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Fort Collins has made strides to increase participation in the biking community with the introduction of the Fort Collins Bike Library.
Fort Collins is no stranger to the biking community, with “Share the Road” stickers on every other car and Bike-to-Work days; the people of this city are very familiar with the benefits of a bike-friendly community.
In 2007, the City of Fort Collins, Bike Fort Collins and the Bike Co-op collaborated and expanded on the small bike-share system already in place at Colorado State University. Since then, the library has branched out into different locations around the city, and has played a key role in Fort Collins Bike Month, Ride for Reading, and Bike Prom.
The positive effects of the Bike Library are seen not only through social events, but in the everyday routine of Fort Collins residents. According to Tessa Greegor, the FC Bikes program manager, the number of participants in the program has changed commuter habits within Fort Collins.
“The Bike Library is a tremendous resource for the community,” Greegor said. “And, the future plans to expand the program with an automated bike share system will provide additional transportation options for residents and visitors of Fort Collins.”
This Bike Library expansion has already been happening over the last six years, as there are now five locations where residents and students alike can use this resource. One of these hubs is located directly on campus, right off of the MAX system at the MAX Prospect Station, so students can take advantage of multiple environmentally-friendly travel options at once.
“I choose to bike instead of drive about 70 percent of the time,” said Luke Graepler, a CSU sophomore. “I would say for probably 50 percent or more of the students at CSU, biking is their main transportation.”
Colorado State University has an extremely bike-friendly campus, which makes it easier for students to utilize biking as their main mode of transportation.
According to Dylan Loaiza, who works for the Fort Collins Bike Library campus hub, “The majority of the students that use this resource are international students. They come from different countries so they don’t have other modes of transportation, but this allows them to rent bikes for a few days or a week at a time.”
With the CSU hub located so conveniently on the southwest corner of Mason and Lake, students who do not own their own bike or live out of state can ride bikes around town or campus with little hassle, and since a one-day bike rental is free, it makes for a very affordable option.
“If I didn’t have my own bike, I would rent from the bike library and make use of the resource,” said Graepler. “And I think the FC Bike Library will increase the use of bikes for everyone.”
The city plans to expand the Bike Library even further, which will have lasting benefits on many aspects of the community.
“As we continue to expand the Bike Library and bike sharing in Fort Collins, we anticipate more people choosing to travel by bike for short trips in place of other modes, in turn offering community-wide benefits,” Greegor said.
With help from local businesses such as Crankenstein, a coffee shop/bar and one of the hubs of the FC Bike Library, the people of Fort Collins can now access this resource from many spots in town while continuing to enjoy themselves and participate in the fun and energetic bike culture the city has to offer.
Collegian Staff Reporter Anna Auerbach can be reached at email@example.com