Where is the Love?

If you use your bike as a main mode of transportation around campus…beware! If you haven’t already figured out, this campus has been rigged to destroy anyone on bikes. I know, I know, it’s sounds ludicrous, but hear me out, because the hazards are truly serious. But what to address first? The horrible sidewalk system or the people with a complete lack of awareness to their surroundings? We’ll start with some of the smaller issues of owning and riding a bike. A minor thing that generally bothers me is the placement of some of the bike racks around school. Many of the bike racks on campus, such as around the residence halls, the Arts and Letters building, and the bike rack for the Breezeway, are placed out in glorious sunshiny weather. That’s great, if you want to grab onto heated rubber and metal when you get back to your bicycle. Oh! How about hopping onto a seat with water all over it? That’s a very comfortable feeling in the air-conditioned classrooms, let me tell you. And I love having to wipe it down so the metal parts don’t rust after a nice shower. Wait a minute, if those who chose the placement of the bike racks had any sense, they may have thought about that! The bike racks are only a minute detail compared to the sidewalk system they expect us bike riders to travel.

It might just be me, but making a 140-degree turn is relatively difficult. Some of the sidewalks are circular and are fine when you’re going one way, but if you’re going the opposite direction, you end up having to make a ridiculously angled turn, requiring you to slow down drastically. This is one reason that I prefer to just go off-road, or in this case, off-sidewalk. But sometimes this isn’t that great of an option, because getting off is easy…it’s getting back onto the sidewalk that’s difficult. The height of the sidewalks is enormous and if you try to get back onto the path without a good angle on it, the rubber of your tires gets caught on the grated side of the paths due to friction, and you go straight down. That was another lovely experience for me just the other day. But this isn’t even the worst of it. So what is? People.

If there is any kind of creator up there, why in the world did he give people such a lack of sense and awareness? I don’t think us poor bike riders deserve to deal with college students who are ignorant and only aware of themselves. Really, it has to be some sort of punishment. Picture trying to drive your car in a sea of others cars full of drivers who driving with their eyes closed. I see it all: the people on cell phones who look in one direction, completely and utterly into their conversation, or the people who are talking to each other, making hand gestures and lacking all sense of what is around them.

I guess these people wouldn’t bother me if they could walk straight and not randomly fall over into my path as I try to pass them. Or if they didn’t walk in a Great Wall formation across that large sidewalk on the side of Heritage Park. But they do and I have loads of fun trying not to kill them on my bike, usually ending up saving them and eating the dirt. By the way, this address is to the people who put down the dirt and grass…could you please start using a pesticide that tastes a little better? I’m finding it easier to get used to the taste of the dirt rather than trying to avoid all the other hazards of riding a bike on this campus.

Lee Brewer is a sophomore Mathematical Sciences major. To contact Lee, you can e-mail him at [email protected].