Generous Donation Will Double Bike Exchange Program

Date Released: May 7 2013

The Alverno College bike exchange program is about to get a big boost thanks to the folks at Wheel & Sprocket’s Brookfield location. The bike shop is donating eight reconditioned bicycles to the program, more than doubling the number of bikes available to students. The donation also coincides with National Bike Month, which celebrates the many reasons people ride.

“This donation will really help our students out,” said Lynn Kuhlman, manager of Residence Life Operations. “They’ll have more access to jobs in the area that are within easy biking distance, as well as other resources that are nearby.”  Kuhlman added that the bike exchange program has a great economic value to students, because they don’t need to keep a car on campus, paying for gas and insurance on top of all their school costs. “It’s a nice economical option for our students.”

Alverno’s bike exchange program was launched in September, 2012, and is unique in that the service is offered at no cost to students. Another distinct facet to Alverno’s program is that bikes are checked out on an as-needed basis, which means relatively few bikes can serve a couple hundred students. There are currently seven bikes in the program, some of which were abandoned bikes that have been restored, and some that were donated by faculty and staff. When resident students check out a bike, they’re also provided with a helmet and a lock. For many students, especially international students, this is the only way for them to get around. Several students use the service to get to and from off-campus jobs.

“It's [riding a bike] not only made me a happier person mentally but physically as well,” said Devon Gorman, a student who routinely uses the service. “It makes me happy to know that I am doing something great for the environment by not using my car, saving my money, and providing a great workout for my body.”

The relationship between Alverno College and Wheel & Sprocket began when Kuhlman, an avid cyclist, stopped in to look at a new road bike for herself and mentioned the fledgling program to an employee. According to Kuhlman, the store immediately offered assistance, and was enthusiastic about helping to build a program that would bring the benefits of cycling to young women. Since then, the store has donated helmets, lights, tires and more.

“Without their generosity, our program would not be what it is today,” said Kuhlman.