A lot of campuses have policies that restrict freshmen from bringing a car. So what’s a new kid to do? Bring a bike! Riding a bike seems to only be acceptable for three reasons:

  1. You are 10 years old and can’t drive and you need some way to transport yourself to the grocery store to buy a delicious Kit-Kat.

  2. You are a part of the intense cyclist community which also means you enjoy homemade trail mix and/or you live in Portland.

  3. You are in college.

Luckily, you meet the criteria for reason number three.

The Benefits of Bike Ownership

1. They are inexpensive.

You are a college student now, which probably means money is sparse and you’ll start thinking in terms of how many Chipotle burritos you can buy instead of paying for gas. Cars are expensive. Insurance, oil changes, buying the actual car. It’s a lot cheaper to buy a bike than it is to buy/lease an automobile. .

2. No parking pass required.

Bikes are easy to store, and you don’t need to buy a parking pass. Parking passes can be up to $280 per school quarter. No thank you! All campuses have bike racks located in convenient spots. Some even have fancy holding units for added security. There’s actually a surprising number of bike storage options, like bike lockers, bike rooms, and bike houses. Weird, but useful!

3. Zero possibility of dealing with car theft.

If you go to a school with a high car theft rate, insurance goes up. A bike lock is typically about 15-20 bucks and there’s a lot less headache with replacing a lost bike than it is to replace a lost car. Hurrah for affordability!

4. You’ll look super cute.

Riding through campus with your books in your little basket. The autumn wind blowing through your hair. How picturesque.

5. Care for the environment.

Car parking spaces (because of the concrete and asphalt) add 10% to the CO2 emissions of the average car. Literally, the place you store a car is damaging our earth. The carbon emissions for a bike are 21 g CO2/passenger/km traveled. A passenger car is 271 g CO2/passenger/km traveled. The United States’ transportation sector emits the most CO2 than any other nation, aside from China. It’s number, guys. So it’s legit.

6. You get to exercise…

…En route to get some french fries at the cafeteria.

Bicycles are pretty wonderful. Yes, cars are nice to have. But really, the benefits of bicycle ownership make it pretty difficult to NOT own a bike. Just make sure to put bicycle fenders during the rainy season. Happy cycling!

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