Apr 192010
Authors: Allison Welter

Ringing bells, cheers and costumed community members greeted onlookers and a campus tour group or two, as bikes of all kinds coasted through the Lory Student Plaza Monday.

A group of about 30 community members, students and CSU professors rode their bikes through the Oval and across the LSC Plaza to kick off Earth Week at CSU.

Attendees ranged from environmentally conscious students to avid cyclists, all of whom rode to raise awareness about alternative transportation and its place in CSU culture.

“Its an opportunity for students to show their support for alternative transportation and show their support for sustainability on campus,” said Alysse Brice, junior environmental communications major.

Brice said that increasingly more students are using bikes and that the event would be appropriate for the campus and for Fort Collins, which are both dominated by bike culture.

Freshman wildlife biology major Lizzie Cato said she actively recycles and supports national environmental groups. She said she was excited to ride through campus with company and to support the cause.

“This is a great way to celebrate Earth Day,” Cato said.

Martin Shields, associate professor of economics, came in costume with his two daughters Maya and Alison. They enjoy riding their bikes and used their day off school as an opportunity to attend the event, Shields said.

The parade also drew in avid cyclist Nick Wamsley. Tying in biking and environmental awareness is an ideal match for Wamsley, who said he has signed several petitions related to clean water and bike lanes.

“Anything that has to do with supporting the green economy and cycling and cycling awareness is important,” Wamsley said.

Silas Siegrist, a junior human development major, towered over the other riders on his abnormally tall bike, attracting smiles and waves from campus onlookers, something he said is his favorite part of riding his bike.

Siegrist sports a tattoo of a bike on his leg emphasizing the beauty he said he sees in riding a bike versus riding in a car.

The CSU Bike Parade was a prelude to a weeklong celebration of Earth Day on Thursday. CSU is hosting an entire week of events to promote sustainability and campus awareness of environmental issues.

The Green University Walking Tour, Adventure Film Festival, Earth Day Celebration and Student Sustainability Fair, and the Sustainable Apparel Show are a few highlights of Earth Week.

The 2010 bike parade was the first for CSU, but Brice said she hopes it will not be last. Due to the success of this first parade, Brice said the event might find itself an annual place with CSU’s Earth Week.

“We got some costumes and some crazy bikes,” Brice said. “I think it went extremely well.”

Staff writer Allison Welter can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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