Sofia Galiano/ Staff Writer
Image by Sofia Galiano
Students looking to cycle across campus on a fully-equipped beach cruiser are in for a treat this semester.
FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus Recreation Center will launch Bike by the Bay, a bicycle-sharing program that allows students to rent bikes and gear needed for a fun and safe ride.
“[Students] will be able to come to our department, rent a bike, use that bike to either leisurely ride around campus… or have fun with other riders,” said Jonathan “JT” Torrey, recreation administrator at BBC.
The program has been in the works for over a year now and was originally scheduled to launch last fall. However, the purchasing of helmets and reflective vests, and training rec center staff led to a delay.
Torrey said Bike by the Bay was a culmination of wanting to provide students with a recreational activity that also serves as a mode of transportation.
Eight Townie Electra Original 7D cruiser bicycles are currently housed in the Aquatic Center shed, in addition to all cycling accessories needed for a safe ride.
All bikes are equipped with a bike lock, cargo rack, bell, water bottle cage and a self-powered bike light and students can choose between a riding a red, green or grey Townie cruiser.
“What I like is, we provide you with everything,” Torrey said.
To rent a bike, students are to visit the BBC REC Center, swipe their FIU OneCard, and ask the staff member to rent a bike.
After completing all required paperwork, such as liability forms, waivers and road rules, REC Center staff will use the student’s ID to open the electronic key box holding all bike keys.
Students are then to follow the staff to the shed and pick out the ride of their choice. Staff members will make sure bikes are safe to ride and then students are free to ride.
The program is funded by students’ activity and service fees paid each semester, unlike other recreational activities offered at the center like kayaking and paddleboarding that charge additional fees.
Torrey said students can ride along the 3-mile bike path around campus or can ride off campus to local restaurants and shopping centers.
However, students are discouraged to take the bikes far from campus. In the event a bike or other equipment malfunctions, the center will be not be able to assist riders in those situations.
To ensure a safe ride, Torrey said it is planned to host safety seminars for prospective cyclists.
Rentals will be between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday throughout the term, excluding semester breaks. On Saturdays, students can rent bikes between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., and between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sundays.
The program will only be launching at BBC, however, Torrey said the program may provide opportunities for students to ride at the Modesto Maidique Campus.
The REC Center is considering to allow students to check out bikes at BBC, take them on the shuttle to MMC and commute to class.
The program will run for a few terms and then issue a survey for participants to complete, assessing the program’s success.
After evaluating the program, the REC Center will consider re-fencing the Aquatic Center shed to house more bicycles.