Recreation Center to provide rental bikes for students


Photo by: Jeffery Miller

Nicholls has just brought the first bike share system in Louisiana to the Harold J. Callais Recreation Center and it has officially opened this week.

According to Mike Matherne, Director of Recreation, this is the first effort to raise bike awareness around campus. He really wants more bike racks and signs around campus so that students start to utilize the bikes and make this project popular over the next few semesters.

This rental bike system has been used on larger campuses for students to get around faster. Matherne believes that even though Nicholls is a smaller campus, it will still be a good resource for students to have.

Students are now able to check out bikes using their Colonel Card at the Rec Center. The rental system is very similar to checking out equipment located in the back of the Rec by the racket ball court. Students are allowed to check out a bike for the day to use for exercise or transportation around campus. Students are asked to return the bikes at the end of the day, and their Colonel Cards will be returned back to them.

“I think it’s a good way for students to be more active and utilize the Rec Center in different ways,” Adam Lefort, president of the Student Government Association, said.

The motion for SGA to donate two bikes to the project was passed back in September, but students are just recently noticing after the bike rack was completed around Homecoming.

The bikes come with tracking software to trace them while they are checked out. There are tandem bikes, tricycles and single bikes available for check out. If a bike is checked out on a Friday, the student can check the bike out for the weekend. The bike comes with a key for the lock and a helmet.

According to Matherne, the bikes are rust resistant, industrial grade and brand new.

“I know it’s hard for students to purchase a bike for themselves because they can get a bit pricey so they just walk around to their classes but bikes can help students get there a lot faster,” Lefort said.

Lefort hopes that the rental bike system will change that and help spread the word to students who do not already know about this new service offered to students.

“I hope that student organizations will rent out all the bikes in masses for a group bike ride so that more and more students can develop healthy habits that will carry on after their graduations,” Matherne said.

Matherne also hopes that this will decrease car pollution around campus by having students ride bikes around campus and the community.

“I look forward to seeing this project start, begin to grow and benefit more students in the future,” Lefort said.