BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Twelve individuals have been selected to take part in the launching of the Crimson Cruisers pilot program, a bike library created through the IU Office of Sustainability, Parking Operations and Outdoor Adventures.
The Crimson Cruisers ambassadors took home their bikes last week and will keep them, free of charge, until August. In an effort to help the ambassadors ride safely and in compliance with local and state bicycle laws, each person received a helmet, lights, a lock and a bell. They also participated in a one-hour safe-riding course.
"The idea of reducing pollution on campus and in Bloomington is important because this campus belongs to everyone," Crimson Cruisers ambassador Kristina Mihajlovic said. "I'll be biking to class and on errands around Bloomington playing my part in keeping the city healthy and fun to live in."
Inspired by programs at University of Kentucky and Portland State University, the bike library will eventually make bicycles available to borrow on a larger scale to the IU Bloomington campus. After more bicycles are acquired for the program, the process will be similar to checking out a book at a library: Individuals will only need a current IU Bloomington ID to borrow a bike. Because the bike fleet is currently limited to 12 bikes, individuals had to apply to be a bike ambassador for the summer program.
"Crimson Cruisers will be essential in defining the direction of bicycle transportation on campus," said Henri Venable, bicycle-friendly campus initiative intern with the IU Office of Sustainability. "And I hope it serves as a conduit for future ideas and initiatives.”
The Crimson Cruisers are bicycles that were originally abandoned on campus and impounded by IU Parking Operations. After the Office of Sustainability acquired the bikes, volunteers cleaned them, performed tune-ups and painted the bicycles for the library.