Rec center offers bike rentals to encourage less fuel use

Jessie Marks

This summer, many students are looking for recreation that doesn’t involve filling up at the pump. But they don’t always own the necessary equipment that allows them to leave their cars at home.

The Student Recreation and Wellness Center answered the call by adding eight TREK hybrid bicycles to the list of equipment offered through the outdoor rental center.

“It is an additional service we want to provide – an additional piece of equipment,” said Dave Herpy, recreation program officer at the rec center. “With the high cost of fuel, this program encourages people to use bikes as an alternative form of


Students can rent a bicycle for $15 per day, $30 per weekend or $45 per week. Each rental requires a $100 deposit. The bicycles are available in various sizes and a helmet is provided with each rental.

Herpy said although the rec center initially purchased eight bicycles, more could be purchased in the future if there is high demand and frequent rentals.

Jason Hawk, marketing coordinator of Recreational Services, said another motivating factor for adding bicycle rentals was the nearby Portage Hike and Bike Trail. Hawk said students, members and the planners of the trail all approached the rec center about adding bicycles to the outdoor rental center for trail use.

Kristen Bane, senior general studies major, regularly walks the Portage Hike and Bike Trail, but she hasn’t been able to use the trail for bike riding because her bicycle is stored at her parents’ house in Chardon.

“This program would make bike riding more convenient,” Bane said. “Since the rec is so close, I could just go there and get a bike to ride instead of bringing a bike from home.”

Students can also rent a trunk-mounted bike rack for traveling with the bicycles.

“The bikes are geared toward riding on the Portage Hike and Bike Trail,” Herpy said. “But if people want to take them down to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and use them on the Towpath, they will be able to do that with the two bike racks.”

Hawk said as an added incentive, the rec center is giving away a free Student Recreation and Wellness Center water bottle with each bicycle rental for the remainder of the summer.

The bicycles can be checked out during outdoor rental center hours from 4 to 8 p.m. Day rentals are 24 hours and weekend rentals are picked up on Thursday and returned on Monday. The bicycles can be reserved up to one month ahead of time.


Aside from the bicycle rentals, the rec center is promoting alternative transportation

with two biking trips.

&bull Le Tour de Erie

9 a.m. Aug.3. Participants will meet at the rec center and ride from Kent to Cleveland and back. The trip will cover 100 miles and is geared toward experienced riders.

&bull Mountain Biking

10 a.m. Oct.4. Participants will meet at the rec center and travel by van to West Branch State Park for a trail ride. Participants must provide their own bicycle for this trip.

Contact student recreation and wellness reporter Jessie Marks at [email protected].