Bikers! Stay in your lane on-campus


Thomas Stremfel

One of the many bike lanes running through Chico’s campus

The age-old treatment for stress: fresh air. Nothing clears the mind like a walk among Chico’s assortment of trees and wildlife. But with this luxury, comes a caveat: Your otherwise peaceful walk includes the unpredictable, yet ever-present, challenge of navigating an onslaught of cyclists refusing to stay in their lane.

It might be the time I spent away from campus, but it feels like there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t have to halt when I’m on my walk to class in order to predict which way a cyclist is going to swerve as they barrel toward me.

Everyone I speak to seems to have had their fair share of close calls, and if you’re reading this, you probably have some stories of your own.

Maybe you were passing through campus and were almost mowed down because, for whatever reason, the person passing you didn’t feel like using the clearly marked green bike path paved specifically for them. 

Perhaps you start crossing the street when the traffic light gives you the go ahead, but as it turns out, traffic laws apparently don’t apply to bikes, which is news to you, and so you’re left sitting, waiting for a cyclist to run the red light so you can safely cross.

A bridge with a sign displaying the campus rules regarding bikes and boards.
A bridge with a sign displaying the campus rules regarding bikes and boards.

It might sound like I have some deep-seeded vendetta against cycling, or that I wish to abolish the wheel as a concept, but believe me when I say that I think cycling is great! It’s good for the environment, your health and not to mention it can be really fun. 

But like anything that involves controlling a massive piece of metal with wheels, some consideration has to be made for those around you.

As much flack as cyclists are putting up with here, we shouldn’t forget the responsibility of pedestrians. Just as often as I see people riding outside the bike lane, people can be seen strolling right in the middle of it. Maybe this relationship is a two-way street, but bikes still pose a much more immediate threat in any given situation.

You might be reading this, and you might be thinking, “This guy can’t be serious. How can one person be such a dweeb? Who cares this much?” To a degree, you have a point. Maybe there are bigger fish to fry in the grand scheme of things, but I believe there is nothing wrong with showing a bit of empathy to one another.

Thomas Stremfel can be reached at [email protected] or @tomstremfel on Twitter.