Student News

Let’s talk free bikes: Big Blue Cycles and Semester Bike Lottery

Man riding bike.
Photo of Wildcat Wheels.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 9, 2023)  Bicycles are a great way to navigate the University of Kentucky’s campus. UK Transportation Services has two exciting options for you if you don’t own a bike or if you can’t bring yours to campus this fall. 

First is the Big Blue Cycles program. Big Blue Cycles is a fleet of more than 150 bicycles available exclusively to students who live in campus housing, and sign a one-year car-free commitment. Students selected for this program will have the bicycle for the entire academic year.

These commuter-style, eight-speed bicycles come equipped with fenders, a lock, an optional helmet and a bell. Big Blue Cycles falls under the umbrella of Wildcat Wheels Bicycle Library (WWBL), a free bike repair shop on campus.

If more than 150 students apply for the program, a random drawing will be used to select the group of students who will receive a Big Blue Cycle. Returning residents who held a parking permit the previous year receive priority consideration.

Participants must complete a one-hour safety orientation session, provided by Wildcat Wheels.

The application deadline for Big Blue Cycles is Friday, Aug. 11. Learn more an apply online here.

A second option for students seeking a bike is the WWBL Fall 2023 Semester Bike Lottery. Wildcat Wheels has a fleet of 100 bicycles that can be checked out at no cost for a full semester at a time. Since demand for these bikes often exceeds supply, selection is handled through a random lottery.

The lottery is open to all UK students, staff and faculty. The application deadline is Friday, Aug. 11. Apply online here.

In addition to Big Blue Cycles and the Semester Bike Lottery, Wildcat Wheels Bicycle Library also has bicycles that may be checked out by students and employees free-of-charge on a weekly basis, as well as bikes available for departmental use.

Wildcat Wheels is a free, education-based bike shop that was created to assist the campus community with bicycle maintenance and repair. It’s funded by UK Transportation Services and is located on the first floor of Blazer Dining, near the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Avenue of Champions. Learn more about Wildcat Wheels and everything the shop has to offer.

For bike-related news and updates, sign up for Transportation e-news, follow them on Twitter @UKParking and like Wildcat Wheels on Facebook.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.