Commentary: Orange is the new bike

Arturo Gomez Molina, Arts Editor
Arturo Gomez Molina, Arts Editor

The University of La Verne has introduced a new bikeshare program, Spin, to the main campus to support healthy living and exploration of the city. It is one of the best things to come to campus in a long time. 

The fleet of 150 bright orange beach cruiser-esque bikes arrived on campus April 5. They can be found near bike racks throughout campus, ready for students to ride. 

La Verne’s campus perimeter is smaller than most other universities, but with the ability to ride around campus on a bike, it adds to an authentic Southern California college atmosphere.

The San Francisco based bike company was introduced by Transportation Services Manager Lisa Grater as a great way for students to get around the city easier and exercise while they are at it. 

The program has landed in 18 cities, including 30 other campuses around the U.S. and has more than 30,000 bikes available to ride. 

It takes less than a minute to download and access the app to pay for the bike ride, which costs just 50 cents per half hour.

The app to unlock the bikes can easily be downloaded by scanning a QR code that is printed on a plaque on the back of each bike. 

Although the app has a suggested perimeter where students are allowed to ride the bikes, they are able to go farther than that as long as they return to campus. 

Downtown La Verne only has so much to offer. 

Students often need to travel to Claremont, Montclair or even Upland to find something a bit more fun to do.

Recent riders may be charged a fine if the bike is not returned and locked on one of the designated bike posts around campus within 24 hours. 

I’ve tried the bikes myself, and after a quick ride to Bowl of Heaven and back to the Arts and Communications Building, my mood had significantly changed. 

I felt more energized, productive and focused on the work that I had for the rest of the day. 

A 2015 study conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction found that students who were more active throughout the day had an easier time retaining material in classrooms and a better attitude throughout the day. 

This program is a great way for students let their minds breathe some fresh air and relieve some stress. 

The only downside I see about the bikes is the shallow baskets. There is not much room to carry anything in there but maybe a few notebooks or a textbook. 

On my way back from Bowl of Heaven, the bag that carried my food nearly fell out of the basket after hitting the slightest bumps on the road back to campus. 

If the bike were equipped with baskets big enough to carry a full sized bag, I believe they would be an all around perfect asset to campus life. 

Since the arrival of the bicycles on campus, students have been seen riding around downtown La Verne and as far as Target on Foothill Blvd.

This is a great step forward for the University in showing initiative and support to students and their academic success. 

Students will now also have a greater opportunity to get out and participate in the CicLAvia event that will run through San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont on Sunday. 

The event invites people to walk, run, skate, rollerblade or bike their way through the foothills of the Inland Empire and students who otherwise would not have an opportunity to do so, can now explore the neighboring cities thanks to these new orange bikes. 

Arturo Gomez Molina, a junior communications major, is arts editor for the Campus Times. He can be reached by email at arturo.gomezmolina@laverne.edu.

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