Oxford honored for bike-friendly programs

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

OXFORD -- Bikers, Oxford College is your kind of place.

The college recently received the Bicycle Friendly Award from the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission. The college was selected for the award based on its numerous programs in support of bicycling. Assistant Athletics Director Pete Sherrard accepted the award at a recent ceremony in Athens.

Sherrard said the college has several initiatives to encourage cycling, including Bike Oxford. The program loans five bikes to students, staff and faculty at no cost.

"This program has become very popular due to the fact that about 95 percent of the 900 students live on campus, with most not having vehicles," Sherrard said. "Students will use the bikes to go do errands. They also check out the bikes just for recreational rides on the paved multi-purpose trail and in the woods."

Oxford also hosts the annual Ride for Leadership to raise funds and awareness of the college's leadership programs offered to students. The second annual ride will take place this year on Oct. 1. Sherrard described the bike ride as "casual" and "fun" with two course options -- a 15-mile and a 33-mile route.

In addition, the college partners with C-Town Bikes for the Bike Oxford program and the business supports the college in all its cycling events. One of the owners, Trent Spake, is an alumnus of Oxford College.

Other initiatives include physical education cycling classes and a partnership with the Georgia Cycling Gran Prix, a large bike race that is coming to Covington in July.

"We hope to continue to grow each of these programs and events and the C-Town partnership. I have talked with C-Town about starting monthly bike rides for the Oxford College community," Sherrard said.