May is National Bike Month, a time to showcase the benefits of biking and encourage more people to give it a try.
At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS), we know that biking has many health benefits, but it also can help address some of the drivers of health by creating more connected communities. Bicycling is more affordable than owning a car and can give both youth and adults who choose not to drive a reasonable mode of transportation. It can help improve access to community resources and improve your health through a low-impact exercise.
Through Blue Health Initiatives, a program launched by BCBSKS in 2016 to support communities in developing long-lasting solutions for our state’s health challenges, we are supporting bike share programs across the state! Keep reading to learn more about the opportunities for bike share near you.
Bike Share ICT
Bike Share ICT, a program of Health ICT and facilitated by the City of Wichita, launched in 2017. Since then, more than 50,000 rides have been taken for both business and pleasure. With 45 stations across the city and 220 bikes available for use, supporters of the program believe it’s about more than just the bikes. Blue Cross recently renewed its support for the program with a financial donation to continue to encourage Wichitans and visitors to be outside and active. Learn more about Bike Share ICT here: https://bikeshareict.com/.
In North Central Kansas, KANcycle is where it’s at for easy, fun, healthy and eco-friendly means of transportation and recreation. This rural bike share program can be found in Salina, Minneapolis, Concordia, Belleville, Mankato, Beloit, Lincoln and Ellsworth. They’re even offering free rides during bike month! Learn more here: https://kancycle.org/.
Having launched just last year, the Coffeyville BikeShare program currently has two locations with 15 bikes. The program plans to serve the residents of four apartment buildings in the downtown area, tourists, Coffeyville Community College students and others looking for a way to get out and be active.
Pathways to a Healthy Kansas is the largest community grant program ever funded by BCBSKS. It aims to help communities address health equity and improve the overall health of their community. Many of the community organizations receiving funding through Pathways have also implemented bike initiatives in their respective areas. The Pathways initiative has had two phases to date. In Phase 1, Kearny, Wichita, Bourbon and Atchison counties implemented bike share programs through our funding. In Phase 2, Columbus and Wilson counties are preparing to launch their own bike share programs and Franklin County just launched theirs.
Live Healthy Franklin County brought their bike share program to Ottawa University. They partnered with Ottawa Bike and Trail, Bike Walk KC and RideKC to bring the bikes to town through a Pathways grant and in their first month of operation, they had more riders than any other RideKC Bike location ever!
Whether you’re riding for fun or fitness – grab a bike and see if you can #bikethere. If you happen to be using one of our sponsored bike share programs across Kansas, snap a photo of yourself or your crew and share it with us on social media!