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Ohio University partners with Outdoor Recreation Council of Appalachia to offer discounted mountain bike rentals to students and community

Ohio University students and community members now have additional access to explore the natural beauty of Southeast Ohio through biking. OHIO’s Outdoor Pursuits Program has partnered with the Outdoor Recreation Council of Appalachia (ORCA) to offer discounted mountain bike rentals. The bikes are perfect for riding around the Athens campus, the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway, the trails at Strouds Run and Lake Hope State Parks, the Bailey’s Trail System and more.

Full and front suspension mountain bikes are available to rent at the Charles J. Ping Recreation Center on Ohio University’s Campus near the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway. Rentals began recently on Feb. 5, 2024, and are available for day-long increments. The rentals at Ping will expand access to mountain biking in the region beyond the rentals available through Baileys Trail System in Chauncey.

“Outdoor Pursuits could not be more excited about this opportunity to partner with ORCA through the mountain bike rental program,” said Cody Lennon, assistant director of outdoor recreation and education at OHIO. “We see a lot of potential in the program to put resources back into the trail system, while also fostering an appreciation for outdoor recreational opportunities in Appalachia among Ohio University students and the greater Athens community.”

Currently, there are 15 bikes ranging from small to extra-large available to rent at Ping Recreation Center. Outdoor Pursuits staff are trained to help with basic fit adjustments, general bike set up and cleaning and maintenance upon return of rentals.

Residents of Southeast Ohio, as well as students, can access a 35% discount on bike rentals at the Ohio University and ORCA locations by showing proof of address or a student ID. The pricing is well below average for quality mountain bike rentals with the goal of lowering the barrier of entry for the sport. Revenue from the bike rentals will assist both organizations in sustaining operations and achieving their missions and visions.

“We are thankful for this partnership and excited by the opportunity to expand access to the sport in the region,” ORCA Executive Director Jessie Powers said. “If anyone out there is interested in getting into mountain biking, definitely check out some of our beginner trails at the Baileys Trail System!” 

Outdoor Pursuits offer quality brand-name gear for many other adventures beyond mountain biking through the rental center. Other equipment rentals include:

  • Tents/shelters
  • Backpacking and Trekking
  • Sleeping equipment
  • Camping packages
  • Cooking and camping equipment
  • Watercraft kit
  • Climbing equipment
  • Miscellaneous supplies
March 11, 2024
Staff reports