It’s Finally Time for Everyone to Start Riding Their Bikes to CSU
It’s 2016, most Colorado State University campus goers live within five miles of the campus (most likely the controlling epicenter of their lives right now), in one of the most bike friendly cities in Colorado, even in the entire United State. Despite all of this, people still take their cars everywhere. Why? If there are bikes available and people are choosing not to ride them as often as they can, the people of Fort Collins are doing themselves a disservice.
The City was Built for it
Fort Collins is considered by many to be a bike friendly city. This means there are designated bike lanes everywhere, areas to park and lock it up all over the place and residents generally understand and accept this. CSU even has plans to increase their amount of bike spaces to 18,000. The city of Fort Collins is practically begging for everyone to ride their bikes there.
Many people are reluctant to take their bikes to the rode out of concern for their safety. This, however, is a priority for bikers and car goers alike. It is true, the helmet one gets on sale at Walmart (and rarely uses) will not save them from a collision with that guy who thinks he owns the road in his full-size Dodge pick-up truck. However, there are measures people can take that can prevent accidents like this from happening. One easy step to take is reading up on simple bike safety rules to get a better understanding of how to share the road is a good start. Perhaps more importantly, people should aspire to be more confident and believe in themselves and the others sharing the rode.
Here I have provided a graph, so as to visually demonstrate the cost benefits of riding your bike to CSU.
As you can see there are clear cost benefits to choosing the bike option. This graph doesn’t even include the additional savings when you consider the fact that if people bike regularly their cars will use less gas, require less maintenance and it will decrease the chance of getting in an accident. Not only that, but there have been studies that suggest riding a bike as an alternative mode of transportation actually saves cities on healthcare by billions of dollars.
As far as buying a bike goes, there are shops all over Fort Collins that offer used, but still reliable, bicycles for pennies on the dollar. After getting a helmet, lights and maybe one of those cool little bells you had as a kid, the cost is still incomparable to a motorized vehicle.
Riding a bike is an easy and healthy form of exercise, and by the way, obesity has been considered a disease for years now. That means that over 1 million Coloradans need to be treated for a chronic medical condition. “But Colorado is the most fit state, we don’t need to worry about obesity” they say. Well, Colorado today, is now more obese than what the most obese state used to be back in 1995.
Sure, Colorado may be the least obese state in the entire country, but that doesn’t really mean anything good. That’s like saying Donald Trump is slightly less narcissistic than Kanye West (one could argue either way, really) and therefore we should celebrate. No, we shouldn’t. What we should do is try to respectfully explain to both of them that they are in fact not deities. Therefore, with becoming or staying fit being a typical goal for many CSU goers, perhaps biking to campus instead of waiting in line to use the treadmill at CSU’s recreation center is a justifiable route to take.
Since when has a little bit of snow stopped a Coloradan? Admittedly, the city does have a problem with plowing snow directly into the bike lanes, but when that happens, bikers are still entitled to one-third of the lane.
Let’s also not forget about all the time people have to spend shoveling their cars out of the snow too, along with brushing and scraping ice from their windows. Wear an extra layer, cover your face and start pedaling. A casual rider can be at CSU in no time, in fact, they might even reach their destination faster than the car drivers.
Really, it’s all about efficiency. Biking to work or school is overall convenient, it saves on gas, it is safe and burns those extra calories that need to be dealt with eventually anyway. So, it’s time for students, employees and the general public alike to really embrace the healthy and dynamic lifestyles they all preach and start pedaling to work.