Geaux Bike instructs student cyclists on safety, encourage them to join weekly rides
Geaux Bike, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s bicycling club, had a table Wednesday to recruit and inform students about their group.
In its third year of hosting midnight bike rides to the Buffalo Wild Wings on Ambassador Caffery Parkway, to evening picnics in the Horse Farm at Moncus Park, the UL Lafayette bicycle club tabled Wednesday, Feb. 8, to inform students about bicycle safety.
“I enjoyed the first bike ride so much, I ended up going to every ride after that,” said Alec Alleman, junior mechanical engineering major and president of Geaux Bike. “I knew I wanted to be president because I wanted the organization to keep going and creating memories for everyone who’s involved in the club.”
Alleman enthusiastically approached passing students with a few other club members. Alleman has only been president for the past two years, but he was part of the club before gaining a leadership role.
The university was recognized in 2015 by the Bicycle Friendly University Program for its then-newly paved bike lanes on Saint Mary Boulevard; increased availability of bicycle racks near buildings and under covered areas; and bicycle lockers located in Olivier Parking Tower. The growth of the campus bicycling community has led to new programs like Geaux Vélo, the rental bicycle system on campus provided by the Office of Sustainability.
Lena Le, Geaux Bike member, said she appreciates the recent accommodations the university has provided.
“I think the efforts of the Office of Sustainability are good,” Le said. “It’s more than I’ve seen in a lot of places.”
Alleman said although the campus does a lot already, there could be a few helpful additions, as well as action on cyclists’ part, to increase on-campus bicycle safety.
“We could use some more bike lanes around campus,” Alleman said, “but my main concern is the way some people ride around campus. They should be cautious of people walking and the cars.”
UL Lafayette has strict campus rules about bicycles. Cyclists are required to follow all traffic laws; they must make a full stop at all stop signs and red lights, as well as ride in the direction of traffic while in bicycle lanes.
Alleman also noted the increase in stolen bicycles. He said about eight of their own members have had their bicycles stolen, including Le. Alleman said the club members all agree they hope to reduce bicycle theft with proper education. The club prioritizes teaching members where to safely chain their bicycles and urging cyclists to bring their bicycles inside at night.
Geaux Bike was founded in 2014 by members Jose “Allan” Brambila and Leilani Theriot. Geaux Vélo was introduced in 2016, with 52 bicycles for rent. Alleman and the rest of the group welcome any members with an interest to make some friends or enjoy a ride.