a bike? Can I get a bike? So as long as I have one that fits them I send them out with it," he said.

Students borrow bikes for recreation and transportation.

The more bikes the fewer cars.

"It's a good way to work out and get that energy up and get ready for class. It's a nice way to go to class refreshed with a little bike ride," Kristi Blaisdell said.

The student shuttle is also new this school year. The University hopes to add a five capacity bike rack to the front soon.

"We're installing new bike racks at all campus facilities. We have short term parking at all the classroom buildings and longer term, overnight, high security, high durability coming in for all the residence halls," Turner Bowling said.

That way students can feel confident about bringing their own bikes to campus.

The bike borrowing program is part of an overall push for alternate transportation at LMU.

"We are aiming for Bicycle Friendly University recognition," he said.

That's a new initiative by the League of American Bicyclists. So far no school in Tennessee has earned Bicycle Friendly University status.

"We want to make sure we provide a secure, efficient cycling environment for our students, staff, faculty, community members. So far I think we're doing a great job," he said.

The fleet stands at 20 bikes right now.

"If the numbers keep up and all goes well then we will easily be able to justify more bikes on campus," he said.

Cold weather could drive the bicycles into storage, with exceptions.

"The first person I have that requests a bike in the cold months, if they're brave enough to ride I'm going to let them do it. I have no problem with that," he said.

The Chicago native isn't worried about winter.

Kristi Blaisdell said, "We do have mountain bikes so they do have traction so I can still ride my bike during the winter. Just bundle up a little bit more than usual."

For now, it's a beautiful time to bike to class at Lincoln Memorial University.

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