Tuesday, August 30, 2011

River Stewards' Senior Project a Success!

Flyer News - Bicycle rental program to pedal students around Dayton
Sara Dorn, Chief News Writer
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The University of Dayton senior River Stewards, Campus Recreation and Student Development have partnered to expand student horizons beyond campus and into the greater Dayton area with a new free bicycle rental program.

The service will allow students to rent bicycles from the RecPlex and is tentatively scheduled to begin Labor Day weekend, according to Johnny Chase, assistant director of fitness at the RecPlex.

Rentals will be available during daylight hours when the RecPlex is open and all bicycles must be returned by dusk, Chase said. Students also will be required to watch a safety video before checking out the bikes, he said.

"We would like people to get out and explore the city for themselves and discover the river and see what an asset it is," said Kristen Crum, senior River Steward and mechanical engineering major.

This year's 16 senior River Stewards are coordinating the rental program for their required class project.

The River Steward organization is designed to promote civic engagement and leadership, according to rivers.udayton.edu.

Student Development spent $9,030 at Performance Bike in Beavercreek, Ohio, on 20 Fuji seven-speed bicycles, one tandem bike, 30 helmets, 30 bike locks, a few handlebar bags and carbon dioxide cartridge pumps for the program, Chase said.

The program's future budget is contingent on its success, but Chase said he drafted a $6,500 budget that includes student labor, parts, programming, repair and renovation.

"We're still working with risk management about the bike maintenance, and an accident is always a risk too," Chase said.

The River Stewards said they have many recommendations for locations to visit throughout the area because of their frequent work in the city of Dayton.

"Our intention isn't to rent bikes to walk from class to class," said A.J. Ferguson, senior River Steward and mechanical engineering major. "A lot of students will realize Dayton is a really cool city and very different from the way they see it now."

Fellow River Stewards classmates Bethany Renner, an early childhood education major, and Alex Galluzzo, an operations management major, said there are even more Dayton-area locations they hope other students will explore.

"Second Street Market is a 10- to 15-minute bike ride and they have fresh produce, hand-crafted goods, basket makers, food vendors, domestic wine and beer, and it's a great place to get breakfast on Saturday mornings," Renner said.

Galluzzo and Renner said Miamisburg and Yellow Springs also are enjoyable nearby cities.

"Eastwood is my favorite place and you can get there in about 30 minutes on a bike," Galluzzo said. "There's a lagoon, and it's a great date place."

Gretchen Berkemeier, another senior River Steward and mechanical engineering major, said she enjoys biking through downtown's RiverScape MetroPark and Hills & Dales MetroPark in Kettering, Ohio.

"I just want people to see more of Dayton, and then maybe they'll want to stay here [after they graduate] and help revitalize Dayton," Chase said.

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