Posted on by Keelin Burke

THE ON-CAMPUS GUIDE TO GETTING AROUND BY BIKE

Arguably the best thing for colleges students since Amazon started selling textbooks. 

YOU'VE BEEN ANXIOUSLY AWAITING YOUR FIRST DAY OF COLLEGE AND IT'S FINALLY HERE.

The weird cafeteria food has been tested, the roommate has been Instagram stalked (phew, they’re normal), you’ve said goodbye to your parents, and you’re getting ready to map out your first day of classes. You start to make your way along the paved paths between buildings and into open courtyards. To your dismay, your Monday morning 8am class is located on the exact opposite side of campus. Mornings aren’t really your thing...we totally get that, so how are you expected to wake up, make yourself look like a human, grab coffee, and then walk to the dead other side of campus before 8am? Haha. Ugh.

Your life is going to be largely consumed by campus, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be confined to the time commitments of walking everywhere. In the window it would take you to walk to your first class, you could dock your bike, grab coffee, and take your seat with 5 minutes to spare. Heck, you could get up later and skip the coffee (although we don’t recommend skipping coffee). Gearing up to make it to your early-morning class is only one aspect of campus life that can be improved with the use of a bike. Be prepared with the knowhow to get around your new home without any hangups.

COMMUTER BIKES

Okay, we know you’re not a commuter - we know those are two totally separate worlds, but hear us out. A Commuter Bike is the go-to for all your campus engagements and shenanigans. Commuter bikes come with genius features to make the act of getting from here to there that much easier. Look for bikes that have higher handlebars and frame geometry that encourages upright riding. Sitting up straight on a bike rather than leaning over the handlebars improves your posture and leaves less strain on your back. Your dorm mattress is going to give you enough of that. Choose options with multiple speeds to help you tackle the highs and lows of your campus layout. Extra features like sturdy rear racks make it easy to secure miscellaneous items that don’t fit in your backpack.

Our commuter bikes are handbuilt with high-tensile strength steel frames. Each model comes equipped with fender braze-ons to protect your outfits from wet, dirty sidewalks and roads around campus. Comfortable saddles, mid-century features, and colors that compliment your style, not distract from it are what we’re all about. Shop Beaumont 7-Speed for your new best friend on campus, or opt for Venus and Mars for an elevated approach to your new set of wheels.

BUY. A. LOCK

We’re about to drop some rather depressing facts, but bear with us. The most recent data on stolen bikes dates back to 2015 when the FBI reported 204,984 thefts. That number may not seem particularly high, however very few bike thefts are actually reported to law enforcement. According to the National Bike Registry, police recover 48% of stolen bikes. Out of that, only 5% of those bikes are returned to their rightful owners. So, what’s the lesson here? Unsurprisingly, if your bike gets stolen, you probably won’t be getting it back. Biking around campus comes with its own set of risks including potential bike theft. If you rely on your bike for daily transportation around campus, work, and social events, the thought of losing your sole method of transportation can be pretty daunting. To protect your bike from being stolen, the best option is a U-Lock with a flex cable for extra protection. U-Locks are one of the most widely used bike lock styles. The design prevents thieves from using tools meant to crack locks by reducing the amount of space they have to do so.

The KryptoLok high security pick and drill resistant cylinder make it nearly impossible for thieves to crack this lock. Hardened 13mm performance steel shackle and reinforced hardened crossbar design gives more protection for lock internals than ever before. Check with your local bike shop to ensure that the U-Lock purchased for your bike is the proper size. The incorrect size lock, or an improperly applied locks can result in a stolen or damaged bike.

529 Garage recently partnered with the National Bike Registry to develop the largest bike recovery service. Registering your bike in their system can help increase the odds that you will get your baby back. The organization works with over 400 law enforcement agencies, universities, and more nationwide to help find and return lost or stolen bikes. The free registration can be the one step between you and your bike being rightfully reunited.

LIGHT THE WAY

While most campuses are well lit and heavily patrolled by campus police officers, it’s still recommended to dress your bike with lights and reflectors. Our Venus and Mars commuter bikes come pre equipped with a vintage-style bullet headlamp to help guide you to night time parties or late-night study sessions. Adding supplementary reflectors and front and rear lights can also help keep you safe as you travel at night.

TAKE CARE

Choosing a reliable bike that you love is half the battle. Like cars, bikes require routine maintenance to keep them in peak condition. A quick trip to your college town’s local bike shop once a semester can help keep your bike riding like it did on day one. Buy an air pump and stock up on tubes to save time on one of the most common annoyances of bike ownership. This way you can quickly mend a flat tire without having to carve out an afternoon.

FIND TIME TO DECOMPRESS

The years spent in college are extremely transformative. Moving from point A in on your new two-wheeled companion will largely have academic obligations pinned to the point B. With that in mind, take advantage of opportunities to explore local parks, lakes, and nature preserves around your school. Taking time to separate yourself from campus and explore the surrounding areas by bike is a great way to unwind, refocus, and decompress from the stressors of college life.

START THE JOURNEY

These next four years will see a lot of changes, make sure you have what you need to get you to the finish line.

BEAUMONT
This city-dweller has something for every type of rider, riding on any type of urban terrain.

VENUS
Featuring a classic step-thru shape for effortless mounting and dismounting -- regardless of attire -- this mid-century city cycle is simplicity evolved.

MARS
Putting the Retro in Retrospec, the Mars is nostalgia personified – Ride upright, ride in style.

REFLECTOR SAFETY SET

This durable and easy to install set includes 2 wheel reflectors, 1 front reflector, and 1 rear reflector as well as brackets for mounting.

RETROSPEC CITYLITE

The Retrospec CityLite bike light is the favorite among nighttime commuting cyclists. This elegantly designed unit is comprised of two interlocking bike lights. 

KRYPTOLOCK

The KryptoLok features a high security pick and drill resistant disc-style cylinder.