A new attraction has been added to our campus and has started some conversation. Outside of the Ortner Center now resides a bike dock and eight new bikes courtesy of the senior class of 2017, assisted by guest services director Marcia Nordmeyer and retired professor Chris Blake.
The idea started with the senior class of 2014, but they chose to place a television screen in the lobby of the administration building as their class gift instead. Referring to the bike share program, Blake says, “We had to get the wheels turning on this idea.” He continues, “I think that this is the most practical gift that I’m aware of that any class has given. Not everyone has a personal bike on campus or is able to go and buy one and I like the idea of a gracious approach to transportation.”
The rules for the bikes are fairly standard. They’re available to any Union College student or employee, they must be returned before sundown and can’t be checked out after dark. First time riders must sign waivers ensuring helmets will always be worn. Similar to getting a study room at the library or using game room equipment at the student center, checking out a bike is as simple as handing over your ID card to an Ortner Center worker.
The bikes are also available for checkout on the weekend. “I think it’s a good option to have, especially on Sabbath afternoons when the weather is nice and there isn’t much to do,” comments Ortner desk worker and senior English major, Maddie Temple. “Students aren’t usually able to go out and buy their own bikes so this is a great opportunity.”
Another cool concept about each of the bikes is that they’re all named by someone who had a direct link to implementing the bike share. They are in order: “The Blakester,” named by Chris Blake; “Liberty Bell,” named by Marcia Nordmeyer; “Harvey,” named by Harvey Meier (who’s also the repair man); “Bikey McBikeface,” named by Jim Williams; “Cheetah,” named by Michael Brautigan; “Bikelangelo,” named by Matt Roque; “Radycle,” named by Kyle Martsching and finally “The 47th Element,” named by senior class president, Alexis Carnduff.
The bike share system has already started, so hurry and take advantage of it while the nice weather lasts.
Caroline Guchu is a junior studying communications.