Pirate Bikes are back!
On September 20th, the Southwestern Campus celebrated a very important birthday — the Pirate Bike’s Sweet 16! Not only was this an exciting day of cupcakes, party hats, and photobooth mayhem, the 20th also marked one month since the bikes’ return to campus post-campus lockdown. On August 23rd, second-years had the opportunity to be the first students to ride the pirate bikes into the first day of the 2021-2022 academic year. This was indeed special as a majority of second-years were experiencing Southwestern campus life and tradition for the first time, away from the RingCentral college experience they had come to know as their first-year at Southwestern University. The launch was hosted by Southwestern’s Mosaic organization and The Pirate Bike Foundation. Located just outside of the Howry building, Sophomores stood anxiously with hands gripped to handlebars. Some had not ridden a bike in a long time. Some had never ridden a bike at all. After a brief presentation by SU faculty on pirate bike history, safety, and guidelines, the second-years hopped onto the bikes and set out single file into their long-awaited ‘first day’ of Southwestern experience.
According to the info tags tied to the pirate bikes on the day of the launch, the Pirate Bike Program was created 16 years ago by Heidi Meyer Curry in response to the death of her brother, SU alum of ‘86, Walter P. Meyer. Meyer, commonly known as “Wally,” passed away in a bicycle accident in Austin in 2004, of which inspired his sister to create the pirate bikes as they encapsulated his love for biking, and kept “his memory and spirit alive.” Since then, with the help of the Georgetown community, the Pirate Bike Program has helped to maintain, provide maintenance, and replenish pirate bikes on campus for the past 16 years. With all that has happened within the last year-and-a-half, such as that of a Covid-19 pandemic, it is refreshing to see campus-wide excitement for the return of the Pirate Bikes. It is safe to say, these quirky yellow bikes, for students new and old, are here to stay. Happy birthday Pirate Bikes. And remember folks, break for squirrels.