Drift Cycle is a La Crosse community biking share project and an integral part of the transportation network, offering an easy-to-use, affordable bike rental program for residents, commuters, and visitors that contributes to the health and vibrancy of the community. Our mission is to educate community members on greener energy transportation as well as provide easily accessible alternatives. While our focus is on bicycle transportation, there are many other options to help reduce your environmental impact. These include walking, carpooling, and using the numerous bus transit systems La Crosse has to offer.
Drift Cycle’s goals align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, we have focused on goals: 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure; 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities; 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production; and 13 – Climate Action.
Drift Cycle currently has 10 stations and over 50 bikes around the community with the goal of creating a network, allowing community members and visitors to reduce CO2 emissions with every ride they take.
CO2 emissions are widely accepted as the largest contributors to global warming, damaging the planet, and creating many adverse health effects on people. Drift Cycle has reduced CO2 emissions by an average of 2.43 pounds per ride base on our use data.
Replacing car trips with bike trips reduces the need for surface parking. Asphalt absorbs up to 90% of the sun’s radiation and contributes to warming the surrounding air even into the winter months. Less surface parking creates the opportunity to enhance our community with trees, gardens, and parks, creating a healthier environment and reducing health risks to community members.
From physical health to mental health, biking has many amazing benefits.
Mild exercise can improve our immune system by increasing the production of essential proteins and waking up lazy white blood cells. Drift bike riders burn an average of 135 calories per ride. La Crosse is home to many wonderful trails including one starting at Myrick Park, which allows you to explore the surrounding marsh. Drift aims to implement a station by the Myrick Park Center within the coming years so you can enjoy all it has to offer.
The Gundersen station is a great example of how we can easily make biking accessible to those with a busy work schedule. New evidence for lowering heart disease was presented in a study conducted by the University of Glasgow. Researchers found that cycling to work can cut a rider’s risk of developing heart disease or cancer in half. This could be achieved easily throughout the work day if you substitute the car for a bike.
Drift Cycle aims to help reduce the amount of pollution exposure in heavily trafficked areas around campuses and the downtown areas with stations outside of the UWL student Union, Western Tech, and multiple stations around Riverside Park. By biking instead of driving in these highly populated areas you will be reducing the exposure to you and those around you.
Exercise protects against weight gain with age, which in turn allows you to get better sleep. When we get better, more sound sleep, it ultimately improves our mental health as well. It is our goal at Drift Cycle to break down barriers that may drive away bicycle users so that everyone is able to utilize our bicycles no matter their biking experience, skin color, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, age, or physical or mental ability.
Being able to build exercise into a daily or other regular routine can have a strong positive impact on mood. Psychologists are even starting to prescribe exercise to improve patients’ mental health. Adding cycling into your life, even occassionally for quick trips such as errands, can be a healthy way to relieve stress for better sleep and an improved emotional state. We hope that with our variety of stations and ever-expanding access, you are able to implement Drift Cycle into your routine easily.
Choosing a bike instead of a car, benefits you and your fellow community members. Roads are a large initial expense to taxpayers that then require regular costly repairs and improvements. On average the cost of maintaining a road is 6 cents per car mile annually and is 30 times more than the cost of maintaining a road for bike use. Increasing bike use and reducing the amount of repair can in turn reduce the cost of travel to the public. This means fewer and farther apart repairs on roads like La Crosse Street, which provides easy access for travel to outlying areas like Onalaska.