The University of Minnesota has recently started a new program designed to give incentives to students and faculty for riding their bikes to campus.
Bryan French, the Bike-to-Campus Coordinator, UMD Sustainability said "The bike to campus program was initially started as a way for faculty and staff at the university of MN system to earn wellness credits, pretty much immediately the students wanted to be involved too. unfortunately the students aren't paying for health insurance premiums the same way faculty and staff are."
So students will get entered to win prizes in a raffle.
But every semester there is a grand prize.
"For the students who ride their bike to campus at least 8 times for each month of the semester they get their name entered in a drawing to win a free bike." said French.
A small magnetic strip is attached to the bike, then all students need to do is ride their bikes past one of these stations, they will hear a 'beep' and that's how they know they logged their ride for the day.
"It's the gasoline, it's the expense you've got the parking problems here at UMD and anywhere your going to be parking." says French.
Reducing the amount of cars in the parking lots and the gasoline used by the cars is a win for both the environment and the college.
But how many students are able to brave the cold winter months?
French told me "It was 23 degrees below zero in my little thermometer, we had 4 people who have ridden their bikes so far just this morning and I sure by the end of the day we will have another half dozen or so who have made the trip."
The program started this past year and they already have 90 participants in the program. So far the college has logged 11–thousand miles of bike travel through the program.
Meteorologist Adam Lorch