Will Clapp, Environmental Studies ’20

Ride it Away on Earth Day

Any bicycle is earth-friendly. But a bike built by a USF student, right here on campus, from old and salvaged parts? That’s worthy of an Earth Day celebration.

“I built this bike for my girlfriend at the Backstage Bikes workshop up on Lone Mountain. Backstage Bikes collects old bikes and frames and parts from dumpsters, flea markets, friends. You go to the workshop and ‘shop’ for parts by digging through boxes, and then you put the parts together. It’s free for USF students, staff, and faculty.

“If you get stuck, Josh [Joshua McDermott, director of USF’s Tech and Design Certificate program and founder of Backstage Bikes] helps you. This bike took me about nine hours to assemble from scratch. I like to work with my hands as well as my brain. My father builds wooden boats and my brother is an engineer, so that mechanical mind runs in the family. My total out-of-pocket cost for this bike was $9, for the handlebar tape. And the whole thing is made from parts that were bound for the dump."

If this bike could talk, it would speak five languages:

The average age of parts on this bike: 23 years

How this bike embodies USF’s Jesuit awesome: It’s diverse, inclusive, and green.