Emory Report
June 8, 2009
Volume 61, Number 32

Emory is test site for Fuji electronic bikes
The 1762 Clifton building will be the test site for Fuji’s electronic pedal-assist bicycles. Bike Emory expects to install the prototype fleet on Thursday, June 11. The bikes, which operate on a battery pack, are stored in the charging station in the lobby of Plaza 1000.

Engage the throttle on the right handlebar to climb a hill, or whenever extra pedal power is needed, explains Bike Emory Director Jamie Smith.

Any Emory faculty, staff or student can test out a pedal-assist bike — a free rental includes a helmet and lock — but the bicycles must be returned the same day to 1762 Clifton. Users will be asked to provide feedback to Fuji Bikes through a post-ride survey.

For more, visit bike.emory.edu.


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June 8, 2009
Cycle of support for commuters

By kim urquhart

Bicycle commuter Ingrid Blanton was among the hundreds of Atlanta-area cyclists who took part in National Bike to Work Day. Bike Emory encouraged Clifton corridor employees to ride their bike to work on May 14 in a show of support for cycling commuters.

Blanton, who regularly rides her bicycle to work in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, says she enjoyed the “special camaraderie” with other commuter cyclists. More than 300 Atlanta-area cyclists took an online pledge to bike to work May 10-15 as part of National Bike to Work Week, logging a collective 12,127 miles cycled, and on May 14 cyclists joined together to form “bike trains” across the city.

Bike Emory and its Clifton corridor neighbor, the U.S. CDC, hosted an “energizer station” at the Dobbs Center for the nearly 100 cyclists who stopped by to fuel up on snacks and connect with other commuters over coffee.

The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition plans to use the Bike to Work Day numbers to demonstrate demand for cycling improvements for the region, says Bike Emory Director Jamie Smith. “It was a nice event from an attendance and partnership standpoint. For Bike Emory, it was a day to recognize people who bike to work, and encourage others to try it on that day,” Smith says.

Most mornings, Blanton pedals through the wide, quiet tree-lined streets of her Druid Hills neighborhood, through campus and toward her office on 1762 Clifton Road — a 20-minute trip. She rides in her work clothes — “I’m not a speed demon,” she laughs — and stows her personal items in a basket attached to “Rosie,” her red Breezer bicycle specially designed for commuting.

Occasionally during her commute she’ll pass a colleague idling in traffic in a car. “Some days I actually get home faster on my bike than if I was in my car,” says Blanton, whose enrollment in Emory’s bicycle commuter program includes an occasional parking permit, MARTA tokens, eligibility for the Guaranteed Ride Home program and discounted Zipcar membership for days that simply aren’t conducive to commuting by bike. Borrowing a Zipcar allows Blanton to take care of business off-campus, but while on campus it’s all about the bike.

“Bicycling is literally the best way to get around Emory,” observes Blanton.

Commuting by bicycle has paid off in cost savings, too. “My car insurance, gas and repair costs have gone way down” since she began biking to work, says Blanton. “Plus, I get 40 minutes of exercise naturally incorporated into my day.”

Blanton encourages others to try cycling, either through a Bike Emory event like Bike To Campus Day this fall, or by taking a trial ride on a loaner bicycle through Bike Emory’s Bike Share program. “Campus is a safe, manageable environment to test the waters,” she says.