There’s something thrilling about weaving in and out of congested traffic and maneuvering around pedestrians on two wheels and a banana seat. If you’re like me then you’re an avid bicyclist.
To me, Philadelphia is perfect for riding because there are few hills to climb and many roads have separate bike lanes. Sure you’re out in the elements – rain, wind, sweltering heat and even snow (for those crazy bikers), but when the city is asleep, nothing beats the feeling of coasting on an empty road or sidewalk on a warm night. It might be equivalent to cruising in a snazzy convertible, without the whacked-out hair you get when you ride with the top down. Since the weather will be changing from warm and sunny to painfully cold and bleak, my shiny, blue bike will be relegated to the backyard. Even though my bike has sticky duct tape on the handlebars and the brakes have an embarrassing screech, I’ve grown quite fond of my Ross 10-speed. To some it may appear to be a death machine, but it gets me where I need to go. I think miscreants will think twice when they try to steal my hunk of junk.
If you’re a Temple student and you don’t already have a bike, you should consider purchasing one. Riding a bike is like multitasking – you can reach a destination much more quickly than you could by walking, and you are getting some serious exercise as well. It doesn’t count if you’re riding a Vespa. Also, it’s much easier to find a parking spot with a bike than a car – you can park almost anywhere. Not only would you be getting exercise, you wouldn’t be contributing to pollution – unless you litter while riding your bike
I may be extolling the qualities of transportation by bike, but there are times when biking is not a blast. For instance, when you ride a bike in the city, you have to be extremely aware of your surroundings. Don’t go riding a bike on Chestnut or Walnut streets after a two-hour final exam – it’s likely that you’ll run over a small child or be hit by a taxi. Even supposedly bike-friendly places like Kelly Drive, where puppies and children run amok, can be treacherous to spin your wheels.
Biking is fun and perfect for college students in the city-just use caution and try not to kill yourself or someone else!
Ellen Minsavage can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.