Benefits of biking

How much extra time do you have to give yourself?  Five minutes? 10 minutes? Maybe even 15 minutes if you’re a dedicated student. Depending on your luck — or your willingness to run over fellow students in the way — looking for a parking space in the Colleges commuter lot during peak hours can be a timely affair.

The time it takes to find a parking spot is only one of the side-effects of the huge amount of students driving to campus.

According to U.S. News and World Report, the College has 37 percent of students living off-campus, and a good chunk of that number lives near the College in Ewing.

If more of this sizeable percentage of students biked to class instead of taking a three to five minute drive, this group could create a lot of good for the community and themselves.

On top of saving time and cutting down on carbon emissions,  the fitness aspect is appealing.  According to sparkpeople.com, 20 minutes of biking a day burns 150 calories for the average-size male and 110 calories for the average-size female.

If the cost of a bike is daunting to students, heavily discounted pre-owned bikes can be purchased from the Ewing Bike Exchange located on 1500 N. Olden Ave.  The shop is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and it’s run by volunteers. Its proceeds go directly to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

In the future, the College would be wise to invest in a bike rental program. While students may not be as likely to bike when campus is transferred into a frozen tundra during the winter months, having the option of easily renting a bike during the nice days of the year could supply students with an environmentally friendly way of transportation.

If the college were to implement a program like this, it would free up some of the space and infrastructure expenses dedicated to the College’s sprawling parking lots, and generate another form of revenue for the school. This could — quite literally — pave the way for a serviceable bike path on campus, further facilitating this healthy habit.