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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
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Bikers receive $5,000

By Clayton Norlen

The U’s Bicycle Collective received a $5,000 donation from Clif Bar to support bicycle commuters on campus Friday.

Clif Bar, a company that makes energy bars, visited the U as part of its Natural Energy Tour to teach people how accessible their communities are by bike. The tour challenges people to ride their bikes when visiting destinations within two miles from their home.

Clif Bar contacted the U’s Bike Collective and asked if it would assist in finding a venue for the tour bus and what the collective could do with a donation of $5,000.

“(The donation) is awesome,” said Jon Wilkey, co-director of the collective. “It’s rare that someone comes to you and offers your organization money. We’re going to make the best use of the money donated to us by Clif Bar. Our plan now is to work with an architectural design class to create a permanent shop that meets the university’s building standards.”

Wilkey said the collective is looking at putting the shop in the fine arts building, but would like to find a central location on campus.

During the tour, Clif Bar plans to visit about 15 locations across the West this fall to encourage people to take the two-mile challenge and eventually opt to pick a bicycle instead of a car for short trips. Clif Bar plans to donate $25,000 in funds and bike gear to campuses and communities to encourage biking as a viable and healthy means of transportation.

“Each campus we’ve visited has come up with a way that they could use the money to best support their programs on campus,” said Hilary Martin, a spokesperson for Clif Bar. “We’re donating $5,000 to the U’s bike collective to help them get a permanent home for repairs on campus.”

According to statistics compiled by Clif Bar, 40 percent of urban errands require a person to travel two miles or less and 90 percent of those errands are made by car. The United States has the highest bicycle ownership in the world per capita, but it has the lowest bike use globally.

“We all rode bikes as kids, but somewhere along the line, we forgot about health and how fun they are to ride,” said Jeff Johnson, a spokesperson for Clif Bar. “How can you frown when you are on a bike?”

Around the world, biking is a daily activity for many. In Copenhagen, Denmark, 32 percent of the population bikes to work on a daily basis. In Japan, 3 million bikes are parked at rail stations every day, and bikes outnumber cars 250 to one in China, Johnson said.

Online at 2milechallenge.com, visitors can type in their address, and Google Maps will show users a two-mile radius around their homes and allow them to search for businesses that fall within that area.

“We’re really grateful,” said Andy Bergeson, co-director of the collective. “Hopefully we’ll be able to use the money to promote cycling on campus and get more people to leave their cars at home.”

[email protected]

Tyler Cobb

Mike Parziale, a spokesperson for Clif Bar, demonstrates the collapsibility of the Fold-in Bike during Clif Bar’s Two Mile Challenge on Friday outside of Rice-Eccles Stadium.

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