With the Cycling Club's new goal to open up a bike repair shop on campus, saving money, your health and the environment will never be easier
If you take classes on Grand Valley State University’s Allendale Campus, you’ve probably noticed bicycles chained to every bike rack, sign post and lunch table near buildings. And although sometimes the sound of bike wheels hitting the cracks in the pavement coming up quickly behind you can be anxiety inducing, the influx is a good sign – it means GVSU students are taking the initiative to care. As an added bonus of on-campus activism, the GVSU Cycling Club is opening a bike repair shop on campus, with hopes of making the university more “bike friendly.” The repair shop will be an extension of the bike rental shop on campus, and would aim to help repair bikes for students who have rented them from the school.
While the steps to become a ‘bike-friendly’ campus sounds like a positive impact on the GVSU community, the long-term effect of such a thing would make an even bigger impact. A report issued by www.bikesbelong.org cited the economic, environmental, and personal health benefits of riding a bike on a regular basis.
For example, a 10-mile long round trip would save your typical motorist $10 a day. Couple that with the additional $7,179 on average that Americans spend each year to own and drive a car and suddenly, a little bit of pedaling doesn’t sound so hard anymore.
If you’re one of the few privledged college students that is somehow flush with cash and money is not a factor, then consider your health. Bikes Belong also cited a report that says studies show adults who bike to work have a better weight, blood pressure and insulin levels compared to those who don’t. The report also showed that women who bike 30 minutes a day have a lower risk of developing breast cancer.
Still not convinced there are real (big) benefits to biking? In a given year, U.S. residents waste close to 3.9 billion gallons of gas per year due to traffic congestion – but bikers don’t worry about that, since they don’t have to get stuck in traffic, and each mile they pedal rather than drive saves our atmosphere nearly 1 pound of CO2.
All of this to say: as GVSU strives to add more resources to support bike use on campus, so should the GVSU community, and keep in mind that the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
So dust of your bike (or buy a hip new online from Urban Outfitters, we don’t care) and get out there – just make sure you look both ways before crossing the street, and try not to hit any pedestrians.