Cycling for Their Suppers
The seven-mile trip from the campus to the Dickinson College Organic Farm offers a bucolic panorama of rolling hills, meadows and fields—and an environmentally friendly and health-boosting social opportunity, too.
Approximately 60 students, faculty and staff members and friends experienced all of those benefits April 29 when they kicked off the college’s Earth Day festivities at the fourth-annual Bike to the Farm Potluck Dinner. The rewards they reaped by cycling together to the farm extended far beyond the meal that awaited them there. [Story continues below.]
Beautiful scenery, shared.
The trip took approximately 30 minutes for faster cyclists and 60 minutes for those opting for a more leisurely pace. Either way, it was an easy ride, said Sarah Brylinsky, sustainability-education coordinator, with wide, flat roads, a few gentle hills and breathtaking scenery.
“Biking in the Cumberland Valley is spectacular,” she said. “There are views of cornfields and budding tulips, cattle grazing and laundry out to dry.”
“I experienced things I would have completely missed if I were in a car,” agreed Avery McGuire ’13, an anthropology major and avid cyclist who helped organize the event with Brylinsky. McGuire also reported feeling a strong sense of community with fellow cyclists as they sat down together for a meal and a bonfire at the farm.
Best of all, the trip was carbon-free.
It’s easier than ever for the campus community to travel sustainably in this way. Growing numbers of students, faculty, staff members and visiting family members borrow Dickinson bicycles through the college's red-bike program, and Carlisle roads now have bike lanes, thanks to this year's implementation of the road-diet plan.
A bicycle co-op is slated to open on campus next year. Through the co-op, cyclists will be able to learn how to maintain and repair their bikes.
McGuire, a driving force behind that upcoming program, said that events such as the annual Bike to the Farm reinforce the message that sustainable, healthy transportation options are available and worthwhile.
“The ride to the farm is quite a different journey on a bike,” she said. “It’s a journey that everyone should take.”
Read about another Earth Day activity at Dickinson, EarthFest.
By MaryAlice Bitts Jackson
Photos by Carl Socolow '77