Bike Month aims to increase sustainability awareness

Sept. 10, 2012

April Wefler
awefler@uccs.edu

Riding your bike to school can help save 2.94 metric tons of carbon dioxide, a fact that some on campus use to persuade students to ditch their cars and start riding bikes.

The fourth annual Bike Jam took place Sept. 6 at the El Pomar Center Plaza, and the Office of Sustainability, the Green Action Fund and Car Share all set up tables for the event.

Josh Hendrickson, volunteer and events coordinator for the Office of Sustainability, noted that the Bike Jam is the busiest day of the year. “It’s the largest event. I’ve been working on it since April,” Hendrickson said.

“The focus is to help increase visibility of bike riding and alternate transportation.” Hendrickson added that it’s important to minimize single-occupancy vehicles.

Additionally, he said that he loves how many people turn out on bikes. “A lot of people that don’t ride bikes to school normally do just for this,” he said.

Andrea Hassler, project coordinator for the Green Action Fund and a graduate student in applied geography, said that it’s important to encourage students to use alternative transportation.

“If more people rode bikes, we’d be extracting less fossil fuels from the earth and emitting less greenhouse gases for a healthier planet for not only humans, but other species and elements,” Hassler said.

Hassler noted that her hope for the Bike Jam was that people would start riding their bikes more often. Linda Kogan, director of the Office of Sustainability, pointed out that bike riders are always guaranteed a parking spot.

“It’s a legitimate means of travel. The campus goal is to reduce carbon emissions and encouraging people to bicycle is a very significant way,” said Kogan.

She added that the Bike Jam was a fun activity for students to learn about different types of bicycles and to celebrate them.

The Bike Jam kicked off Bike Month, which has events taking place from Sept. 6 to Oct. 2. Hendrickson said that the Bike Month Challenge has over 50 participants and 6,218 total logged miles.

To participate in the Bike Month Challenge, students, staff and faculty can sign up at the event’s website (uccsbikemonthchallenge.eventbrite.com).

Events during Bike Month include: Alternative Transportation Lunch-n-Learn Movies, MetroRides Ride Your Bike to Work Day, Bike for Bagels, Adopt-a-Waterway and Bike Riders’ Breakfast.

Alternative Transportation Lunch-n-Learn Movies will be shown Sept. 11, 17 and 27 from noon-1 p.m. in University Center Room 302.

Attendees can bring their lunch, view half-hour films about tackling sustainable transportation issues and participate in a discussion afterward.

The 19th annual MetroRides Ride Your Bike to Work Day is Sept. 12 at 6 a.m. in the University Village Colorado shopping center.

Participants will join with a Colorado Springs Council member and travel to a free breakfast at the Pioneer Museum.

Likewise, anyone who bikes to campus can receive a free bagel during Bike for Bagels on Sept. 19 at 7:30 a.m. in Columbine Hall.

Adopt-a-Waterway offers a free lunch to volunteers who help protect the local water supply. Adopt-a-Waterway is Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon in Parking Lot N of University Hall.

Bike Month will end with the Bike Riders’ Breakfast on Oct. 2 from 7-10 a.m. in UC Lower Plaza. A free breakfast is provided by Rudy’s Organic Bakery, and the winners of Bike Month will be announced.