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This Little Bike of Mine

Julianne Connors

I remember one of the decisions I had to make freshman year was whether or not I wanted a bike. At home I have a fairly nice bike, but my parents didn’t want me to bring it to college in case it got stolen. To be honest, the desire to get a bike came mostly out of necessity.

First semester I had exactly ten minutes to get from a songwriting class in Blair to Multivariable Calculus in Stevenson. According to Google Maps, it was about 0.6 miles, but there was a pretty steep hill in there. I decided to try to walk it (I’m a pretty fast walker) for the first three weeks and I could always get a bike over Parents Weekend.

Well guys after three weeks of intense speed-walking, I was dying for a bike. I got the cheapest one Target offered, along with a U-Lock. I’d definitely recommend getting a U-Lock instead of the wire lock. It’s harder to lock, but it also makes the bike harder to steal. My roommate locked her bike outside Wilson with the wire lock last year and it wasn’t there the next morning. :( Having a bike was also nice for getting to class in the morning. It shortened the Commons to Stevenson walk from seven minutes to two if no one was around. My bike doesn’t have gears though, which automatically turns anything that is remotely like a hill into a workout. <

In the beginning of this year I didn't really use my bike that often because I live much closer to my classes. One unfortunate day in September I lost my second bike lock key, so I couldn't unlock my bike, leaving it parked outside of Rand for about six months. I tried calling VUPD to see if they’d break the lock to my own bike, but they just sort of laughed and said no. When I went home for Thanksgiving, my dad submitted a form to the lock manufacturer asking for replacement keys. And then I kind of forgot about my bike, since no one wants to bike when it’s cold.

The handlebars have really rusted nicely after six months outside, dontcha think?

Last week I finally got around to calling the lock company and a very nice lady shipped me two new keys for free! Moral of the story: call the company when you lose the keys, not six months later. Also, write down the serial number of the keys. After I lost the first key I did that, and they wouldn’t have been able to ship me keys otherwise. Thursday I was a very happy girl because I got to ride my bike for the first time in six months! But I guess the fact that I didn’t actually figure out how to get a key for six months shows that I didn’t really need a bike. It’s helpful for long walks (depending on where your classes are) or if you’re running late, but Vandy’s campus isn’t so big that having one is absolutely necessary. Now I just have to get around to putting air in the tires…

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