Tour guides from all over the state have hailed San Francisco as “the land of the bike.” According to the 2006 David Binder Poll, 30,000 plus San Franciscans use a bicycle as their primary mode of transportation. USF students are no exception. Many bike to campus and also bike for fun. Their bikes can be seen parked near Gleeson Library, University Center and outside Cowell Hall. Senior environmental studies major, Tarun Manya wants to take this biking passion one step further with the introduction of the Larger Rubber, a new bike club on campus.
The Larger Rubber Club was not registered in time to participate in the Involvement Fair, so Manya has been working to talk with students to make them aware of the club and to gather signatures for a petition. The Office of Student Leadership and Engagement (SLE) requires aspiring clubs to gain signatures and write a Constitution to become offically recognized. Tarun Manya, attempted to post up on the outskirts of the Involvement Fair, “I was[trying] to be as close as possible so I could get more people interested in the bike club, or upcoming bike club,” he said, but he was escorted away by Public Safety officers. Assistant Director of SLE, Darren Pierre, said that he “didn’t know anything about the group” and so “could not, in good conscience, allow them to participate in the Involvement Fair.” Pierre does believe, however, that if the club can get registered it is “absolutely” a positive addition to USF. “Wherever there is a need and students can create ‘community’,” he said, there should be a club. The Larger Rubber Club does indeed cater to a desire for encouraging students to use alternative modes of transportation, and for students who bike to get together to share biking resources, information and experience.
Manya is currently getting a petition signed and creating a constitution, as part of the registration process required by SLE to become recognized as a club. In addition to promoting the use of bicycles, the club will participate in events based on the interests of its members. One San Francisco biking tradition is traversing the Golden Gate Bridge while taking in the city’s skyline. Freshman Lauren Birdwell expressed interest in the group, she said, “I’ve always wanted to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge!”