Don't be a DIRC: Clown crashes bike at CU-Boulder, in name of safety
by Christy Fantz
Boulder Daily Camera / Colorado Daily
With baffled students looking on, a masked clown cruised the University of Colorado's Norlin Quad on a mini bicycle Thursday afternoon, erratically crashing into trees and throwing himself onto the ground.
"What the heck?" a passing student asked.
"That dude is hilarious," another said.
So who was that masked man?
His name's Julian Yeats, and he's a CU student -- and professional clown -- hired by the university to play a character named DIRC, an acronym that stands for "Dangerous, Irresponsible Rider on Campus," as part of an ongoing safety campaign.
"We're trying to emphasize bike and skateboard safety on campus," said Yeats, who runs an entertainment business called J and J Clowns. "It's been getting some good reaction. It makes people wonder what a DIRC is."
The comical character was created to draw attention to what many students perceive as dangerous behavior on campus. The DIRC campaign begin last fall as a blog (recklessatcu.blogspot.com) to gather feedback and stories about reckless bicycling and skateboarding at CU.
Jdiscuss the campaign next Thursday evening with members from organizations such as the pedestrian safety committee, the police department and the parking and transportation office.
Peter Roper, program manager for CU's Sustainable Transportation Program, stressed that the campaign is not anti-bike, a common misconception.
"The DIRC campaign is lighting a fire on the campus," Roper said. "We want it to be a hot topic to discuss."