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Top 10 Tips for Cyclists on the UW Campus This Spring

With February here hopefully warmer weather is now on its way. Once the snow melts, cyclists will be able to once again break out their bikes and hit the streets of Madison. Cycling culture can be a bit complicated, so whether you’re an experienced cyclist or a new rider, here are some tips for cycling on campus:

10.) Traffic lights are just a suggestion:

Traffic lights? You mean those big things that hang above the road and change colors? Don’t worry about those. Those are for cars, you’re on a bike. Feel free to ignore them. The same goes with those red, octagonal signs at intersections. Who knows what those are for?

9.) Feel free to use the whole road:

Sure, a lot of the roads on campus have bike paths but, you know what? You’re a cyclist, you deserve better! Why should cars get so much more space than you? Take back the road!

8.) Screw it, use the sidewalk too:

Sometimes the road can get a bit too crowded and it’s time for plan B: the sidewalk. There’s plenty of room on there for a bike! Just ignore the pedestrians, I’m sure they’ll scramble out of the way.

7.) People are just obstacles:

Pedestrians tend to get in the way a lot when biking on campus, especially during class time. It’s a little-known fact that cyclists literally always have the right of way. So, if they do get in your path, just speed straight at them until they dive out of the way and yield to the superior form of transportation.

6.) Anything can be a bike rack if you try hard enough:

Having trouble finding an empty bike rack to park your bike? You’re in luck! With a little bit of imagination, you can find a place to lock your bike pretty much anywhere. Next time you lock up your bike try attaching it to a park bench, or someone’s front porch, or even someone else’s bike! Be creative!

5.) Wear a lot of spandex:

If you want to be an elite cyclist you need to look the part. Even if you suck at biking, if you wear enough spandex people will think you’re Lance Armstrong. So strap on that body suit and start biking!

4.) Helmets are lame:

Helmets? What are you, a baby? Don’t wear those.

3.) Wear dark clothing at night for camouflage:

If you ever find yourself in a situation where stealth is critical, a bike is the way to go. They’re virtually silent, and if you wear all black at night, you’re pretty much invisible as well. And don’t worry about cars not being able to see you, they have headlights. And even if they do hit you, it’s their fault! Ha!

2.) Talk about your bike a lot:

Cycling isn’t a choice, it’s a lifestyle. Even when you’re not on your bike, people deserve to know that you are a member of a superior cycling culture. Try to bring up how expensive your bike is or how you’re doing your part to save the environment at least once per conversation.

1.) Laugh in the face of death:

Always remember that you’re a cyclist, and cyclists have no fear. A cyclist will risk death in a busy intersection to save 20 seconds on their commute. A cyclist will pedal with their hands off the handlebars just because it looks cool. So go out there and embrace danger with open arms! 

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