Cool New Ride Promotes Sustainable Mail Delivery

A new pair of wheels is always exciting, whether you’re 15 or 105 or somewhere between. On a large, bucolic campus such as UofL’s Belknap, a literal pair, sans motor, is desirable in the extreme.

Now that the Ekstrom mailroom has obtained a sparklingly new bicycle, students’ treks across the Belknap campus with armloads of books, or on-campus van deliveries, will be part of a less-sustainable past.

The one-speed Beach Cruiser, branded in UofL red and black, is outfitted with two massive panniers (saddle bags) and a large basket, just the right size for a mail bin. It has become the mailroom’s new workhorse.

Student worker Charles Todd traverses the Belknap campus in style to deliver the dally mail.

Student worker Charles Todd traverses the Belknap campus in style to deliver the dally mail.

The bike was paid for by the Sustainability Committee, led by Justin Mog, University of Louisville’s assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives. But Andy Clark and Rick Jones got the wheels rolling, so to speak, by petitioning the committee to purchase a bike, to facilitate cross-campus package and mail delivery, which is performed mostly by student workers.

“Having this bike really does make our work more sustainable,” said Rick Jones of the mailroom. “We’re only sending our van to the HSC campus now, where we used to need it for large deliveries on campus.

“And besides, the students love to ride it,” he continued.

“It’s great for most of our day-to-day needs,” said Andy Clark. “We’re really glad to have it. It’s a wonderful benefit for the student workers.”

While the bike is not an expensive brand, it is sturdy and safe, with wheels lined with Kevlar, and side bags that are extraordinarily durable. A large plastic mail bin fits snugly in the front basket. And as a one-speed vehicle, it’s easy and smooth to ride.

The bike’s serial number has been registered with campus police, in case of unsanctioned “borrowing.” This is a Library, after all.

Saving gas, saving the air, protecting students’ shoulders and backs, and allowing student workers a cool means of transport. Puts a new spin on re-Cycle-ing. Truer words were never spoken.

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