Ten community groups will have new bikes this year, thanks to Rochester’s bike-sharing program.
With 200 bikes in hand, the city put out a call for applications in February asking for interest group and individual interest in receiving bikes.
More than 180 grant applications were received with bikes being awarded to 35 individuals and 10 community groups, according to an announcement from the city Thursday morning.
The community Groups receiving bikes are:
● 125 Live
● Bolder Options
● Doc’s Recovery House
● Family Service Rochester
● Hope Fuse
● Jeremiah Program
● Next Chapter Rochester
● Nonprofit Urban Farm
● Recovery is Happening
● Rochester Public Schools
Individuals selected to receive a bike are picking them up this week at Mayo Civic Center.
The individuals and groups have agreed to attend a bike maintenance training session for a hands-on learning experience, which will be organized as soon as social distancing guidelines are relaxed, according to the city announcement.
For now, all awardees will receive a bike maintenance and safety handout when they pick up their bike. They also have agreed to not resell the bike and to fix it as necessary.
Sarah Oslund, a city communications and engagement coordinator, said the city is maintaining ownership of approximately half its bikes with plans for the Rochester Public Library to continue managing the city’s bike-share program, which will resume as soon as it is deemed safe.
Olmsted County Public Health Director Graham Briggs said the risk for spreading the coronavirus through programs sharing outdoor equipment, including bikes and scooters, are expected to decrease as summer approaches.
"Based on our understanding of other viruses and some preliminary information from the Department of Homeland Security, it is likely that COVID-19 naturally degrades more quickly with higher temperatures, humidity and sunlight," he said.
"While there is a good chance risk that transmission for COVID-19 through shared outdoor equipment like bicycles would decrease during the warm summer months, we would still recommend routine disinfection between users."
Last year, the city saw 1,234 bicycle checkouts between May and October, which prompted increasing the number of available bikes at the library from 15 to 20.
It put 48 bikes on the street, with 653 checkouts of varying lengths at the library for the program’s fourth year.
At the same time, more than 200 motorized rental scooters were on the street, covering 63,078 miles during a 15-week trial, with 12,853 riders logging 50,641 trips.