The University of Colorado Boulder’s Environmental Center recently hosted its fifth annual CU Bike Fest on Thursday, Sept. 1 at Farrand Field. The event aimed to raise awareness about CU programs to support student bikers, get bikes registered and educate community members about the Environmental Center’s services.
The center offers CU students services like bike repairs and bike lock sales and services while encouraging the use of a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to get around campus.
Sara Fitzpatrick, an Environmental Office student representative, said she hopes biking can be a gateway to other sustainable habits.
“The bike fest has been running for several years now, and it’s just to encourage people to be biking around and take pride in being zero-emission,” she said. “We have so many events coming up so we’re just trying to get people involved with sustainability and climate action on campus.”
The event featured a live DJ, food, merchandise and a free bike repair service, along with tents set up by local businesses such as Trek and Full Cycle offering free merchandise and promotions for students. Attendees could also take advantage of the used bike sale, which offered abandoned bikes confiscated and refurbished by the CU Bicycle Recycling & Processing Program. Several hundred people attended the event over the course of the afternoon.
CU’s Environmental Center was established by students in 1970 and currently provides direct services and expertise to encourage an active sustainability culture on and off campus. The center’s mission has a strong focus on sustainability, but they also offer services to keep students’ bicycles in use and in good condition. The Environmental Center’s transportation department, which held the event that, aims to lower CU’s overall carbon footprint by encouraging alternative modes of transportation other than single-passenger motor vehicles.
The festival also offered benefits to students who could be struggling with the cost of living rise in Boulder.
“Bikes are really kind of expensive right now, so this is a good opportunity for people to get bikes cheaper than what they can get [new],” said Torbin Atwood-Donahee, a CU student working at the bike repair stations. “It’s more economical. You don’t have to pay for gas; you don’t have to pay for insurance.”
Bike Fest also had a clear emphasis on environmentalism. Meagan Figgins, a student who bikes frequently around campus, said she prefers biking to other forms of transportation around Boulder for several reasons.
“It obviously causes fewer emissions,” she said. “Also, I find it to be a much more reliable form of transportation compared to driving or buses.”
Further events run by the office will offer everything from bike repair worships to creek cleanups. Included in every student’s tuition is the Bike Program Fee, which funds the transportation center’s initiatives to provide bicycle and pedestrian lanes, free Boulder B-Cycle stations for students and bike repair stations.
The Environmental Center’s Sustainable Transportation Center offers events and resources year-round. Those interested in registering their bike at the UMC Bike Station, and making use of the center’s services, can visit their website here.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Lara Bradley at email@example.com.