The Clif Bar Natural Energy Tour is rolling to the University campus, on its way to the Pacific Ocean, in a 1958 tricked-out, Greyhound biodiesel bus. The bus, which raises awareness about alternative forms of transportation, is making its stop on campus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 15.
The classic bus runs on 100 percent biodiesel and has been converted into an interactive exhibit on global warming.
"The bus provides a walk-through, educational opportunity to learn about global warming and other climate issues," said John Sagebiel, environmental affairs manager of the environmental health and safety department at the University.
Tour organizers say that 40 percent of car trips are for errands within two miles of people's homes. The Natural Energy tour is challenging people help fight global warming by running, walking or riding a bike for these trips.
The 2 Mile Challenge includes seven different tasks. Challengers choose and sign up online for one or more of the tasks described on the Clif Bar Web site, set a deadline and then "get rolling." Progress reports and updates are then emailed to each contestant. The challenges include: Get a bike, Map My 2 Miles, Commit to Ride, Trick Out My Bike, Be A Bike Ambassador, Challenge a Friend or write your own challenge.
Bicycling reduces polluting emissions and road congestion. Sagebiel said, for him, the benefits are many: fitness, exercise, fresh air, but mostly the enjoyment of riding.
"I have a long and sometimes successful career of working to 'green' my lifestyle in many ways," Sagebiel said. "We are trying to promote and encourage the use of bicycles."
Students, faculty and the public will gather in the metered parking lot just north of the Brian J. Whalen Parking Complex to see the bus, in view of the soon-to-be-opened Joe Crowley Student Union. The University's Department of Environmental Health and Safety, its Academy for the Environment and the Transportation and Parking Services department are sponsoring the eco-friendly event, which features an information station, giveaways, and an ultimate high-tech electric-boost Optibike on display.
"This is an exciting and important event to be happening on our campus and I hope everyone who comes learns, and has a great time," Sagebiel said.
The Department of Environmental Health & Safety operates a comprehensive environmental health and safety program. We promote environmental, occupational health, and safety services through education, consultation and research.