The Geese Are Coming! And so are more bikes!

Following the moons that bring new sunshine, longer sunshine, and the arrival of white hawks, comes the moon that in Alaska is a sure sign of spring; tiŋmirrat tatqiat (pronounced "ding-meer-rut tut-ke-at" in which the 'k' is a stronger guttural sound than that which is used in English), in the northwest Alaskan Inuit language, Iñupiatun, is the way my ancestors identified with what we commonly know in some form or another as the month of April. During these early spring days, it's as if the campus and community shed winter's snow coat and begin feeding off the rejuvenating daylight that continually shines longer each day. For those of you who may have not experienced a winter in Alaska, the arrival of spring is a truly joyous and exciting time to be alive which always reminds me of the Chinese proverb: without having experienced the cold of winter, one cannot appreciate the warmth of spring. Here at UAF, there are many simple yet illustrious ways the community livens up, and if I were to give UAF an Iñupiatun name for the month of April it might be something like 'aksraligautit tatqiat': the bicycles are coming. Snow melts, revealing the earth and the non-winter biker's bikes and, ready to be tuned up to hit the trails and/or roads.

photo from Facebook, UAFairbanks

For more information on learning how to tune up your bike or if you need a hand with such tasks, UAF Green Bikes provides a self-service bike repair stand on campus and trained mechanics that are available a few times a week. There are also tools, pumps, spare parts, and both short-term and long-term rentals! Their website is located here if you're ready to put a little pedal time in during these beautiful spring days. It's a great way to celebrate spring, enjoy the outdoors and in a way that's healthy for the body and reduces ones carbon footprint. Happy trails, and keep an ear out for those geese and an eye out for those bikers - they're coming! :-)

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