Thursday, September 29, 2005

Hope falls eternal: The return of yellow bikes 

Yellow bikes and yellow leaves will grace our campus again this fall.

Despite a 2004 trial run at St. Cloud State University that didn't produce great results, the yellow bike program is back this year.

Out of about 20 donated bikes intended for students to use for free to commute locally and on campus, only four survived the last academic year. And those were in rough shape at year's end.

The program takes its name from the bright color the donated bikes are painted before being randomly parked around campus for students to use.

Failure of the program can be credited to students' lack of respect for the bikes and disregard for the program's potential benefits, said Grant Schnell, student manager at St. Cloud State's Outdoor Endeavors office.

..."It didn't work out very well. Basically they all just got ruined," Schnell said. "In one instance we found a rim wrapped around the entire front fork of a bike." Other bikes disappeared, he said.

It might come as a surprise that along with a new crop of about 15 more bikes, the program is back for another round this year.

No, it doesn't come as a surprise. Nothing, not even reality, deters the innocent greenie from belief that incentives don't matter.

Only one condition is crucial to the success of the yellow bike program: When finished using a bike, the rider must return it in good shape to a bike rack on campus so someone else can use it.

Incentives, children, incentives. We told you last year to take my economics class. You obviosuly were too busy repairing bikes nobody cared about.