The 2011 incarnation of Bike to Work Day was observed at Berkeley under virtually perfect conditions: sunny skies, a slight breeze and a wonderfully pleasant temperature. Not to mention growing enthusiasm for cycling among students and new infrastructure and programs to support that interest.
At the Bancroft-Telegraph Energizer Station, Ginger Jui — a self-professed cycling “proselytizer” — was one of the Bike to Work Day volunteers who greeted students, staff and faculty as they rolled in. The integrative biology grad student, who heads a year-long campaign to increase bicycle ridership at Berkeley, passed out the day’s signature canvas bags (lighter on swag than in past years) — and lots of encouragement.
“I bike everywhere,” she said.
A SoCal native who kicked her dependence on the automobile six or seven years ago and never looked back, Jui hopes to kick off the Campus Bicycle Initiative campaign in September with “Campus Bike Day,” including a “big party” on Lower Sproul, complete with bands. Then the group will offer, throughout the semester, a workshop series covering such topics as general bike safety, how to cycle safely in the rain, and women in cycling.
The Berkeley campus recently installed more than 600 new parking spaces for two-wheelers, launched a student-run bike-maintenance education center, and piloted a bike-sharing program. Students themselves funded much of this work, via grants from The Green Initiative Fund.