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5 Guidelines for Biking Around Campus

Bike rack

In college towns, bicycles are a great way to get around campus. You get to class quicker than walking. You’re not bound to a bus schedule. You’re looking out for the environment and also getting some exercise.

But bikers also have enemies. There is the pedestrian who always feels like they’re in the way. There are the buses and cars that aren’t always comfortable with sharing the road — drivers questioning the biker’s every move.

“Are they turning?” “Are they stopping?” “Why are they so close to me?”

It’s time for the healing to begin. Here’s a few guidelines to keep in mind when you’re riding your bike around campus. Hopefully they can help ease some of the long-standing tension between biker and pedestrian.

1. Learn The Signals

Yes, in case you didn’t know, there are specified hand signals for bicyclists when they are in traffic. Anyone who wants to bike through campus or downtown should know these signals, just in case. I know it’s a cliche, but “safety first.”

2. Take Out Your Headphones

We all love our music when we trek around campus. When you’re on a bike, you’re not always able to be on the sidewalk. Before you cut off a truck or a hurried freshman because you’re rocking out to Iron Maiden or Lil Wayne, take your earbuds out. It’s an unnecessary distraction.

3. Don’t Be Too Brave Around Cars

Use your best judgement when you’re on campus and want to pull the old “weave-a-roo” around a car that is letting pedestrians cross. Survey the road ahead and watch those CATA buses. They need to be places, too.

4. Don’t Be Too Brave Around People

You might not be trying to force people out of your way when you’re riding, but it happens. Once you’re off your bike, make sure to share the sidewalk. Just because you’re walking with a bike doesn’t give you the right to clear people out.

5. Tandem Bikes Are Not Cool

Or are they? I’ll let you be the judge.

And just a reminder, all bikes need to be registered in Centre County. Penn State also has a campus map for cyclists that shows where you’re allowed to ride, so at least now you know where it’s okay to cuss out cyclists for riding on the sidewalk.

About the Author

Shawn Christ

I am a junior majoring in print journalism. I am American. I am a Lion.

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