Bike commuter benefit offers half-priced gym membership

June 8, 2011

The Office of Sustainability is delighted to announce that the University is offering a new benefit for faculty, staff, and other academic personnel who bike to work: the Bike Commuter Benefit Pilot Program*. Members of this program will be eligible for a half-priced three-month membership to Henry Crown Field House, providing cyclists with an end-of-trip facility in which to shower.

With this program, participants are granted unlimited access to Henry Crown Field House to utilize the locker room, weight room, basketball courts, track, cardio equipment, etc. Bike Commuter Benefit Members can check out a lock upon entering the facility, use it for the day, and return it the same day. This service is called a “day locker.” Towels are 50¢ each and a member may purchase an overnight locker for an additional cost.

This is the first in a series of steps the University of Chicago is taking towards becoming a more Bicycle Friendly University. According to Katie Anson, Program Coordinator in the Office of Sustainability, there is a high demand for end-of-trip facilities for bicycle commuters. “We hear from many cyclists who want to reduce their carbon footprint by biking to campus but need a place to shower,” Anson reports, “especially around this time of year, when the weather warms up and the University participates in Bike to Work Week.”

Participants are eligible for one Bike Commuter Benefit Membership every 12 months. Membership is activated on the date the individual signs up with University Athletics and pays for the discounted membership. Regular registered parking permit holders are not eligible for the Bike Commuter Benefit Membership.

To register for the Bike Commuter Benefit Pilot Program, the cyclist must complete the Membership Form (PDF) and bring the completed form to Ratner Athletics Membership Services, located at 5530 S. Ellis Avenue.

Since the program is being piloted year-round, admittance to both Crown and Ratner Athletic facilities may be permitted during the Recreational Facilities interim periods, which is when classes are not in session (except during the Summer Quarter). Please click here for this schedule.

This program is a partnership between the Office of Sustainability, the Office of Campus and Student Life, and the Athletics Department. "The recycles bike share program is extremely popular amongst students, as well as staff and faculty," reports Karen Warren Coleman, Associate Vice President for Campus Life, "and we see the Bike Commuter Benefit as an extension of this program. It encourages cycling to and from further distances, enhancing the University's sense of community with the surrounding neighborhoods, as well as the city of Chicago."

Click here to download the Bike Commuter Benefit Membership Form (PDF). Questions or comments? Email Christy.

*The Bike Commuter Benefit may not be used in combination with any other discounted athletic membership.