Pros and cons of biking at Cal

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When it comes to bikes, our campus seems to be divided. An unspoken rivalry hangs in the air between the bikers and the walkers … the bikers just want the walkers out of the way and the walkers just don’t want to be run over.

This week, our great university has sided with the bikers. The Bicycle Friendly University (yes, this is a real thing) recognized 58 universities for being ‘bicycle friendly’ campuses — Cal was given the silver award as a new member this semester.

What exactly does this mean for students at Cal? We can probably expect an increased number of bikes on campus, since the school is now officially promoting it.

For some this may be amazing news, while others may be cringing at the thought of dodging more bikers. However you view the current situation (if you’ve ever even thought about it), we all have a choice to make: are you going to join in on the bike hype? The choice is up to you.

To help you out, we at the Clog has some pros and cons for you to consider before becoming a Berkeley biker.

Pros:

Time efficient. With a bike, you can get to a class across campus in five minutes. As long as you know how to ride well and can maneuver around people, this could be a huge time saver.

More convenient than buses. Perfectly timing buses around your schedule is a hit or miss kind of deal. If you’re cursed with bad bus luck, a bike could completely eliminate your problem.  

Increased daily exercise. Studying enough to pass your classes takes up a majority of our time. We’re sure everyone would like to work out if they could, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Biking around campus would increase your daily exercise and release some endorphins …  and make you happy!   

Cons:

Accidents. Bikes pose a risk of terrible accidents if you aren’t careful. Look out for cars and people walking. Coming into contact with either one of these on a bike is terribly dangerous, not to mention painful.  

Theft is real. We’ve seen countless bikes with missing parts — still locked on the bike rack — while walking through campus. Bikes can be expensive, so the risk of them being stolen is important to consider. 

Storage. If you plan to live in an apartment or a place without bike storage, consider where you can store it. They aren’t the most space-saving items, so make sure you have a place to put it if you want to have one.

Contact Kristen McFadden at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @kmcfadden7.