One dual-wheeled tip for getting around on and off campus

June 28, 2012

Colleges - even those in cities - tend to be isolated bubbles. You travel from dorm to dorm, library to dining hall and it can be a lot of walking. Say you want to get off campus and visit another school's library or even just see a movie in town - what's the best way to do this without a car or breaking the bank to get one?

If you have a vehicle on campus that's a stroke of luck, but even so, gas doesn't come cheap and there are plenty of opportunities campuses offer to students that you shouldn't hesitate to take advantage of. Shuttles regularly run into town and even as far as the airport with arrangement. You can usually get a bus or shuttle schedule from the office of student affairs or campus life, or check for it online.

For the rest of us, there's the minor miracle of bicycles. A bike is significantly cheaper than a car. You can usually pick one up pre-owned for a nominal amount of money, and unless you're racing it down mountains or around busy city streets, a simple model should do. Bikes have multiple benefits, but there are three that stand out.

1. Eco-friendly. The only fuel bikes need is the sort that gets you to pump your legs. Bikes are as energy-efficient as transportation gets.

2. Low-cost travel and maintenance. Naturally you'll have no gas fees, and if you're moderately crafty you can buy a bike kit and keep up your cycle's health on your own. There's not much to oiling gears and replacing a chain, so don't be overwhelmed by the idea - it's far easier than car upkeep.

3. Exercise. Excepting athletes on a university team, the average college student can't afford the time to be a gym rat. Bikes meld exercise and transportation, so that you can get your endorphins and heart-rate going while on your way to class.

Transportation costs can limit a college student's mobility. You don't want the price of your education getting in the way of the education itself. College scholarships are a great way to help pay for tuition or simply supplement your academic spending money, like lessening the dent a semester's bookstore bill puts in your budget. Be smart about college finances, starting with a bike.

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