A donation from Regions Bank has added ten new “®” bicycles to the existing fleet of bicycles in FAMU’s student bike rental program. The ongoing bike rental initiative is a joint effort between Student Health Services and the FAMU Recreation Department.
Founded in 2005, the program was created to help students get around campus in a quick, safe and sustainable fashion. Students can rent bicycles by the semester on a first-come, first-served basis. The program benefits students by providing a low-cost bicycle rental system, as well as promoting an active lifestyle. The overall campus benefits too, with reduced traffic congestion and improved air quality.
Regions Bank Area Marketing Manager Alicia Somers said “RegionsBank is proud of its partnership with FAMU, and is excited to build on it through the donation of the bicycles and helmets for riders. The bank has pledged to donate an additional five bicycles each year for the next four years. We hope to provide FAMU students an easy, enjoyable way to get where they are going.
The “®” bicycle is Regions Bank mascot, and the bike is used to carry the message that simplicity, freedom, and friendly service are part of the experience the bank wants to provide its customers. Regions has been a financial and community partner with many of the most prestigious Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the country, including Florida A&M University. It donates bicycles to help mobilize students and to spread the message of freedom in simplicity.
“By providing this donation to Florida A&M University, we hope students can experience more freedom to explore the campus and the surrounding community. FAMU students are a vital part of our community, and we look forward to seeing them riding around in our community,” said Darrin Holloman, Tallahassee Regions Market President.
Students can learn more about biking on campus, as well as other local cycling activities, by joining the FAMU Bike and Cycling Club. Members of the FAMU Bike and Cycling Club serve as volunteers and interns and assist with the bike rental program, maintenance, and safety training.
Though gas prices have decreased in recent years, biking remains the most cost-efficient and practical mode of transportation. A student can save hundreds of dollars in gas money each semester by opting to use a bicycle for transportation instead of driving. That’s why it’s in a student’s best interest to embrace a two- wheel alternative and repurpose their gas money!
But there are many more benefits to biking than simply saving money, the most obvious one being exercise. Ms. Tanya Tatum, Director of Student Health Services, pointed out, “It’s recommended that individuals get at least 20 minutes of moderate exercise per day. Riding a bike causes less strain and injury than other forms of exercise; it works all of the major muscle groups, helps increase aerobic fitness and is a lot of fun!”
Biking around town is an inexpensive form of exercise as well as transportation. It goes to show that people can stay fit and improve their health without paying for expensive gym memberships.
Most students have experienced the nerve wracking and time-consuming task of trying to find a parking spot on campus. Riding a bike to class is a convenient alternative for students who wish to avoid traffic and to get to class on time. All of that time spent in traffic and searching for a parking space would be better used studying!Bicycle parking also requires much less space than automobiles, which helps to alleviate the need for new parking lots.
Lastly, the positive impact on the environment is probably the most important aspect to alternative transportation. Climate change is heavily influenced by CO2 emissions, the majority of which are due to the use of internal combustion engines for transportation. Bicycles are emission free, and utilizing them helps to reduce global warming as well as improve air quality. From the low cost, to the practicality, and the health benefits of biking, helping to protect the environment can be as easy as riding a bike.
Bicycle House Tallahassee, a local volunteer organization located on FAMU Way, empowers people through cycling, also has partnered with FAMU to help grow bike culture on campus.Bicycle House provides the community with a space for people from all walks of life to learn about cycling, as well as the financial independence that cycling offers.
Tallahassee commuters may have noticed new bicycle amenities have been added around town, with more under construction. These allow cyclists greater mobility and safety in the downtown and campus area. Construction of the Downtown-University Protected Bike Lane Network is already underway, and is planned to be completed by late this year. Once completed, the network will provide over five miles of protected bike lanes and shared lanes that will connect FAMU with downtown, FSU, Stadium Trail, and Cascades Park. The protected bike lanes separate bicycle traffic from automobile traffic, and make the biking experience much safer and less stressful for cyclists.
Another resource for cyclists is the historic St. Marks Trail, a 20.5 mile long asphalt bike trail currently running from the intersection of Gamble and Stearns in Tallahassee, running all the way to the coastal fishing community of St. Marks. Cyclists unfamiliar with the area might catch a glimpse of alligators, American bald eagles, and other exotic wildlife along the incredible landscape and natural beauty of North Florida if they make the whole trip to the coast.
The FAMU Bike and Cycling Club in action.
Resources for Rattler Cyclists
FAMU Rentals.To rent a bicycle, contact Director of Health Services Mrs. Tanya Tatum at (850) 599-3777.
Bike and Cycle Club. To find out more information about FAMU’s Bike Rental program and the Bike and Cycling Club at FAMU, contact, or contact Assistant Director of Programs Mr. George “Chip” Heimbach at (850) 412-5515.
Bicycle House Tallahassee. Local volunteer organization that empowers people through cycling
(850) 350-8000, 458 FAMU Way, Tallahassee FL 32301.
Biketallahassee.com.Discover all of the bike lanes, bike routes, and trails that Tallahassee has to offer. This website is full of information about the resources and bike amenities in the Tallahassee/ Leon County Area.
Capital City Cyclists. This organization promotes bicycling for transportation, sport, and health through education, advocacy, and rider development in the greater Tallahassee area.
Trailahassee.com. All kinds of trails, including bicycling and hiking trails, are included.
10 Bike Safety Tips that Every Cyclist Should Follow
ALWAYS wear a helmet
Stay visible, and use lights at night and in dimly lit areas
Always look, signal, and look again
Ride with the flow of traffic
Act like a car (follow the same rules of the road)
Obey all traffic lights and laws
Make sure that your seat is in a steady, comfortable position
Check your brakes and wheels before each ride