Wildcat Wheels: Wheel the world!

Courtney Suber, Reporter

Wildcat Wheels offers free bicycle services including bike rentals, quick upkeep and the renewal of abandoned bikes found on campus. UK students, faculty and staff can bring in bikes to have tubes replaced, parts installed and updates made.

Patrons can rent two-wheelers, tandem bikes and even a bicycle powered blender through the organization’s rental programs. Wildcat Wheels staff member Ryan Kraft highlighted the adaptability of the shop’s personal bike maintenance services, available 2-6 p.m. on weekdays.

“If some parts happen to fall off the bike we can probably find recycled parts that are recycled in the back of the shop,” Kraft said. “If we cannot, people are welcome to bring in their own parts which we will install for free as long as they are students and staff.”

According to the Wildcat Wheels website, the bike rental programs are used to encourage environmental friendliness and awareness. Students can rent bikes for weeks, semesters or one year through the various rental programs.

Wildcat Wheels also restores abandoned bikes as a part of their “yellows on campus” program. If an abandoned bike is found in good condition, the organization scraps the bike for recyclable parts and spray paints it yellow.

The shop, located in Blazer Dining Hall, maintains a bicycle-powered blender available to be rented for special events and functions. Kraft said the blender bike is mostly used to promote the services Wildcat Wheels offers to students.

“We usually have our smoothie bike out to promote people to bike on campus and get our name out,” Kraft said. “We also have little fun things like ‘pimp your bike,’ which is where we put tassels and little fun things on peoples’ bikes.”

Wildcat Wheels participates in the Community Bike Ride which allows students to take a bike tour of UK’s 918-acre campus. This event allows students to not only learn their way around campus but to effectively utilize one of the many transportation options offered at UK.

Around Earth Day, students are encouraged to participate in Bike Week, an event sponsored by UK Transportation to promote the use of bikes on campus as an alternative to motor vehicles.