Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Steady Incline of Bicycles and Longboards on Campus

12:01 AM

By Trever Ford
Sports Editor

By Brandon Anderson
Staff Writer

As gas prices continue to be too expensive for many college students to afford, the search for new ways to travel from class to class or around town has begun.
Two of the most heavily used forms of transportation common among a majority of students  on campus are longboards and bicycles.
In the long run, purchasing a bicycle or longboard can save any student a lot of money because neither form of transportation requires the use of gasoline. Not only will students save money, but also by choosing to transport themselves via longboards and bicycles, students are getting a good amount of exercise as well.
“It’s just easier and faster,” said Justin Haflich, freshman from Pretty Prairie, when asked why he rides his longboard.
Being a Kansas resident allowed Haflich the opportunity to bring his own longboard from home when he came to Bethel College. However, other students who live further away from campus don’t always have the opportunity to bring alternative forms of transportation due to long travel distances and luggage issues.
Luckily these students have other options to find alternative transportation. By teaming up, Student Senate and Laird Goertzen, sophomore from Goessel, were able to come up with and bring back the bike loan program.
This program allows for used and donated bikes to be checked out to residents for the year.
However, this year’s bike program has hit a major speed bump. Due to the excessive amount of rain in July, many of the bikes used for the bike loan program were damaged enough to where the majority of the bikes were not in good enough condition to be checked out to students.
Despite the large amount of damaged bikes, Bethel was still able to loan a small handful of bikes to students on a first come first serve basis. With no more bikes available to be loaned out, it is only possible to be considered for a bike if more are donated or fixed. If you would like to donate a bike or be put on the waiting list contact Goertzen or your Student Senate representative.
Riding bikes around campus seems to be the most highly used form of transportation over longboards. Those who ride bikes have the opportunity to lock up their bikes outside of just about every building on campus because of a large amount of bike racks.
Those who ride longboards don’t have such luck.
“I try not to ride to class because I don’t want to bring my board into class,” said John Debus, freshman from Phoenix.
Not having designated areas  to store forms of transportation other than bikes limits the amount of longboards used on campus during school hours. As a result, most campus longboarders will ride their boards off campus or during non-school hours.
“It feels magical riding my longboard around. It feels amazing when the wind blows through your hair,” said Debus.
Anytime there is a large amount of bikes or longboards on campus, there is the chance of vandalism.  A couple weeks ago in the mods, all of the bikes stored on the bike racks were vandalized and tampered with. All of these bikes were covered in syrup and chili powder as well as being silly stringed. Many bikes on campus are also taken without permission of the owner.
It is recommended that anyone who choses to have a bike on campus buy a lock in order to ensure nobody will take bikes and move them across campus. Also, if there are signs of vandalism, it is important to contact the student life staff, especially the RAs located within each housing facility.
Although borrowing a bike without permission is frowned upon, freshman Conner Hamilton has found a way to look at it positively.
“I never really have to worry about anyone taking my bike because if they do take it, I’m going to know its mine. There are not very many places to hide a bike on campus,” Hamilton said.
Not only does riding bikes and longboards save money, but they provide a form of exercise, and a fun, easy way to get from class to class.

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