The Pros and Cons of Pedaling in College Town

While many students choose to walk to class, others purchase a $175 parking pass and aimlessly search for spots in cramped designated lots on campus.

Then, there is another type of student: the biker.

Biking around town or to class is not uncommon in Mount Pleasant, and I would say it has become even more popular since I began attending Central Michigan University in 2012. It is not surprising that students have found alternative ways to get to class considering the high price to park.

Here are a few pros and cons a prospective biker should know about pedaling in Mount Pleasant.

The Pros

Fast: Biking drastically cuts the time you would spend walking to class or looking for a parking spot. This is great when you are running late and need to put pedal to the metal. It may be tough at first, but the more you ride, the faster you will become as you start to build up those leg muscles.

Healthy: Not only are you getting outside and soaking up that vitamin D, but biking has countless proven health benefits. According to Women’s Health Magazine, on average, cyclists live two years longer than non-bikers and take 15 percent fewer sick days.

Saves money (and the environment): You can find a nice bike almost anywhere for bargain prices. Check out your local thrift store or online market. Bikes are low-maintenance, only requiring the occasional tire fill-up. They also do not produce exhaust fumes, unlike cars that contribute to global warming on the daily.

The Cons

Weather: As we segue into the fall and winter seasons, you can layer on all the sweaters and hats you want, but riding a bike becomes unbearable. Likewise, try pedaling around in the summer on a 90 something degree day in Michigan.

Dangerous: While riding on campus among hordes of students walking, you have to be patient and highly attentive while maneuvering with your bike. The same goes for riding around town, where cars often fail to see a biker trying to cross the intersection.

Tiresome: If you are a busy full-time student and biking is your only mode of transportation, it can get exhausting. Take some time to walk or ride the bus before tiring yourself out.