image of students riding bikesIt's easy to bike around UW-L, the city of La Crosse, and the region. With a network of city bike routes, recreational trails through the marsh and Hixon Forest, and a variety of bicycle resources on campus, active transportation is an attractive alternative throughout the year.

 

On campus, REC Sports Outdoor Connection offers short-term bike rentals including cruisers, mountain bikes, and an all-new fleet of custom-painted fatbikes. They also offer the low-cost Green Bike program, where you can lease a refurbished bicycle for a semester or a year. Public bicycle repair stands and air pumps, installed near the dorms in summer 2015, help you keep your ride rolling, while the University Police bicycle registration program and anti-theft education efforts help you keep it safe.

 

image of students with bikesThere are year-round opportunities to learn more about biking. Keep your eyes open for regular campus bike tours, free bike light giveaways in the fall semester, and fix-a-flat clinics from the Outdoor Connection. Starting fall 2015, the OC and the Wisconsin Bike Fed will train student staff as "Campus Bike Ambassadors"; they'll serve as "roll models" and lead campus-area bike tours throughout the year. (Students will need to ride on one of these tours to participate in the low-cost, long-term rental "Green Bike" program.) The Bike Fed also offers additional information and quizzes on safe riding, and the League of American Bicyclists has tips and videos on safe riding. 

 

The city of La Crosse is recognized as a Silver-level Bike Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. "Sharrows" and Share the Road signs mark designated bike routes, and the Marsh Trails connect campus with north and south La Crosse, Riverside Park, and Hixon Forest. All MTU buses offer bike racks for easy combination of bike and bus. And in the next few years, "neighborhood greenways" will offer bicycle-friendly connections as a part of the 2012 Bike-Ped Master Plan. Contact the Wisconsin Bike Federation, the Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition, the La Crosse Area Planning Commission or the city Bike/Ped Advisory Committee for more information.

 

image of fat bikesLooking to ride for recreation and health? The Outdoor Recreation Alliance provides information about Hixon Forest, Human Powered Trails and the brand-new pump track. Bicycle La Crosse offers hundreds of miles of self-guided road rides in the region, with free printable maps or downloadable turn-by-turn directions; culminating in the completely free Labor Day Bike Festival. From campus, you can ride onto nearly a hundred miles of bicycle-friendly rail-trails, including the Great River State Trail, La Crosse River State Trail, Elroy-Sparta State Trail. Competitive cycling also comes to La Crosse every year with the Wisconsin Off Road Series and La Crosse Omnium. Or join the Bluff Busters Triathlon Group or UW-L Cycling group.