In an effort to promote bicycling as a form of transportation and healthy living, Mount Mercy University has done a number of things to convert the campus to a bike-friendly space. These efforts have led Mount Mercy to receive an honorable mention in the Bicycle Friendly University category from the League of American Bicyclists, one of only two universities in Iowa to be recognized.
Collaboration with Bike2Work Consultants
“We have worked in conjunction with Nikki Northrop, the president of Bike2Work Consultants in Cedar Rapids, on a couple of events such as the Mayor’s Bike Ride, Meet Me at the Market weekly rides, and other events that encourage individuals to bike,” said Brenda Steinke, director of recreation and wellness.
Applying for the Bike Friendly University Award
“As a result of our interaction with Nikki, she suggested that we apply for the League of American Bicyclists Bike Friendly University Award.”
Bicycle-Friendly Rankings in Iowa
According to the League of American Bicyclists, Iowa ranks number 25 in bicycle-friendly states and Cedar Rapids was named one of six bicycle-friendly communities in the state.
Efforts by Student Activities and Recreation Programs
Mount Mercy’s Student Activities and Recreation and Wellness Programs have been working to make the university a more bike friendly university in a variety of ways. The two groups have worked together with the sustainability grant program to purchase a bike rack, host bike safety information events, and assist with funding the annual Bike to Work Week and the Bike to Lunch program.
Availability of Bikes for Check-Out
Currently, Mount Mercy has two bikes available for check out at the Sisters of Mercy University Center, along with helmets and locks. The university plans to expand the number of bikes available for check out so it can offer group bike rides and increase participation in the weekly Meet Me at the Market events and other bicycling events.
Promoting Bicycling as a Transportation Option
“The city of Cedar Rapids is making strides to become a bicycle friendly community by expanding local trails and designating bike lanes throughout the city,” Steinke said. “Our goal is to encourage students and employees to consider bicycling as a form of transportation when possible.”