Wheeling It In

EMU First Among Small Universities In 2012 National Bike Challenge

Posted: March 8, 2013

HARRISONBURG — For the second time this academic year, the Eastern Mennonite University community has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists for its cycling efforts.


This time, EMU placed first among small universities in the 2012 National Bike Challenge, a 4-month-long program in which individuals can log biking miles as part of a team and compete against others across the U.S.


One EMU student alone recorded 2,442 miles, according to the university. In all, the school’s faculty and staff logged 9,415 miles during the program.


In addition to being tops among small universities, EMU placed 14th among all universities and 94th out of more than 7,000 total groups that participated.


Biking began to become popular at EMU about a decade ago, according to Jonathan Lantz-Trissel, the university’s sustainability coordinator, and infrastructure to support commuting to campus via two wheels continues to emerge.


The university has a bike repair co-op, bike racks around dorms and academic buildings, and a bike lane along Park Road to accommodate cyclists.


“I’d say a lot of it is student-driven interest,” Lantz-Trissel said. “I think [the bike lane] has been a really great benefit to the university and encouraging not only students to bike but also community members to bike through campus.”


In November, the League of American Bicyclists commended EMU for creating a culture where bicycling is the norm for faculty, staff and students. The Harrisonburg school received the league’s bronze award, its third-highest designation.


“EMU having a lot of bicycle commuters, I think is something I don’t take for granted because not a lot of schools have the bike culture already a part of the campus,” Lantz-Trissel said.


Contact Emily Sharrer at 574-6286 or esharrer@dnronline.com

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