Leave the Car, Get a Bike

bikes_on_campus.jpgRipon College in Ripon, Wisconsin is trying an experiment. If new students choose to leave their cars at home, they get a new Trek mountain bike, helmet and lock…all for free and it’s theirs to keep. They call it the Velorution.

President David C. Joyce has vowed not to create more parking lots, even though enrollments are growing. He is also concerned about energy use and student health. According to an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Joyce says, “We’re trying to change the culture, I figure it’s easier to bribe people than to punish them.”

I hope they have plenty of bike racks in their downtown.


  1. John S. Thomas said:


    Carleton? St. Olaf?

    and how about a Non-motorized transportation infrastructure in Northfield to support it! 😎

    Change is coming… one person at a time.

    Oil is at 100 and change this afternoon. OPEC is cutting possibly production. You have to ask, are they CUTTING production, or are they RUNNING OUT of production capacity?

    PEAK OIL is here. The time to act is now. David Joyce has the right idea…

    February 19, 2008
  2. Jerry Bilek said:

    Brilliant Ross! Bicycling magazine has a free bike program:

    “The world is made up of two kinds of people. There are the Steves, who ride bikes–or would, given the chance. And then there are the Bobs.

    We wondered if we could turn some Bobs into Steves–and how many Steves might fall in love with cycling. To find out, we, with the help of Trek Bikes, gave 50 people in one city the use of a new Trek 7200 hybrid bike for three months. ”

    Let’s hope their Chamber of Commerce realizes the potential customer base of bikers. A few bike racks equals economic vitality.

    Ripon is home to the Rippin Good Cookie.

    February 19, 2008
  3. BruceWMorlan said:

    Regional transportation planning is just around the corner, the three planning commissions in this area have, or are in the process of, petitioned by resolution their respective city/township governmental units to form a regional task force for transportation planning, and we have invited and have the support of the Northfield Nonmotorized Transportation Task force. We want to produce a single regional vision for transportation, and that includes embedded bicycle, walking, trails. Further, if Bridgewater has a voice, we’ll include horse trails in the outer ring (based on comments at last night’s candidate forum in Bridgewater).

    February 20, 2008
  4. Jerry Bilek said:

    “We want to produce a single regional vision for transportation, and that includes embedded bicycle, walking, trails.”

    that’s a great idea Bruce.

    February 20, 2008
  5. Barbara said:

    Hello, my name is barbara and I live in Milan, Italy.

    Unlike American cities, Milan is all narrow roads, old pavements and many many cars. Granted, most are Smart cars…

    I go to work every day on my bicycle and so do many other people. Cycling to work is not as common as Amsterdam but it’s actually considered “fashionable”. you see, we love shoes and fancy clothes: walking to work (and getting on and off public transport) in 5 inch heels is quite uncomfortable, while resting them on pedals has proven to be the optimal solution for all fashionistas.

    This said, recent political trends have began a fight against bicycles, introducing hefty fines for bikers riding on side walks. We have no physical space for special bike lanes, so we must ride a little on the street a little on the sidewalk.

    How is it possible that as you build to improve, we try to destroy healthy trends?

    February 20, 2008
  6. Barbara, there is a third magical solution…ban pedestrians!
    or, perhaps a fourth, ban lawmakers! We have enough laws already.
    No shortage in Italy either I imagine.

    February 22, 2008
  7. […] March 5, 2008, 8:11 pmby admin best video: ripon college foruser();    Leave the Car, Get a Bike Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin is trying an experiment. If new students choose to leave their […]

    March 5, 2008

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