By Kris Leonhardt
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – “River Riders Bike Share is changing the culture of biking in Wisconsin Rapids and Wood County,” said Sarah Salewski, health promotion and communications specialist at the Wood County Health Department.
The River Riders Bike Share program launched June 14 at six different Wisconsin Rapids locations: McMillan Memorial Library, 490 E. Grand Ave.; Pizza Hut, 2001 Eighth St. South; Quality Foods Baker Drive, 1811 Baker Dr.; Quality Foods West Grand, 1021 W. Grand Ave.; Veterans Memorial Park: 101-299 First St North; and the Wisconsin Rapids Municipal Zoo, 2030 Gaynor Ave.
The program started in 2012, as a resident identified and community-lead program to increase opportunities for recreation.
“The program increases access to recreation and physical activity opportunities as well as addressing a continuing need for transportation,” explained Salewski.
In 2012, community donated bikes were painted, named, and made available to residents and visitors for a 24-hour time period at no cost. Now, in its fifth season, the program has served over 300 riders.
In 2016, season riders identified the need for more reliable bikes, additional locations, and features such as baskets, lights, and bike options for those with mobility barriers.
The following year, the Rivers Riders Bike Share program was awarded a community grant, through the Legacy Foundation, to contract with Zagster Bike Share and implement six bike share locations.
“We hope that bike share will continue to act as a catalyst to enhance biking infrastructure as well as providing an option for residents and visitors to explore our community and meet other bike enthusiasts,” Salewski added.
Interested riders can check-out a bike by creating an account through the Zagster App or at www.zagster.com/riverriders.
For more information on the program, visit Zagster online, email email@example.com, or call 715-421-8926.