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Student-organized Bike Week October 27-31 spotlights carbon neutrality

October 27, 2008

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Will Drucker, a Middlebury College senior, conceived of Middlebury Bike Week, October 27-31, as a way to highlight "the disconnect between the ethic of carbon neutrality and people's everyday behavior."

With a town-wide Halloween Bike Ride, a bicycle safety class, free bike maintenance, a film screening, slide show, and even a game of bicycle polo, the College's Sunday Night Group in collaboration with the on-campus Bike Shop have organized a five-day event to promote bicycle use and other sustainable modes of transportation.

Drucker, who's from Wilmette, Illinois, said the inspiration for Middlebury Bike Week came from "participating in the critical mass bike rides" in Chicago. "Seeing thousands of people from all walks of life taking to streets on their bikes gave me the idea of doing something like that here. It's my way of encouraging people to go to the next level and really reduce their individual carbon emissions."

The Halloween Bike Ride is open to everyone in the community-college students, townspeople, children, faculty, and staff-and will include a costumes-optional, 7.5-mile ride starting on the lawn of Twilight Hall near the junction of Route 125 (College Street) and Route 23 (Weybridge Street). It will begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, October 31.

The group ride will include loops through Chipman Park and Buttolph Acres, take bicyclists through the Pulp Mill Covered Bridge and around Gorham Lane, and conclude on campus near Pearsons Hall. (A permit from the Town of Middlebury authorizing the ride is pending, Drucker said.)

People are encouraged to participate in any portion of the ride. "If kids want to get off their bikes and trick or treat along the way, that's fine with us," Drucker noted. "It's all about people getting out, riding their bikes, and having a fun, exciting, and healthy experience without their cars."

Bike Week is sponsored by the Tree House Fund, Ross Commons, and Brainerd Commons. All of the events during Bike Week are free and open to the public. Other activities include:

Monday, October 27

- Screening of the Academy-Award winning film "Breaking Away" (1979, 100 minutes) at 9 p.m. in McCardell Bicentennial Hall, Room 216

- Bike maintenance class held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the College Bike Shop in the lower level of Adirondack House (also offered on Wed.)

Tuesday, October 28

- Bicycle safety class conducted from 4 to 6 p.m. at the College Bike Shop, Adirondack House

Wednesday, October 29

- Bike maintenance class held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the College Bike Shop in the lower level of Adirondack House (also offered on Monday)

- South American bike trip slide show and discussion presented by Jon Kruchoski '07 from 9 to 10:30 p.m. in McCardell Bicentennial Hall, Room 216

Thursday, October 30

- Bike polo game at 4 p.m. on "Battell Beach," the quad behind Forest Hall on Route 125

Friday, October 31

- Bike to Work Week Award Ceremony at 3 p.m. on the Twilight Hall lawn

- Halloween Bike Ride starting at 4 p.m. on the Twilight Hall lawn

In addition, informal Bike Week rides will occur Monday through Thursday beginning at 3 p.m. from the on-campus Bike Shop in the lower level of Adirondack Hall.

For more information about Bike Week, contact Will Drucker at wdrucker@middlebury.edu.