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Pedal Power: F&M Bike Loans Benefit Students

Did you know Franklin & Marshall was designated “Bicycle Friendly” by the League of American Bicyclists? At F&M, renting a bike is as easy as checking out a book from the library.

The F&M Bike Loan program provides a bike, helmet and lock to students free of charge. 

“The bike program provides free, easy micromobility to students, especially those without other means of transportation,” said Tom Simpson, sustainability coordinator at F&M. 

At any given time, 105 bikes are in use by students. With occasional turnover, approximately 130 students borrow bikes each semester. The program began in 2008 with a donation of bikes from alumnus Michael Zane ’70, founder of Kryptonite bicycle locks. The college has since switched to single-speed cruiser bikes with coaster brakes.

The F&M Bike Loan program provides a host of benefits beyond free transportation.

“It reduces the need for automobiles on campus, provides students with a pleasant form of exercise and allows students the ability to easily travel to and from classes and to stores and attractions in Lancaster and beyond,” Simpson said. 

F&M also offers a Bike It Lancaster station on campus, an app-based bike share program in Lancaster City. The College sponsors five bikes each year as part of this program. 

Students are permitted to bring personal bikes to F&M. The campus is home to many outdoor bike racks and two bike repair stations with air pumps. Two bike shops are within a mile of campus, including The Common Wheel, a nonprofit bike center led by alumna Adriana Atencio ’12.

Related story: Students Turn Wrenches at the Common Wheel

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