March 25, 2008
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
NOTE: This month's ride has been canceled as of March 27
Critical Mass bicycle event promotes clean transportation
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Bicyclists will take to the streets en masse Friday when the Slippery Rock University Cycling Club and other campus groups sponsor a Critical Mass ride to promote reliance on petroleum-free transportation. The bike ride will begin at 6 p.m. in front of SRU's Robert N. Aebersold Student Recreation Center and is open to the public. No reservations are required.
Riders, some in "crazy wigs and on unicycles and tandem bikes" will pedal across campus and along Main Street in Slippery Rock, said Dan Cannon, an SRU student from West Lake, Ohio, and member of the club. Slippery Rock Police will provide an escort through town for the participants.
Critical Mass rides, which began in San Francisco in 1992, are conducted on the last Friday of the month to draw attention to a cause, in this case clean commuting.
"The purpose of our ride is to raise awareness that petroleum transportation isn't always necessary - get out and ride a bike and use environmentally friendly transportation," Cannon said.
"We're promoting bicycle riding, bicycle commuting and the healthy lifestyle that goes along with that," said Steve Roberts, SRU's coordinator of the Outdoor Adventures program and an avid cyclist.
University sponsors include the Cycling Club, Outdoor Adventures program, Outing Club, the Green Bike Initiative, The Green Fund and ARC.
Representatives from Pittsburgh 250 Community Connections, the group that recently gave the Green Bike Initiative a $5,000 grant, were invited to participate as were local lawmakers. The Green Bike Initiative makes loaner bicycles available on campus. The group used part of the grant to purchase 10 new single-speed, coaster break bicycles for inclusion in the green bike program. Five new bikes were given by the Pennsylvania Film Institute.
The grant will also buy 100 trees for a spring planting on campus.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.