Bicycling for Transportation at UofL
UofL encourages you to discover the many benefits of getting around by bike!
(UofL Today, 11/14/13)
“We will know we have made a lot of progress when you see people jogging on campus and riding their bikes.” - President Ramsey 2002
- Biking is fun, healthy, cheap, non-polluting transportation!
- You don’t have to dress funny or buy expensive gear.
- Need a bike, bike repair, or accessories? Find local bike shops
Take your bike on any TARC bus and ride free w/UofL ID.
- Plan ahead with these handy bike commuter tips.
Find bike lanes, paths, and safer routes throughout Louisville with the Louisville Bike Map (pdf). Print copies can be found at distribution points around campus, including the SAC and Ekstrom Library.
- Report debris or potholes in Louisville bike lanes/paths: Call MetroCall at 311 or (502) 574-5000; email MetroCall; use the online customer service portal; or download the mobile app to report issues on the go, with built-in image capture and GPS: iPhone / Android / Windows Phone.
- If needed, you can shower at UofL gyms. The Clinical & Translational Research Building (HSC), and Stevenson Hall (Belknap) also have restrooms with showers.
- Share Campus Pathways Responsibly: On campus pathways, cyclists are encouraged to slow down, signal when passing, and always yield to pedestrians, no
matter where they are. In line with our Bicycle Master Plan, UofL has designated pathways through Belknap campus to help
reduce potential bike-pedestrian conflicts. All routes are designed to be two-way.
- Register your bike with UofL before parking it on campus. Having this information on file will increase the likelihood of recovery in the event of theft or impoundment.
- Register your commute! Anyone who regularly commutes via bike, bus, carpool, or vanpool can register for the free Guaranteed Ride Home program providing 80% of the cost of an emergency taxi ride home up to four times per year! You can even stop to pick up a child on the way home!
- Lock your bike with a U-lock! Bikes are a common target for theft at UofL, so be sure to lock your ride up securely.
1. Use a sturdy U-lock rather than a cable or chain which is easier to cut.
2. Always lock your bike frame to the rack and, if possible, lock the wheels as well.
3. Use campus bike racks. Do not lock your bike to railings or blocking handicap ramps or exits. Interactive UofL Bike Parking Map
4. Space in UofL bike racks is limited and they are not intended for long-term storage. According to UofL's Abandoned Bikes Policy, bikes will be periodically impounded by Parking Enforcement after notification is left on the bike. To retrieve a bike from impoundment, call (502) 852-PARK (7275).
- Keep it Rolling! Five Bike Fix-It Stations
with basic tools and a pump have been installed on campus (at Humanities, SAC/Red
Barn Plaza, SAC Floyd St. entrance, University Tower Apartments and HSC Kornhauser plaza)! For help with repairs, scan the QR code on the Fixit to view detailed instructions, or download the Bike Repair App for iPhone.
- Can't fix it yourself? The Louisville Student Cycling Coalition can help! Just fill out their online Fix It request form.
- In May 2014, the new Falls City Community Bikeworks opened roughly mid-way between UofL's Belknap campus and Health Science Center. The not-for-profit shop is at 1217 Logan Street (just south of Oak) and provides the space, tools and expertise to any community member who wishes to learn and practice bicycle maintenance. The all-volunteer shop also offers refurbished bicycles, equipment, and skills to people who cannot afford to purchase roadworthy bicycles.
- Earn-A-Bike Program: Forgo a parking permit for at least two years and earn a $400 bike shop voucher!
• UofL students, faculty or staff who are willing to waive the right to a UofL parking permit for at least two years are eligible to receive a $400 voucher to an area bike shop!
• Applications for the program are accepted throughout the summer and vouchers are distributed at mandatory safety and orientation sessions held at the start of each Fall semester.
• Vouchers are non-transferable and have no cash value, but can be used to purchase a bike or fix one up and equip it for year-round commuting with helmet, lock, lights, rack, bags, basket, clothing, tools, spare parts, etc.
• Full details and application here.
- Increase your skills and confidence! Whether you're a new or experienced rider, Louisville offers many opportunities for free classes to give cyclists the skills, knowledge, and confidence to ride safely on our roadways:
1. Get Healthy Now offers group rides and safe cycling classes.
2. Ride with friends in the Louisville Student Cycling Coalition - Follow on or OrgSync. Manages UofL's official Collegiate Division 1 Cycling Team: UofLCycling@gmail.com
3. The Louisville Bicycle Club regularly offers New Rider Clinics and endless group ride opportunities for all skill levels.
4. Bicycling For Louisville provides free bike classes from time to time and is a great advocate for bicycling.
- Use your UofL ID to check out a bike, lock, and helmet for free for the day! Bikes are available each day on a first-come, first-served basis from the desk staff at:
• Student Rec Center
• Get Healthy Now Wellness Center at Humana Gym
• Residence Halls: Bettie Johnson Hall, Community Park, Kurz Hall, Miller Hall, Threlkeld Hall, and Unitas Tower (not just for residents!)
- Simply sign a waiver form and return the bike before the end of the day/weekend.
- Those who check out bikes are responsible for any theft, loss, or damage, so be sure to use the u-lock to securely lock the bike (frame and wheel!) any time you enter a building.
- Full details on our Bikeshare page.
You can also find bike lanes, paths, and safer routes throughout Louisville with the Louisville Bike Map (pdf).
Check out our Bicycle Master Plan!
- Ride on streets with the flow of traffic.
- Bike predictably, signaling turns and using streets as a driver would.
- Ride in the farthest right lane that serves your destination.
- Avoid biking on city sidewalks – it’s dangerous and illegal.
- On campus paths walkers ALWAYS have the right-of-way, so bike slowly and cautiously to avoid startling or hitting them.
- Be visible – wear light colored or reflective clothes and use front/rear lights.
- Avoid traffic! Map a safer, (s)lower-traffic
route here, or dowload
the new Louisville Bike Map (pdf).
- Wear a helmet!
- Get more bike safety tips , UofL cyclist & pedestrian safety tips, and watch these helpful safety videos!
- Know Why Crashes Happen. As you can see in the data below, most crashes occur when cyclists are not using the road as drivers would. Check out the helpful diagrams and videos about this on the I Am Traffic website.
Who is at fault?
% of Accidents
Bicyclist Wrong-way riding facing traffic
Bicyclist Left turn from the right side of the road
Bicyclist Failure to yield from driveway
Bicyclist Running a stop sign or signal
Bicyclist Swerving in front of car *
Total Bicyclist at fault
Motorist Left turn in front of the bicyclist
Motorist Right turn in front of the bicyclist
Motorist Running a stop sign or signal
Motorist Opening car door into path of bicyclist
Motorist Failure to yield from driveway
Motorist Didn’t see cyclist*
Total Motorist at fault
* Cyclists hit from behind = only 10% of accidents!
- Sturdy U-lock
- Front (white) and rear (red) lights
- Rear rack with panniers (saddlebags)
- Rear-view mirror
- Reflective vest
- Leg band (keeps pant leg clean)
- Water bottle cage with bottle
- Rain jacket and rain pants
- Mini-pump, patch kit, and multi-tool
- Clothes that wick moisture (not cotton)
- Winter: Dress in layers, thermal headband, gloves
UofL Bike Map
- RED icons indicate COVERED bike parking.
- BLUE icons indicate exposed bike parking.
- YELLOW Wrench icons indicate Bike Fix-It stations.
- GREEN Bike icons indicate Bike-Share locations from which bikes can be checked-out free for the day with UofL ID.
The roads aren't safe
- You are at no greater risk than driving a car.
- Obey traffic signs, ride on the right, signal turns, and stop at lights.
- Wear bright clothing.
- Wear a helmet every time you ride.
- Avoid unsafe roads. Map a safer, lower-traffic route with Ride The City.
I'm out of shape
- Ride at an easy pace; in a few months you will be in great shape.
- Ride your route on a weekend to find the easiest way to get there.
- You will improve your fitness level when you become a regular bike commuter.
How to Be a Car-Free Family
Blog: Car Free with Kids
Family Biking Guide
Photo Essay: The Biking Wittwer Family
I have to run errands
- Bolt a rack to the back of your bike to add carrying capacity.
- Make sure that you have a lock to secure your bike while you are in a building.
- Allow extra time to get to scheduled appointments.
- Take the bus (free with UofL ID) or check-out a car-share vehicle for your errands: UofL Car-share
It takes too long
- The average commuter travels at 10 mph; the more you ride, the faster you will become.
- Trips of less than three miles will be quicker by bike.
- Trips of five to seven miles in urban areas may take the same time or less as by car.
It's too far
- Try riding to work and taking the bus home, then alternating the next day.
- Combine riding and the bus to shorten your commute. All TARC buses have bike racks and it's free with UofL ID.
- Ride to a coworker's house and carpool to work.
I have to dress up
- Keep multiple sets of clothing at work; rotate them on days you drive.
- Have work clothes cleaned at nearby laundromats or dry cleaners.
- Pack clothes with you and change at work; to avoid wrinkles, try rolling clothes instead of folding.
- Fenders for your bike and rain gear for your body will keep you dry.
- If you are at work, take transit or carpool to get home; ride home the next day.
- Take transit or drive if you don't have the gear to ride comfortably in the rain.
My bike is beat up
- Learning to keep your bike running smooth is easier than you might imagine. Check out these great instructional videos for Kentucky riders! kyGREENtv also offers short videos on How to Check Your Bike Before You Ride - Part I (bearings) and Part II (all else).
- Five Bike Fix-It Stations with basic tools and a pump are available around campus 24/7 (at Humanities, SAC/Red Barn Plaza, SAC Floyd St. entrance, University Tower Apartments, and HSC Kornhauser plaza)! For help with repairs, scan the QR code on the Fixit to view detailed instructions, or download the Bike Repair App for iPhone.
- Can't fix it yourself? The Louisville Student Cycling Coalition can help! Just fill out their online Fix It request form.
- The not-for-profit Falls City Community Bikeworks located roughly mid-way between UofL's Belknap campus and Health Science Center at 1217 Logan Street (just south of Oak) provides the space, tools and expertise to any community member who wishes to learn and practice bike maintenance.
- If you need professional help, identify bike shops near your route. Here's a listing of area bike shops.
No bike parking
- Find covered and uncovered racks all over campus with our Interactive UofL Bike Parking Map
- Look around for a storage area in your building or office.
- Stash your bike in a covered, secure place such as a closet or even your office.
- Formally request that your employer provide bike parking or lock it up outside.
- Most commuters don't shower at work; ride at an easy pace to stay cool and dry.
- If you want a workout, ride home at a fast pace and shower when you get home.
- UofL gyms offer showers if you need them.
(These tips brought to you by the League of American Bicyclists. Get more tips here.)
UofL students, faculty and staff who are willing to forgo a parking permit for at least two years can apply to earn a $400 bike shop voucher! Applications are accepted each year through the end of the first week of Fall classes. Get all the details and apply here.
- Pedal with the President - an annual ride to campus with
President Ramsey from his official residence, Amelia Place (2515
Longest Avenue) to both Belknap campus and HSC.
- The 2015 Pedal With The President took place on Wednesday, Sept. 9th. Check out photos from the ride!
- The 2014 Pedal With The President for Welcome Week took place on Thursday, Aug. 28th. U of L students and staff ditch cars to bike to school with school president (WDRB, Aug. 28, 2014). Students pedal with the president (The Louisville Cardinal, Aug. 28, 2014)
- 2013 Pedal With The President for Welcome Week (Aug. 29): About 24 participants joined in. See photos from the 2013 ride! UofL president and faculty bike to work (WLKY-32).
- 2012 Pedal With The President (May 10): UofL president, employees bike to work (WLKY). See photos from the 2012 ride!
- 2011 Bike To Work Day (May 20): 17 UofL employees pedaled with the President. See photos from the 2011 ride. Watch the video for 2011.
- 2010 Bike To Work Day (May 21): video.
National Bike Challenge!
Each year since 2014, UofL has encouraged students, employees, spouses, and retirees to saddle up and ride for team UofL in the National Bike Challenge which runs annually May 1st to September 30th! Participating is a way to show your support for a healthy lifestyle and sustainable transportation. You can register as an individual to compete against your peers. Your miles cycled will count towards the University of Louisville (workplace or school) total, as well as qualify employees for great prizes through Get Healthy Now, including the grand prize of a $400 voucher to a local bike shop, co-sponsored by UofL's Sustainability Council!
To Register: 1. Visit nationalbikechallenge.org, 2. Click “join”, 3. Select “The University of Louisville” as your workplace (students register for “University of Louisville” under school category). The National Bike Challenge is open to everyone, however the Get Healthy Now competition is restricted to UofL employees, retirees, and their spouses/qualifying adults.
- Louisville Bike Month Challenge - Various UofL teams have participated
in this annual May challenge over the years. It is designed to
encourage people to get out of their cars and ride through a friendly
competition of logging trips by bike. The the Challenge ran from 2010-13
and each year, three UofL teams finished in the top half of the
- Three UofL Teams competed in Louisville’s Bike Month Challenge May 1-16, 2013: Get Healthy Now, UofL IT Gears & Wheels, and UofL Sustainability Council Crankers.
- Results of the 2012 Louisville Bicycle Challenge (May 1-17):
1. Speed School Jeep Dodgers (4th place, 144 trips, 557 miles)
2. UofL Sustainability Council Crankers (5th place, 133 trips, 300 miles)
3. UofL Bicyclists (7th place, 68 trips, 202 miles)
- Fall 2011 Bike to Work Day: After Mayor Fischer rode his bike to work for National Bike to Work Day on May 20th, 2011, he immediately said, "This is great, we have to do this more often." So, we did. Friday, Sept. 30th, 2011 was Louisville's first ever FALL bike to work day!
- UofL finished fourth (with 135 trips) in Louisville’s first-ever FALL Bike Commuter Challenge September 16-29, 2011. Here is the final scoreboard.