Grant helps faculty, staff try bike commute to campus

Tempted to ride a bike to work, but not sure if you’re up for navigating city traffic and all there is to know about safely riding to campus? Faculty and staff 50 years old and older can get personalized training through CSU’s Parking and Transportation Services, thanks to a Kaiser Permanente grant. The program helps faculty and staff become more comfortable riding a bike to work, and orientation starts this summer.

A green bike leaning against a tree on CSU's OvalThe program, Back on the Bike, is designed to get more people in active transportation and physical activity. It helps CSU employees who want to bike to work assess their health, tune up their bike, get safety gear, and learn tricks to travel in traffic and overcome other safety or comfort obstacles through personalized travel training. To qualify, faculty and staff must be at least 50 years old, live within a Fort Collins zip code, and want to commute by bicycle.

Back on the Bike will offer faculty and staff travel training programs including:

  • Confidential health assessments administered by the Recreation Center
  • Free bicycle tune up
  • Free bike safety gear including a bike lock, helmet, light, and carry bag
  • Hands on travel training and bicycle skills development
  • Eight monthly training and discussion group sessions with lunch provided
  • Online participation tracking system
  • The opportunity to recruit other eligible employees

“Fort Collins is among the nation’s friendliest biking cities, and the university is among only a handful of universities recognized for being a top level bike friendly university. Still, it can be intimidating to commute to work when the ride includes traveling in traffic, navigating trails and planning your day around the commute,” said Aaron Fodge, alternative transportation manager for CSU, housed in Parking and Transportation Services.

“Many faculty and staff members may be tempted to try commuting to work during the summer, but don’t want to get stuck on campus during an afternoon rainstorm, or just simply haven’t hopped on a bike for a while. This grant is designed to provide them with everything they need to be able to get on their bikes this summer and enjoy all that campus and Fort Collins have to offer for those on two wheels,” Fodge said.

Because of this program, many employees are overcoming these obstacles and biking to work. The program was initiated on campus last year, and participants are also reaping health-related rewards; the average bicyclist loses 12 pounds in their first year of commuting, Fodge said.

Initial orientation meetings will start this summer with each individual who is enrolled, and creates beginning tips to start practicing a bike commute before students return to the city and increase traffic and bike congestion. The initial meetings are followed by a commitment that requires employees to commute by bicycle to work three times per week from September-November and March-May, and one time a week during December-February.

To participate, employees should sign up by June 30 by contacting Amanda Fitzpatrick at (970) 491-7600 or