Biking to Campus

There’s a lot to love about Fayetteville, Arkansas. There are awesome people, tons of opportunities for outdoor recreation, and there’s always something to do around town. It’s also a wonderful town for biking. A great system of biking trails, bike lanes, and a bike-friendly community make bicycle commuting in Fayetteville possible.

Commuting is a great way to save money, get exercise, and spend more time outside. Here are some tips for students who are looking to start biking to campus.

Do your homework

It’s important to do your research when biking to campus. Find the route that’s safest, most efficient, or the one that you simply like best.

Don’t simply look at distance.

Are you willing to bike further in order to avoid hills?

See where the bike trails link up, and check for streets with designated bike lanes, or at the very least a sidewalk. This is especially important on routes with lots of traffic.

Look for low traffic routes on side streets or through residential neighborhoods.

Once you’ve dialed in your route, practice the time it takes biking to campus. Put in a few trial runs at a fast and leisurely pace so you have a good sense of the time it takes to get to campus.

Check the weather

Don’t get caught in the rain. Check everything from the temperature to wind speed to precipitation.

Learn the laws

Know traffic laws and obey them. Use proper hand signals, stop at stoplights and stop signs, yield to pedestrians, etc. This keeps you and those around you safe, and helps better relationships between drivers and cyclists.

Be safe

Always wear a helmet. Use lights and reflectors, especially during times of low visibility. Watch for vehicles, and make eye contact at intersections. Never assume that you’re good to go just because you have right of way.

Keep your bike in good condition

Clean your bike chain and cassette, check brakes, adjust cable tension when needed, pump tires to the right PSI, make sure the seat post is at the right height, etc. This improves the quality of your ride, but also helps prevent accidents or injuries.

Get a good rain set up

Clean freak cyclists might refuse to bike in the rain, but if you don’t mind braving the elements and cleaning your bike, you can still commute in foul weather. Biking to campus in the rain requires a good rain gear setup, however.

You will want a water proof pack, waterproof panniers, or dry bags to protect books and electronics. Also invest in a seam taped rain jacket, a pair of hardshell waterproof pants, and sunglasses or clear glasses to protect your eyes from the rain.

Cool down

Biking to campus can get your heart rate up, leaving your winded and sweaty. While this won’t bother some, others might may not want to arrive to class sweating profusely. Try to arrive early enough to give yourself time to cool down. Consider carrying a PackTowl and some deodorant.

Pack

You need a good pack for bike commuting, especially if you want to start biking to campus. Look for a pack with an integrated rain cover, a padded sleeve for a laptop, and enough space for books and binders.

It’s a good idea to choose a commuting pack with a hip belt and possibly a sternum strap to help keep your backpack from moving around during those uphill sections of your commute.

Stop by Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters to check out our selection of hiking packs and hiking backpacks – many of which are perfect for biking to campus!

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