Having a bike on a college campus can be a wonderful thing. Campuses are usually sprawling places, with your on one end, the cafeteria on another end, and your classroom at yet a third end. The roads are usually winding around the many buildings and lawns, and even if they weren’t, finding parking on campus can be a complete nightmare. If you don’t want to spend the better part of an hour getting back and forth, a bike is often your only option. Despite this, there are a few dangers that cyclists in college need to worry about.
Even in more rural areas, college towns become local hubs. Students swarm to them for much of the year, and entire economies pop up to support the demands of the institution. Where people go, so do cars. Cyclists pedaling along the side of the road are already at a significant risk for getting hit by a car, but they at least are usually going along with traffic. Campus cycling often includes crossing roads to get most efficiently from point A to B, putting the cyclist perpendicular to coming traffic. A careless cyclist could easily get struck.
Cars aren’t the only thing that stand in the college cyclist’s way. Any campus is going to have a lot of students walking to and fro, as the vast majority will not be on bikes. Since roads don’t connect everywhere on a campus, college cycling will necessarily include a lot of cycling along walkways, where it can be very easy to strike a pedestrian. Granted, they are more at risk of injury in such an encounter, but it won’t feel good for either party, and no one wants to be responsible for hurting someone else.
They may seem insignificant, but potholes can actually be deadly. People have been killed or seriously injured by being thrown from their bike after running over a pothole. In several instances, cities have been forced to pay out major settlements because of pothole-induced cyclist accidents. Potholes can be easy to miss if one is not vigilant, and potentially deadly.
Using a bike is energy efficient, time efficient, and healthy, but it also holds inherent dangers. No matter what, if you choose to ride around on your campus, you need to be careful and watchful at all times, not only to protect yourself, but to protect those around you.