Ding! Ding! Biking on campus

Ding! Ding! Biking on campus

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Halfway through last semester, my mother mentioned that she had picked up a bicycle at a local Goodwill. She had gotten a good deal on it and asked me if I’d like to take it to school and use it to get from class to class.

To be honest, I wasn’t too thrilled with the idea. I had always seen people rid- ing around on bikes and thought little of it. I thought that it must be inconvenient to have to chain them up every time you wanted to leave them around. That alone seemed like it would take more time to do than to just walk the extra little bit.

Well, on the way back to Macon last month, I decided to take the bike with me. Because I was now so close, I thought it would be a good idea to bike to class every morning instead of driving my car. It only took one ride from my house to Mercer for me to regret not having a bike before now.

A bike is possibly the best thing for a college student to have, except for maybe a laptop, or pencil. I can’t recommend it highly enough. The reasons to ride are nu- merous, from things like travel time, to ex- ercise, to just plain making new friends. It really has changed a lot about me, and for the small cost that they take to maintain, it has been an entirely pleasant experience.

Obviously, there are physical benefits to riding a bike. First off, the time spent traveling is cut down significantly. I have a chain with a key lock, and it takes me maybe ten seconds to clip it on or off the bike. Once that’s done, I’m sailing away, breaking in the new sidewalks of Cruz Plaza like a middle school student in the ‘50s. It really is a lot of fun to just glide down a hill, veering around those lowly walkers, or to just take your hands off the handles and spread them like an air- plane. I’m 21, and it still makes me giddy.

Bikes also bring connections between people. While chaining your bike, there’s a chance that another biker may ride up and chain alongside you. Right there, you already have two things in common: First, you both have the similar experience of riding bikes through campus, and sec- ond, you’re in the same place, which could mean similar majors or hobbies. If they’re cute, you simply flash a grin and compli- ment their wheels. “Hey, nice bell. How about dinner Thursday?” *(The Cluster is not responsible for any hearts broken using information found in its articles.)

Although there are a lot of upsides to rid- ing a bike, there are the usual nuisances that come with it. We certainly need more ramps here on campus. I have to avoid the east part of the CSC, unless I want to carry my bike upstairs. Not too big of a deal, but it certainly makes you think about and ap- preciate handicap accessibility a little more.

Another thing to consider is that sometimes walkers walk very slowly. I’m a little shy, so for me to ring my bell at somebody or ask them to move out of the way feels very rude. It’s not rude in the least—you just have to do it properly. Ask politely with a smile, and they should let you pass. If not, just run them down. *(The Cluster does not condone all behavior suggested in its opinions section.)

Overall, riding bikes around campus has been a truly great experience. It’s been a lot of fun, and has really helped me stay in shape. My thighs are looking killer right now. If you’re worried about money, the Bear Bikes program on campus is extreme- ly affordable and takes care of all maintenance as well. Biking is something I believe every student should look into, and I hope to see you all pedaling around in the future.