From ice cream bike rides to rentals and repairs, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and community organizations provide resources for bike enthusiasts and newbies alike.
Living up to its designation as a “Bike Friendly Campus” by the League of American Bicyclists, the university offers a robust bike repair shop, bike rentals, a bike club and cycling team, group biking events, five BikeLNK stations and other community connections. These resources help support Huskers’ mental, physical, environmental and financial wellness through bicycling.
“Biking is a great option for UNL campus community members to sustainably commute to, from and around campus,” said Morgan Hartman, sustainability coordinator in the Office of Sustainability. “Biking can help protect the environment through reduced carbon emissions, promote environmental wellness through healthy living, and save money.”
Outdoor Adventures Center
The Outdoor Adventures Center provides a full range of bike services including rentals, community bike rides and a repair shop.
“We’re here to provide services and opportunities for students, faculty and staff to keep moving by bicycle,” said Kyle Hansen, outdoor adventures coordinator who oversees the bike shop.
The bike shop provides a range of services from simple adjustments to full tuneups, safety checks and same-day tire repair services.
The Outdoor Adventures Center also provides multi-day and semester-long gear rentals.
“We have mountain bikes and touring bikes for adventurous weekends or days and then we also offer a semester rental to students,” Hansen said. “We give them a single speed bike with lights, lock and a helmet. It’s really helpful if they’re traveling from out of state because they don’t have to bring a bike with them. They can rent one and then when they’re done with the semester, they can check it back in.”
Not only does the Outdoor Adventures Center provide resources, but they also provide opportunities for people to familiarize themselves with bikes and local bike trails through local bike rides and adventure trips, such as these upcoming events:
Family ice cream bike rides Sept. 24
Ice cream bike ride Sept. 27
Bike maintenance clinic Sept. 28
Mountain bike ride Oct. 6
Fall break mountain bike trip to Arkansas Oct. 14-18
Morning coffee bike ride Oct. 21
Morning coffee bike ride Nov. 4
“These events are about showing students or folks that want to explore Lincoln by bicycle what’s possible,” Hansen said. “The ice cream ride specifically is about getting from City campus to East Campus and back. That route is a minute shorter by bicycle than taking the bus or driving a car. The other part of these events is just helping students connect with other students who want to meet people and introducing people to something they haven’t tried before.”
BikeLNK is a citywide bike share program that lets residents and visitors rent bikes or e-bikes. The program has six stations across the university’s campuses.
BikeLNK’s annual membership typically costs $100; however students, faculty and staff get a discounted rate of $25 annually. This membership comes with unlimited 1-hour trips for a whole year.
“University of Nebraska-Lincoln students, faculty and staff are a vital part of Lincoln’s bike share community,” said Logan Spackman, city manager for BikeLNK. “UNL students played an instrumental role in bringing bike share to the Lincoln community, and the University is an incredible partner in their support of BikeLNK. We are always proud to see so many Huskers utilizing bike share as a means of both transportation and recreation that promotes health, wellness and sustainability.”
Since April 2018, the most-used BikeLNK station has been the one located outside the City Campus Union with over 30,000 total bike checkouts.
Since April 2018, 12,278 trips have been taken intercampus between the three City Campus stations, covering an estimated 16,651 miles.
The average trip between City and East Campus using BikeLNK is under 25 minutes and has an estimated impact of nearly three pounds of carbon offset when it replaces a trip made by a personal vehicle.
In total, BikeLNK bike share trips have traveled an estimated 371,932 miles across the city. Those trips have burned an estimated 14.8 million calories.
Clubs and community resources
For those looking to get more involved, the university has Bike UNL, an RSO, and Cycling Club, a competitive club sport team.
Bike UNL offers a variety of resources, including ways to get connected with community-based bike organizations. Bike UNL operates a bike valet, which offers secure parking for bicycles during Husker home games. The valet opens two hours before kickoff and and stops one hour after the final whistle.
Off-campus, university members participate in and maintain relationships with organizations such as the city’s pedestrian/bicycle committee and the Great Plains Trail Network. For more information on biking beyond campus, visit the Nebraska Department of Transportations Bike Hike Walk website.
“There’s a healthy community of lots of active sports in Lincoln,” Hansen said. “Bicycling is another form of that. Folks are very vocal and active in cycling events and activities in the city of Lincoln. There’s a National Bike challenge that happens every year, where riders report community trips, trips for fun and so on, and we’ve been a leader in that for cities of our size.”