“We asked the community to donate old bikes for the kids to use,” says Quest member Sarah Dodgin. “We originally received 30 bikes of all sizes.”
After the camp ended, donations kept coming in and those 30 bikes quickly multiplied to an overwhelming 120. Not wanting to part with the donations, Dodgin and Quest Director Brett Simpson put their heads together and decided to give BU students the option to rent them for a semester.
“We really wanted to see them put to good use,” says Dodgin. “It seemed like a great opportunity to get students active on campus and provide one more way for them to get around.”
The project kicked off in fall 2012 and Dodgin immediately went to work promoting the benefits of bike riding. She finds riding to be both rewarding and efficient, the perfect formula for getting around.
“I started riding my bike to upper campus for the summer camp,” she says. “At first it was really intimidating, but being able to finally make it up there felt so good. Now I ride my bike everywhere … being able to ride up the hills on campus and in town is something to be proud of.
“Having a bike and being able to ride it wherever I wanted not only put me in shape, but got me in touch with the town,” she says. “I don’t just view it as my college town anymore. It’s where I live.”
Renters can ride the bike on and off campus for a fee of $50 to $100 per semester, depending on the quality of the bike.
The embodiment of how bike riding can benefit a college student, Dodgin is eager to see the project pick up. “To me, the bike project is something I’d like to see people get excited over,” she says.
But for Dodgin, all it takes to prove these bikes are the way to go is her morning ride to campus every day.
“I always laugh when I ride past people waiting for the bus downtown,” she says, “because I always beat them to campus.”
— CJ Shultz