Biking is both environmentally conscious and a stress reliever

Bikes parked near Whitehall Classroom Building in 2009. Staff File Photo

If you’re like me and hate driving, you’re always looking for the best ways to get around the city and campus while avoiding parking permits and getting behind the wheel.

The most obvious alternative to driving is using the bus service, which is free to UK students with a student ID. The buses run far-reaching routes and bring you right into campus. They do, however, sometimes have an unpredictable schedule due to high numbers of travelers and congested traffic.

The best alternative is biking. Lexington is rich with options ideal for students living a few miles from campus, and there are many bike racks around campus that allow you to lock and store your ride while in class.

UK has a fantastic bike voucher program that allows qualified persons to receive $400 in bike vouchers. You can use this money to buy a bike at a participating bike shop or buy safety supplies for a bike you already own. This is an environmentally conscious initiative that more students should take advantage of.

The terms of the program dictate that you cannot purchase a motor vehicle permit for two years after signing the contract. You do, however, receive 10 single-day permits, which could be used on days with extreme weather conditions. It may seem overwhelming to commit to so long without a parking permit, but if more local students took advantage of this, it would free up parking lots for students who live far away. It would also reduce the number of vehicles around campus and result in less pollution and less congestion.

In addition to the bike voucher program, there are Spin bikes all over campus that you can rent to ride for only $1. The Kernel reported in June that Spin was coming to Lexington, and now the orange bikes are scattered across campus and the city. Bikers can easily pick one up wherever they find it, pay for it through the mobile app and ride it to their destination. This is really a convenient way to get around if you can’t commit to the long-term requirements of the bike voucher program and don’t have time to wait for a bus. Plus, you can drop off the bike wherever you want for the next person, so this is an extremely flexible option.  

Biking is a great stress reliever, PsychCentral found, which should make it an attractive option for college students. With all the classrooms, studying and lectures, sometimes a good bike ride in the sun is just what you need. I encourage you, if you live close enough, to take advantage of these great resources your university and city offers.