Biking culture 'on the Banks' can revitalize your commuter


It is a sunny day in New Brunswick, and you have class soon. You could take the bus or start walking — or you could strap on your helmet and take your bicycle out for a spin on the New Brunswick pavement.

Imagine having the wind rushing by your face as you see your fellow classmates squished together like sardines in a can, taking the EE down George Street. Think how idly they sit on that bus, while you are listening to your favorite tunes, getting a free workout and saving yourself time and stress!

Commuting with half the wheels of a car is truly double the fun. Here at Rutgers University, there have been measures made in the last few years to improve the safety and efficiency behind commuting on a bicycle.  

Bicycle lanes and racks, equipment stations, increased signage, local Cyclovia events and even a bicycle share program offered by the Rutgers Department of Transportation are a few of the ways the University is helping students and community members alike get peddling. But, you're worried about safety, sweating or the price tag, right?

Let me walk you through some of the "negatives" of bicycle commuting, and then offer some tips to get started right. Number one, you will sweat. If you bike far enough, you will sweat on a 30-degree windy day. All you need to do is bring a change of clothes and give yourself a few extra minutes to change before class or work.

Number two, you will get into some possibly unnerving situations between cars, pedestrians and the Rutgers buses that you are avoiding. The best way to stay safe on your two trusty wheels is to plan ahead and anticipate. If you think that a car will cut you off, then prepare for that exact scenario.  Always be one step ahead of whatever the road may throw at you.

Number three, the price tag. There is a quick way to validate the price of investing in a quality bike, helmet, set of lights and proper attire. Think of the worst Rutgers bus experience you have ever had, think of missing a bus because it was full or waiting for a bus in the cold. Now, imagine being home or in class already because you took transportation into your own hands with your own bike!

Commuting by bicycle is a load of fun, healthy for you and good for the environment. It has its cons on a cold and rainy day or an incredibly hot day, but the buses and driving your own car have plenty more cons of their own too.

Take transportation into your own hands this year. Control your own schedule, get more exercise, give the environment a little break (she deserves it), and be a part of a growing movement.  Use half the wheels for double the fun.

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