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Welcome to Green Gal's blog, where you'll find stories, recipes, gardening updates, and green tips related to nature, adventure, placemaking, and food systems. This blog is written by a young woman entrepreneur who is also a beginning farmer-gardener and seasoned sustainability educator who loves to grow, cook, ferment, and eat local and ecologically happy food.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

UC Santa Cruz Bike to Work & School Day Adventures

On a typical Thursday, I wake up around 9 AM and make my way by bike or leg power to work in the Sustainability Office on campus. But today was no typical Thursday morning. Today is Bike to Work & School Day, which meant that my day began at 6 AM when my phone alarm went a-buzzin'. I hopped out of bed around 6:15 AM, ready to zoom down the hill to the base of campus.

UC Santa Cruz is a pretty cool place to be a cyclist. You get a real challenge on the way up to campus and such a fantastically speedy and beautiful ride down after the day is done. Since I live on campus and I was volunteering at the base of campus to serve breakfast to cyclists, my morning began with that awesome ride, the bay in view and the flowery meadows in my peripheral vision.

The view from the UC Santa Cruz bike path on a typical afternoon. Glorious!
 
It was great to connect with fellow students and community members who were also helping out at the breakfast station. At UCSC today, there were three breakfast sites: base of campus, top of the bike path, and Quarry Plaza. Throughout Santa Cruz County, there were more than 60 sites for folks to grab free breakfast after their ride to work or school.

At the base of campus, I saw students, staff members, and most likely some of the folks who came by were faculty members. I also saw kids on their way to school who were stopping by our site before continuing to their school breakfast site. We cheered when groups arrived, gave out free helmets from Transportation & Parking Services to those who needed a new one, and enjoyed the morning with others who saw value to biking their way to destinations over driving or busing.


Each person who received breakfast was required to fill out a brief survey, and I cannot wait to see the results of all the surveys from UCSC. I'm hoping to participate in the Impact Designs: Engineering through Sustainability and Student Service (IDEASS) program next year and work on a bike-related project in Santa Cruz, so it'd be awesome to see some statistics from this year regarding how often people say they bike to campus and why they do so. I'm planning on helping Ecology Action, the local non-profit who hosts Bike to Work Day in Santa Cruz, enter some data from these surveys sometime next week. It will be an opportunity to begin building relationships with those in the organization so that I can find ways to collaborate with them next year.

I also want to give a shout out to People Power, who had one representative at our base of campus breakfast site, seeking signatures to show local city and county governments that residents are stoked and ready for the creation of the Coastal Rail Trail. To find out more and sign the petition, click here. (On a similar note, People Power's Tawn O Kennedy and Santa Cruz Bike Party organized a Bike Party that cycled around Santa Cruz and Capitola a couple Fridays ago. Check out the photos from that event here and here!)

After helping out at the base of campus, I rode up Hagar Drive to Quarry Plaza for some orange juice and to chat with some friends I've gotten to know through getting more involved with bicycling at UCSC this year. The Student Environmental Center's People's Bike Generator was hooked up to some speakers, bumping some tunes powered by student leg energy (a renewable resource when the student is fed coffee and bagels).

One of the Student Environmental Center Transportation Campaign interns asked me if I'd like to be interviewed for a video they're making, and I said sure. Sitting on a rock in the Quarry beside my Specialized "Dolce" road bike, wearing my "One Less Car" t-shirt and my bike necklace, I spoke about why I love cycling in Santa Cruz, about how more young girls should be out on their bikes and at the high school bike racks in their skirts and heels to show the world that the cycling world isn't just for guys, and about how new cyclists should talk to other cyclists to find safer and easier routes to get where they need to go. Once that video is made and ready for showing, I'll be sure to post it here!


Woah, it's only 10 AM and I've already had so many bike adventures this morning! Time to pedal on over to the Sustainability Office and then bike on over to class with my favorite professor, who though he's been around UCSC since its founding still rides his bike to campus some days.

How was your Bike to Work/School Day? What keeps you from biking as transportation to work, school, or errrands more often? Share in the comments!

Thanks for reading, and Happy Bike to Work Day!

2 comments:

  1. Great post, Green Gal! Thanks for all you do for the environment :) You really inspire me to think about what else I could be doing to help out the Earth :D

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  2. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic that has been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

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I love reading comments and am always up for a discussion! Thank you!

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