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the Gauntlet

A bicycle built for U

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Tired of walking to class? Then put your legs to good use and pedal there instead.

The University of Calgary's U-bike program provides the campus with bicycles for public use. The bikes are scattered around campus and are available free of charge to ride on university grounds. Bikes are picked up from the racks, used and left at the destination.

"The idea is to ride from one building to another," said Eco Club president Stephanie Ferguson.

As the U-bike program approaches its first birthday, it has expanded its fleet to approximately 30 bikes from the original 10 thanks to community donations and bikes left on campus.

However, where things are free, people will abuse them.

"As far as security is concerned for these particular bikes, that's rather difficult," said Campus Security manager Lanny Fritz. "The whole program does operate on an honour system."

Most involved in the program remain unconcerned about theft. The bikes are not monitored, but according to soft landscaping supervisor Colleen Ramsay, they do keep an occasional eye out for them.

"I would hope that people respect and use them how they are meant to be used," said Ramsay.

To help combat theft, the bicycles are easily recognizable--painted in red and yellow stripes by Campus Recreation, Outdoor Education and the Eco Club.

"They want to try and make [the bicycles] as recognizable and unattractive as possible," said Ferguson. "You definitely would recognize a U-bike."

However, the primary objective is to promote health and the environment. The bikes are a reminder to live a healthy lifestyle and to give people a fun and fast way of traveling around campus, said Ferguson.

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Comments

I have to say that I like this idea, but at the same time, there are two things that may create problems...

1) Thieves Exist
2) So does paint.