Thursday, December 3, 2009

#65: Riding Bikes in Adverse Conditions

One of the great things about Notre Dame’s campus is that the residential and academic buildings are all relatively close together.  Students can easily walk between the most distant buildings of importance (so, not including Carroll) without exerting an inordinate amount of time or effort.  This pedestrian campus is promoted by an abundance of sidewalks and a lack of cars on campus.

Despite the convenient layout of campus, many students still feel the need to pretend like they are going to a large state school by riding their bikes between buildings.  Because of the short distances, these students will undoubtedly spend more time locking their bike then they will actually riding it (because locking bikes is necessary to prevent them from being stolen—or even worse, finding them hanging in a tree somewhere).

While this biking can be seen merely as a leisure activity in the summer months, Notre Dame Students inexplicably continue to ride their bikes in the inclement weather that lasts from October until May (see #43).  Whether it is snow, sleet, ice, hail, wind, or rain, the biking contingent of Notre Dame Students are relentless like postal workers in their insistence on biking.

These students will put plastic bags on the seats of their bikes to ensure dryness, and then they will hit the ice-covered sidewalks in their perilous quest from their dorm to DeBartolo Hall to the Dining Hall and back.  Never worrying about the inevitable loss of traction, these students will slide across the sidewalk, crash into pedestrians, and get even wetter than their sensibly walking counterparts.

Ultimately, most students will realize that bicycles were simply not built to be ridden around in the adverse conditions of the South Bend winter.  These students, however, will choose not to leave their bike in one place throughout the winter, but will walk their bike across the slick and icy sidewalks so that it will still be with them when the day comes that conditions are more desirable for biking.


  1. having a bike lets you get up at 11:25 for that 11:30 and still make it on time, so therefore they are actually very useful

  2. They used to have a schoolwide event called Winter Bike Storage, where they collected all bikes in the Stadium to safely be stowed away for winter, not to be released until the weather got warmer. But too many people would miss their bikes when they were gone for so long, so I think they stopped doing it.

  3. Agreed Kyle. Bob don't be bitter that you don't have the skills to ride a bike through the snow. It saves a lot more time than you let on here.