A Bronze in Bikes

Pistol Pete riding through campus, in anticipation of "Ride a Bike to School Day".

Even in January, Dan McCoy, the assistant director of campus recreation and chair of the bicycle pedestrian safety committee for campus, said you can find students, faculty and staff riding bicycles along the bike paths at University of Wyoming, where winter temperatures can dip down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

On November 5, UW received the bronze award from The League of American Bicyclists, officially recognizing the campus as a Bicycle Friendly University.

“There’s a certain level of thought that’s put into the actual infrastructure that’s built and a number of different things that get us to this level of designation. It’s a recognition of what we’ve been doing on campus to improve biking for people who bike to school or bike to work,” said McCoy.

In 2012, the US census bureau recognized Laramie, Wyoming, where the university is located, as one of the top 10 users of bikes in the country – a fact that McCoy said is “pretty cool.”

Since receiving that data, the university’s bicycle pedestrian safety committee, which includes members from all areas of the university, has worked to map bike paths and resolve feedback from students about the troubles of having bikes on campus.

In order to receive the recognition, the university partnered with an environment natural resources class to complete the lengthy application, including about 75 true/false and open-ended questions. McCoy said without their help, they would not have been able to get the designation.

“It’s actually the process that is really important because you get a lot of feedback,” McCoy said.

The campus recreation outdoor program department at UW also has a library, tools and resources for students to work on their bikes.

If other universities are hoping to get the same recognition, he advises they have a similar committee like bicycle pedestrian safety committee. “It helps our committee think holistically about what we can do and how we can plan and the things that we are providing for cyclists to make it a better place. It’s a long process and it’s great for a class project,” he said.

Photo Credit: UW Photo Service

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