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Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Students ride, fix-up bicycles

Cyclists in Bowling Green have a new ally. Whether you ride for pleasure or as your primary means of transportation, BG Cycles wants to make your life as easy as possible.

“We want bikers to be respected as vehicles on the road,” said Linda Novitski, president of BG Cycles. “Drivers can be very rude and they can be kind of negligent. It’s as if in Bowling Green drivers aren’t entirely respectful or aware of bikers yet,” she said.

BG Cycles has been an official student organization at the University since December of 2005 and their main objective is promoting bicycle usage and creating a more bicycle friendly atmosphere in Bowling Green.

“We think there is a lot of potential for having better places to store bicycles and more bike routes around town. If you could get that infrastructure then you could get more people biking,” Novitski said.

Stacie Enriquez, manager of the University’s Parking and Traffic Division, said the group came to them with a proposal for more bike storage and bike routes but that Parking and Traffic is not necessarily interested in reducing the car traffic on campus.

Reducing the amount of cars on campus would reduce the revenue brought in from parking passes. This revenue helps fund the University’s shuttle service and, while good for the environment, more bicycles may mean reduced shuttle services for the rest of the campus, she explained.

But Novitski isn’t letting that get her down. She said they hope to establish bike routes throughout the town and campus as well as routes that could be for pedestrians only.

“We’ve heard a lot of people comment on how they feel unsafe biking around town and on campus, and sometimes you have pedestrians saying they’d prefer that the bicyclists weren’t using the same sidewalks they’re using,” she said.

Places BG Cycles are currently targeting for bike routes are some of the lesser used sidewalks on the fringes of town, low traffic roads, or possibly a path running parallel to the train tracks, Novitski said.

“We’re not necessarily trying to get bicycle lanes on all of these streets but if we can have streets that are designated as biker thoroughfares then people can be more aware that there are bikers on those roads and perhaps there will be less car traffic,” she said.

Novitski isn’t the only one who would like campus to become more bicycle friendly.

Lt. Dave Weekley of the University’s Department of Public Safety would also like to have actual bicycle routes on campus.

“That’d be a great idea. It’s green, it’s positive; I’ve got guys on bike patrols every day,” he said. “Everywhere on campus is easily accessible by bike and you can park right next to the building,” he said.

Something else Weekley would like to see are bike racks on the backs of the shuttles for those days when the weather just won’t cooperate.

However, BG Cycles does recognize the fact that not everybody has the means or ability to bring a bicycle to campus with them.

To help, they have started collecting abandoned bicycles from around town and fixing them up so they can be ridden again. They plan on starting a bike rental service where students can put down a deposit on a bike and keep it as long as they need it. Then, when they go home they turn it back in and get their deposit back.

Lt. Weekley said the campus police will be able to donate about a dozen bicycles a year to help make the program a success.

“Fewer cars on campus is a good thing for [the police] because of the parking situation,” he said.

A service BG Cycles is already performing for the community is their “Tune-up Days”. These are days when they set up a table in front of the Bowen Thompson Student Union and riders can bring their bikes in for minor repairs and maintenance, Novitski said.

They also hold a weekly bike ride around the city. They start at 7 p.m. at the post office every Thursday and everyone is welcome.

BG Cycles also meets every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. at 313 Thurstin St.

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