Cycling in style

Sam Dunaway | News Editor

Scattered around campus, waiting in front of buildings and seated along sidewalks are bright orange bicycles that popped up around Western early spring term. The recently-launched bike share program allows students to grab a bicycle and, with just the download of an app, start pedaling.

“Students should feel free to hop on this bike and ride it wherever they want,” explained Student Enrichment Program director Marshall Habermann-Guthrie. For only 50 cents for a half hour ride, the Spin bike share company aims to provide accessible and inexpensive transportation options to cities and campuses around the United States.

To get started, download the “Spin – Ride Your Way” app onto a smartphone. Habermann-Guthrie advises students to log in to the app with their .edu email to get the discounted rate of 50 cents per half hour instead of $1 per half hour for non-Western users. Students can input a form of payment such as a debit or credit card and continuously add money to the app, or they can choose a monthly option for $14 per month or annual option for $49 per year. These packages allow users free unlimited rides up to thirty minutes and provide transportation to downtown Monmouth, Independence or for a quick trip across campus.

Finding a bike can be simple by viewing the app’s map that shows every bike’s location in the Monmouth area. Scanning the bike’s QR code with the app triggers the back wheel to unlock, allowing users to hop on and ride to their next destination. Locking the back wheel after riding will notify the app that the ride is over. Because the bikes lock on their own, they can be docked at any location as long as it’s out of the way of cars and pedestrians.

The bike is complete with a front basket, a headlight and taillight, a kickstand and a bell. No special clothing or helmets are required when riding. “You shouldn’t feel like there’s some barrier between you and hopping on a bike,” said Habermann-Guthrie.

Habermann-Guthrie expressed his hope that this program will help all students, especially low-income individuals that may not have another mode of transportation.

“If we can provide an opportunity for students to get to an internship in Independence for $6 a month or 50 cents a ride, that is a huge benefit to our students,” he explained.

Many students, including sophomore Ellen Moore, are already utilizing the campus bikes.

“I personally don’t have my own car, so it’s really great that I can use them whenever, and it’s also better for the environment,” Moore explained. “Plus, bike rides are just a fun way to get exercise with friends, so it’s perfect that they got here in the spring.”

To try out the new bikes, download the app and get your first two rides free. Contact Habermann-Guthrie at with questions or comments.

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Photo by: Paul F. Davis