Wobbly Friday Gets Students Rolling into the Weekend
Sophie Wiener ’25 investigates the new student-run tradition of Wobbly Friday through conversations with both its founders and summer participants.
If you were walking by the Green on a Friday evening, you might spot a horde of Dartmouth students on bikes slowly gathering, listening to music and preparing to embark upon a campus-wide ride. After congregating at an arbitrarily chosen time — some weeks at 7:03, others 7:17 or maybe even 7:11 — the group takes off, shooting in front of Baker, around Occom, past the Co-op, to the Rugby Field, back down Rip Road and finally onto East Wheelock Street. When conditions are right, the group ends the ride with a dip in the Connecticut. Founded by Jack Reilly ’24 and Tommy Bevevino ’24, this event is none other than “Wobbly Friday.”
Dartmouth students are certainly no strangers to unconventional activities. This is a school where it’s normal to walk around a giant bonfire or show up to Foco decked out in flair, so it was easy for Wobbly Friday to seamlessly integrate into Dartmouth’s tradition-focused campus culture. Reilly initially drew inspiration for the event after spending time in Salt Lake City during his gap year, which hosts a city-wide ride every Thursday called 999. 999 participants wear glow-in-the-dark accessories and listen to music while taking a lap around the city. Reilly mentioned this event to Bevevino, and the pair mulled over the idea of a Dartmouth version of the ride. During spring term’s Pond Skim, the two casually pitched the idea to a group of friends, and their plan became reality in just a few short weeks.
The inaugural Wobbly Friday was advertised on the pair’s social media pages, and they were joined by a collection of about 20 friends. The riders numbered in the twenties for a few weeks, then slowly increased to 30, according to Reilly. The largest ride took place at 2:17 pm on Green Key Friday, when over 50 people joined the troupe, Reilly said. Both Bevevino and Reilly cited this ride as their favorite Wobbly Friday memory. “The energy was crazy,” Bevevino said. “It was the middle of the day, and people were way more willing to drop everything and go for a bike ride.”
Reilly said he appreciates that he has witnessed a non-Greek-related activity take off with popularity around campus, allowing people to mingle who might have never met otherwise.
“People just show up to blow off some steam on a Friday, get weird, stand out as individuals and just ride bikes with their friends and have a good time,” said Reilly.
Reilly’s favorite part of each ride occurs at the Rugby Field, where participants take the opportunity to hop off their bikes to chat with old friends and meet new ones. Reilly noted that he finds this setting for socialization refreshing, as it deviates from the typical basement scene, where the music often blasts so loudly you can barely hear the person next to you.
Similarly, Tatum Witter ’25, a frequent Wobbly Friday participant, said she enjoys how “wholesome” the event is with its undeniably goofy atmosphere. She particularly loves how Wobbly Friday is not only exclusive to bikes. Though bikes are certainly the most popular form of transportation, some students rollerblade or skateboard — ultimately, anything on wheels goes. In Witter’s time “wobbling,” the group has even convinced random Dartmouth students out for a bike ride to join them in completing their route.
Jasmine Drolet ’25, who started riding with Witter in the spring, said her favorite part of the event is riding with her friends and enjoying the nice weather in a stress-free environment. The pair agrees that the atmosphere of Wobbly is different during sophomore summer than it was in the previous term. Though there are fewer participants, the smaller number of riders allows the group to create their own summer traditions, like adding a lap through the President’s driveway into their route.
This summer has also marked the beginning of several students’ time wobbling. Dylan Griffith ’25, a self-proclaimed “outsider in the wobbler community,” said he has found the group to be very accepting even though he isn’t a weekly participant. Griffith noted that Wobbly Friday is “exhilarating” and a great way to decompress while enjoying Dartmouth’s scenery.
“The serenity that surrounds us is underappreciated, and Wobbly really gives you that opportunity to get out there and be one with nature,” he said.
Griffith said he doesn’t notice the time flying by or check his phone while traveling with the group. Wobbly Friday gives him the chance to enjoy meaningful time with his friends — time he doesn’t always have when balancing the academic and social pressures of a typical Dartmouth term. He added that by the end of each session, the Wobbly rider community feels “one with nature, one with Dartmouth and one with each other.”
So what does the future hold for this new Dartmouth tradition? Reilly imagines typical Wobbly Fridays will continue until it gets so cold that your hands freeze to the handlebars. During the winter, he hopes to transform the activity into Skwobbly Fridays, where participants take laps on the Skiway. Ultimately, he and Bevevino hope that following their graduation, the tradition will be passed on. Reilly jokes that hopefully the community of wobblers grows until the roads have to be shut down. Until then, you can be sure that the Wobbly community will continue to — as Bevevino put it — “let go for a bit, have fun and be a bit silly.”