With the return of warm weather, the bikes are once again ready for use at Sportsmen's Park.

Last June, Sleepy Eye Medical Center unveiled the Sleepy Eye Bike Share Program to the community of Sleepy Eye. With the return of warm weather, the bikes are once again ready for use.

“The bikes were recently serviced and are ready for the community,” said Kevin Sellheim, Administrator, SEMC. “We’re excited for our second season of the Sleepy Eye Bike Share Program, an initiative that truly aligns with one of our goals as an organization—to promote healthy activity and recreation within the community,”

The Sleepy Eye Bike Share Program is a seasonal bike sharing system available for use from spring to fall. Six bikes, featuring solar-powered Bluetooth locks, plush comfort seats, Shimano® 7-speed internal gearing and puncture-resistant tires, are located at a docking station at Sportsmen’s Park, providing easy access to the trail for community members, park visitors and campers, from sunrise to sunset. The bikes may also be used within city limits.

The program began last summer after a group of health-conscious SEMC employees suggested the idea to SEMC administration as well as the Sleepy Eye Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit organization that seeks to enhance the healthcare of SEMC patients and improve the health of those within the community. The Foundation then funded the cause.

“We had over 400 rentals last season and anticipate this number to only increase in 2018 as our community and its visitors gain knowledge about the program,” said Mikayla Bruggeman, SEMC Community Relations Coordinator. “We also noted at least a dozen “super users” last year—users who rode the bikes multiple times a week or month. It’s great to see this healthy activity take place.”

To rent a bike, users must download the “Movatic” rider App on an iOS or Android device. The App includes a billing module to collect rider fees via credit or debit card. Then, the rider enters his/her payment information, connects to Bluetooth and selects an available bike to begin rental. When finished, the rider simply parks the bike in an available rack and ends the rental from the App. Step-by-step user instructions are also available at the docking station. The cost is just a couple dollars, depending on how long the bike is used.

In the event that a user experiences an issue while renting or riding a bike, they should submit a ticket via the Movatic App. According to Bruggeman, tickets are reviewed once a day, Monday through Friday.

SEMC encourages all bikers to wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road. Bike helmets may be purchased at SEMC during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. For more information about the program, visit https://semedicalcenter.org/bike-share/.