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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Opinion: War on wheels

Bike+racks+placed+outside+the+Sibisa+Dining+Hall+on+Monday%2C+Dec.+5%2C+2022.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Madeline Tesch

Bike racks placed outside the Sibisa Dining Hall on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022. 

True story: A bicycle trampled me the other day.
As I was enjoying the cool, brisk weather, taking in the autumn leaves and convincing myself that I was excited to go to my next class, suddenly a bike rammed into my kneecap, causing me to tumble to the ground.
Of course my first reaction was to, quite reasonably, get upset. However, as I dusted the gravel off my elbows, began to compose myself and prepared to forgive this bike rider, they got annoyed at me for getting mad.
And that is when it hit me. Literally. Again.
Aggies need to swallow the hard truth and realize that cyclists, and skaters are hazardous and irritable obstacles, even worse than the Heldenfel stairs.
Now, you may be thinking that it’s irrational to make such a bold claim with only one personal anecdote. Well, I’m not.
While I was walking around campus, I asked Aggies about their experiences with cyclists, scooterists, skaters etc.
“[Cyclists are] ‘sisyphean’ because you just keep going and they don’t end and it’s an infinite cycle and you always feel bogged down by [them],” English junior Leonardo Martins said. “[They need to] chill out man and enjoy life a little bit more. [They’re] going too fast.”
Education freshman Cameron Glimpse had her own tragic encounter with a scooterist on campus.
“I had a scooter dropped on my ankle and I have had wheels run over my toe and no one has apologized for it!” Glimpse said. “[Cyclists] are uncaring and unconscious … they don’t really look. Everywhere I go, they are behind me.”
Industrial distribution junior Grayson Brock said biker riders should consider walking more often.
“If [cyclists] yell ‘Hey I’m behind you,’ I’ll move past [them], but then they will almost hit someone else, you know how it goes,” Brock said. “There are bike stations every 20 feet on campus, so why don’t they just set their bike down and take a walk.”
Even some Aggies who use bikes admitted that interacting with cyclists is often inconvenient.
“I have a negative experience with Veo [bikes] because they are always out on maintenance,” philosophy junior John Summers said. “[Cyclists] are dissociated, they are just kind of off in their own world.”
To avoid some of these problems, remember, walking can always be a solution.
Walking is far less expensive than cycling. If you want to ride a bike around campus, chances are you are gonna have to buy one, so why spend money when you already have your own two feet?
Even if you already have one, maintaining and repairing it isn’t cheap. If you walk the only upkeep is just self care, and who doesn’t enjoy that?
Walking lets you appreciate scenery and brings you closer to the Texas A&M campus.You don’t have to pay attention to the brakes, the handle bars or the pedestrians that will inevitably ignore your warnings. You can enjoy the autumn leaves and trees shading the Military Walk, sip on the steaming coffee you got from Quad Bucks and maybe stumble upon an event, like the October farmer’s market, hosted at the Academic Plaza.
Take it from me, it’s pretty scary having a bike storm past you unexpectedly, leaving you paranoid with each preceding step. If you don’t want to make people feel nervous while walking around campus, you should take the time and practice being safe whether it be through bright vests, using ring bells or actually using the cycling lane. While these practices are helpful, they can also be time consuming, expensive or inconvenient, so switching to walking can be another easy, and cheaper, option.
Not taking the time to partake in safer modes of transportation to be more considerate is ultimately violating one of the most important Aggie Core Values: Respect.
At best, Aggie cyclists are annoying and inconvenient and at worst pose physical harm to other students.
My demands are not tyrannical. I am not asking for the abolition of bicycles, skateboards,scooters, etc.
I am simply requesting those on wheels to consider the potential harm they may cause. Thus, in order to avoid a war on wheels and maintain safety, some Aggies need to learn how to properly ride a vehicle, learn to be considerate or just take a walk.
Lilia Elizondo is an English senior and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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