By Patricia McGuire ’16
BikeMore, Skidmore’s new bike share program, gives students the opportunity to experience sustainability in an accessible way.The program began a few years ago on campus, and has undergone a few upgrades in its time. Before BikeMore, the program was dubbed ThoroughTreds, and consisted of elaborately decorated, one-speed bicycles that were available to students through the library circulation desk. Through the collaboration between the sustainability office and student Emily Durante ’15, ThoroughTreds underwent a transformation this summer, and emerged in the form of a fleet of white and green seven-speed bicycles called BikeMore.
The improvements were funded by a grant from the Margaret Cargill Foundation, which allowed the Sustainability Office to purchase 20 of the shaft-driven bicycles, along with bike racks that can be locked and unlocked with the students’ PINs after they register for the program. The new bikes are more durable, and easy to use. Students can borrow the bikes for up to 5 hours at a time, after registering and signing a waiver in the Sustainability Office. They can take the bikes anywhere, as long as they stay on a paved surface. Many students use them to ride downtown or around campus.
Students are very excited about the program. “I like the new bikes a lot. They’re super helpful and easy to use. I’m glad we made the change,” said Katie Plowright ’17, one of over 200 registered riders. Cassandra Eddy ’17 agreed with her, saying about the bikes, “They are awesome, and I was surprised with how easy they were to use.” BikeMore allows students to get around campus more easily or have a leisurely bike ride through town, while increasing their awareness of the importance of sustainable transportation. As sustainability becomes a global concern, it is important for smaller communities to take their stance and support sustainability efforts. With BikeMore, Skidmore gives students a chance to contribute to and learn about that sustainability effort, making bringing Skidmore closer to the global wave of sustainability.