A day to explore eco-friendly transit around UConn

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On Easter Sunday bikes, music, free shirts, raffles and snacks are what filled the entrance of Fairfield Way. The Student Union Board of Governors, UConn Recreation Cycle Share program, Office of Sustainability and Undergraduate Student Government sponsors Community Ride Day, an event for people to relax, skateboard, bike and rollerblade.  

Through UConn rec’s cycle share program, on-campus students can rent bikes for free. The event also featured an Easter egg hunt throughout campus. Students can return the raffle ticket in the egg for a chance to win a skateboard, bike kit, penny board, rollerblades or gift baskets.  

“We were supposed to do it last Sunday but it poured last Sunday so we’re like okay it has to be on a Sunday because UCPD told me they can’t shut down the roads on any other day besides a Sunday,” Gaston Neville, an advocacy coordinator for the transportation and recreation subcommittee at USG and organizer of the event, said.  “The next Sunday after this is spring break so I was like we still want this to be done, we’re just gonna do it on Easter and make it Easter themed. We came up with an idea to do a scavenger hunt with prizes because we still have a good amount of money leftover in the budget so I was like ok we can do a raffle.” 

Neville said the widespread support from administrators and the UConn police department made the event easy to plan. He said the event took a month to plan, but it will be easier in the future to make it a recurring event. Neville says he would like to host Community Ride Day once every semester and possibly host it on another holiday so more people will participate.  

“It was a fun event and it was great weather today,” Qingli Hu, sixth-semester physiology and neurobiology and psychology double major said. “It was completely free so we were like why not and it’s a good way to exercise too. If they could advertise it more in the future, there would be more people, but I thought it was a good event.” 

Students needed to register in advance to pick up their bikes but can ride them any time between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. throughout campus. 

“It’s a beautiful day, I like how they sectioned all the routes for us, for cars and stuff so it was a lot safer.” Photo by Jodie Louise via Pexels

“I rented a bike here before but I think these bikes are brand new. I got a free t-shirt, a water bottle. It was a nice day and yea I really enjoyed it,” Dana Chamberlain, an eighth-semester nutritional science major said.  

Saumya Shah, a sixth-semester computer major said she planned to go to this event with a group of her friends and had a great time.  

“It’s a beautiful day, I like how they sectioned all the routes for us, for cars and stuff so it was a lot safer,” Saumya Shah, a sixth-semester computer science major said. “We got some goodies too, it’s a good way to spend time with people in a COVID safe way.” 

Neville said the hardest part was ordering the t-shirts for the event. He said the design of the shirt took one day, but logistically buying the shirts took a lot of time. Neville said the goal of the event is to promote sustainable transportation and raise awareness about biking.  

“We’re trying to show the roads are for more than just cars, they’re for cyclists too,” Neville said. “This should be more naturally occurring stuff, a lot of cities across the U.S. and Europe especially, they actually do this every weekend. They shut down the roads every single weekend in the downtown area and then open it up to cyclists, open it up to pedestrians and it’s always super popular and people always love it.” 

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