Sept. 8, 2014

Adam Farley
afarley@uccs.edu

Students and staff were seen riding bicycles around the El Pomar Plaza, but with the music and food, this event was not just for bike riders.

UCCS Bike Jam 6 was held on Sept. 5, which caused apprehension the morning of the event. There are students that don’t have classes on Fridays and the day started off with several hours of steady rainfall.

“We had to move some stuff underneath the cover here in front of the library, but it actually created some great energy,” Kevin Gilford, assistant sustainability director, said.

Assistant professor of health sciences Nanna Meyer was responsible for the medley of roasted nuts and green chili. She was the nutritionist for the Healthy Campus Initiative, which started with the recent transition of food service into a self-operated system.

Throughout the event Meyer roasted nuts and promoted food literacy to educate the community about local food, health and nutrition. The UCCS Health Sciences department and the Office of Sustainability kicked off the first day of the Bike Month Challenge. Students, faculty and staff who meet the criteria for the Bike Month Challenge can win one of two commuter bikes.

It was also the first day of the yearlong Pedal Perks Program, a program funded by Kaiser Permanente to promote faculty and staff wellness. The Office of Student Activities has expanded it to include a student component that hosts events and offers prizes throughout the year.

“We’re doing everything we can to promote cycling here as a way to commute to campus, reduce people’s impact on the planet and [promote] their health and fitness and it’s a lot of fun as well,” Gilford said.

Bikes are not just good for transportation though. Students made smoothies on a blender-bike. A common kitchen blender was rigged and mounted to a bicycle, and could be powered by people pedaling on it like normal.

Additionally, this year long board racks will be added throughout campus. Student and campus Recreation Center employee John Hartle was one of two lucky winners of longboards. Prizes were funded by the Green Action Fund.

Hartle was inspired to enter the contest while he was manning the Rec Center booth. He does not yet know how to ride a longboard, but he is planning to learn and then ride it around campus.

“I’m a commuter student, but this [longboard] is probably going to live in my car now,” Hartle said.

Bike Jam is an annual event at UCCS that promotes health and sustainability. Students can participate in many activities from trying out cool and unusual bikes to learning how to fix a flat tire. Students can get more information and sign up for Pedal Perks at uccs.edu/~sustain/.