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Pedal power your way to class

Of all the ways to get to and from campus, biking probably has the most advantages. It’s good for the environment, it’s a gas-saver and it’s great exercise.

Now, thanks to the Pedal Power program, you don’t even have to own a bike to enjoy the ride.

The Pedal Power program offered by Outdoor Pursuits at Florida Gulf Coast University allows students to borrow a bicycle for one week, free of charge. Calls for comment to Outdoor Pursuits representatives were not returned, but according to the Campus Recreation website, the goals of the program are to decrease traffic congestion, limit carbon emissions and encourage health and physical exercise at FGCU and the surrounding community. Offering free bikes to students is the best way to encourage these trends.

The idea of a bike-share program is not unique to FGCU. As Campus Rec points out, bike sharing is practiced all over the country in many different settings. Many universities around the country have their own versions of Pedal Power, from Green Bike at Washington State University to Wolf Ride at Stony Brook University to Share-A-Bull Bikes at the University of South Florida. In all of these systems, students are allowed to borrow a bicycle for a limited amount of time to get around campus. What makes Pedal Power special, however, is the length of time students can keep their bikes. Share-A-Bull lets students borrow the bikes for a weekend, Green Bike a day and Wolf Ride just an hour.

In the words of Kent State University Provost Robert Frank, whenever a university makes the decision to adopt a bike-share program, they are trying to meet similar needs: “sustainability, fuel savings, physical activity and a simple system for providing ‘green’ transportation.” As part of its mission of sustainability, FGCU is part of a countrywide trend toward greener transportation alternatives. Pedal Power is an important part of that commitment.

Alee Petrova, a junior majoring in art, enjoyed her experience using Pedal Power.

“I left my own bike at my house in Tampa, and I didn’t really feel like walking to class every day from my dorm,” Petrova said. “I read about Pedal Power online, so I checked a bike out at the Waterfront. I ended up renting it for several weeks in a row -— it was so convenient.”

Students only need their Eagle ID to check out a bike. Some fees will apply if the bike or accessories are returned late. Visit http://www.fgcu.edu/CampusRec/Outdoors/PedalPower.html for more information.

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