By Laura Walsh
Students and faculty gathered outside the H building on Friday, Oct. 16 to participate in the second-annual Link to Lawrenceville event. Participants rode bicycles to downtown Lawrenceville where lunch was provided by Local Republic before riding back to GGC alongside the police escort of motorcycles and pickup trucks. Collaboration between the Environmental Club, Grizzly Cycling, and the Sustainability Committee paid off as many students lined up in hopes of getting a rental bicycle provided by The Bicycle Doctor and facilitated by Wes Mendoza, GGC history major and co-president of Grizzly Cycling.
“I want to give The Bicycle Doctor a major shout out for letting us borrow the bikes for the event,” said Mendoza, who also works for the shop. The shop donated both bicycles and helmets to help more students participate in the event and they plan to participate again next year to keep the tradition alive. “We’re trying to get the community together and help out students who don’t have bikes so they could participate or help students who want to learn to cycle.”
The weather was perfect, with clear skies and a cool breeze as participants left the campus riding close together with big smiles to help facilitate the best pictures. By the time they arrived at the downtown square, many were tired, out of breath and eager for lunch. Skill levels varied significantly as some attendees were members of Grizzly Cycling who race regularly and many others were inexperienced — some had not ridden a bike since they were a young child. Riding a bike is different than other fitness methods,
which took many of the otherwise active participants by surprise. “I ride a stationary bike at home every morning which is why I thought I could do it,” said Mai Yin Tsoi, Associate Professor of Chemistry, “but it doesn’t go uphill.” Tsoi had cancelled her RSVP the day before the event because she heard that they didn’t have extra bicycles available, but then said that she was lucky to find a change of clothes in her trunk so that she could attend. Even if the shorts were UGA spirit wear, which was very embarrassing for Tsoi.
“There’s a lot of people here that have not ridden a bicycle in a very long time, but you never forget, you just hop on and pedal,” said David Dam, 28, a pre-medical major and co-president of Grizzly Cycling. Dam is a post-bacc student who chose to study at GGC after receiving his bachelor’s in business administration in accounting at Georgia State University (GSU).
Dam has been riding bicycles regularly for around four or five years and enjoys teaching others what he has learned about cycling. “If it weren’t for David, I probably wouldn’t have ridden, I truly didn’t know what I was going to do without there being a beach cruiser,” said Tsoi. “He taught me how to raise my seat and how to work the shifter gear thing.”
Tsoi laughed while telling Dam that he was only the teacher for “a moment in time,” and she would be assuming the mantel again on Monday. As a professor, Tsoi said that the best part of the event was the comradery between the faculty and the students.
“My legs hurt and I think it was evil of them to give us lunch and then tell us ride back after my tummy was full of turkey,” said Tsoi, “but I’m so glad I found these clothes in my trunk so I was able to attend” “Everyone I talked to loved it and I’m glad we could get the City of Lawrenceville and the police escort to make it fun and safe for everyone” said Dam.