Unpopular Opinion: I Am a UC Davis Student and I Hate Biking

Biking is a major part of campus culture here at UC Davis. But who decided that our campus was going to be the bike central that it is? How did this start?

I'm sure a quick Google search could give me these answers, but I won't go into that now. I understand how amazing it is that our campus is so supportive of sustainable transportation, but as an avid walker, I wish we could have chosen a different form of transportation. Here's why.

1. Bike circles are virtually games of survival

Coming to campus my freshman year, I expected to see smiling students leisurely biking, but instead I witnessed two bike crashes a day, and experienced a handful of my own. Don't get me wrong, our bike circles are extremely advanced and impressive, but when you throw in stressed students who don't all agree on how the circles work, it is a recipe for disaster. If you aren't able to match the pace of the circle exactly, you are basically toast. 

2. Pedestrians do NOT have the right-of-way

I thought my bio classes would be hard, but nothing has been as hard as retraining my brain to understand that in Davis bikes always have the right-of-way. I cannot count how many times I walked into a crosswalk on campus expecting the bikes around me to slow down and stop for me. I learned the hard way that this is not how things work in Davis, and if I were to walk into a crosswalk, I would risk my own life.

3. Bike theft is as normal as bike accidents

One time during my freshman year, I parked my bike on campus and walked home, forgetting to ride it back. The next morning, I ran around the Segundo dorms searching for my bike to no avail. It was stolen. Of course it was! Everybody's bikes get stolen.

I had convinced myself that someone took my bike and I reported it to TAPS that day. Two weeks later, I walked by my very own bike — just sitting there in the cold by Wellman Hall. I felt so stupid, but it wasn't so far-fetched of me to assume it was stolen, as bike theft is all too common.

4. Helmets are as rare as finding a free elliptical at the ARC

UC Davis always does this funny campaign before the newest freshman class comes to campus where they claim that everybody wears helmets, and you aren't cool if you don't. As much as I wish this were true, it is not. As somebody who has suffered multiple concussions, I struggle to justify not wearing a helmet just for the possibility of looking silly. So, if you wear a helmet on campus, I salute you! Go you!

All in all, bikes are pretty cool I guess… but you will never ever see me on one again!