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Bike2Campus Week Gets Rolling

There’s nothing quite like a lakefront bike ride in April, with the wind in your face and the water at your side.

This year, roll into spring by helping Northwestern compete in the annual Chicago Bike2Campus challenge. Bike2Campus is a week-long competition between 11 Chicagoland institutions including Northwestern, University of Chicago, Loyola University, and University of Illinois Chicago. The competition aims to promote biking as a fun, and eco-friendly mode of transportation. At the end of the week, the prize goes to the school that logs the most bike rides, weighted by campus population. The 2018 competition will take place from April 9 to 15, so gear up to help Northwestern win first place.

Whether you are a seasoned biker or just starting out, Bike2Campus week is a great opportunity to get outside and get active, while helping Northwestern decrease our carbon footprint. The competition is open to students, faculty and staff, and you can log your rides on the program’s website, bike2campus.com.

This year, sustainNU is offering several events for bikers, including a guided bike ride and pit stops where cyclists can get help pumping up tires and making basic adjustments to their bikes. More information about the events, which will be part of this year’s Earth Month programming, can be found here. The sustainNU website also provides resources for cyclists such as links to information about bike routes in Chicago and Evanston and locations around campus for bike racks and repair stations.

Biking is a time-saving alternative to walking and an environmentally friendly alternative to driving or using a car share service. Weinberg senior Nadia Jamrozik has been biking to and around campus every day since her sophomore year, and she says the efficiency it provides is a necessity for her schedule.

“It cuts my transit time down by two-thirds, which is huge, and also makes for a more enjoyable and scenic trip,” Jamrozik said, adding that biking often saves her from being late.

A 2015 study by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy concluded that if by 2050 just 14 percent of urban travel worldwide was by bike, global carbon emissions would decrease by 11 percent. Help Northwestern be a part of that movement and get some health-boosting cardio by joining the Bike2Campus team.

For those who are looking for a new set of wheels, a handful of Evanston Bike operations have great discounts for Northwestern students. Recyclery Collective offers used bikes and maintenance courses, and Bucephalus Bikes, The Pony Shop, and Wheel & Sprocket all offer WildCARD discounts on bikes and gear. If you do not want to commit to buying a bike, the Divvy bike share program also offers discounts for both Northwestern students and employees and has stations right on campus and throughout the City of Evanston and Chicago.

When riding a bike, safety should always be a priority. Bikers should wear helmets, use front and rear lights after dark, and always follow the rules of the road. Take the Illinois bicycle safety quiz to learn about local laws and important safety strategies.

When using Divvy’s bike share program, be mindful to bring your own safety gear. Divvy does not provide helmets. This April, make the most of the new bike lanes along Sheridan Road and help Northwestern roll to victory in the Bike2Campus challenge. Grab your helmet and get pedaling!

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