Biking Princeton: The campus on two wheels

July 8, 2013 noon
Biking Princeton index

Princeton graduate student David Hocker, a volunteer mechanic with the student-run bicycle cooperative Cyclab, says biking is a convenient, fun and sustainable way to get around the University's historic campus.

Video stills courtesy of Danielle Alio

The Princeton University campus is the perfect place to ride a bicycle along tree-lined paths, through Gothic archways and across scenic streets. Whether they are hurrying to class or meeting friends for lunch, Princeton students often get around campus on two wheels.

In this video, undergraduate and graduate students talk about the University's bike culture and why they enjoy cycling on campus and in surrounding suburban communities. The video also includes a bike's eye view of Princeton.

"It's gorgeous to ride anywhere on this campus, particularly in the season [when] the trees are blooming and there are flowers everywhere," said Austin Gengos, a member of the Class of 2015 and Princeton Cycling club team. The team, which is open to riders of all levels, races each spring in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference.

While Princeton's historic campus is walkable and pedestrian-friendly, the University also encourages students, faculty and staff to bicycle as a convenient and sustainable mode of travel. More than 2,300 bikes are registered with the University and 3,658 bike spaces are available on campus, according to the Office of Transportation and Parking Services.

The League of American Bicyclists named Princeton to its fall 2012 list of "Bicycle Friendly Universities," recognizing the extensive network of pathways, plentiful bike parking and wide array of resources for cyclists.

Among those resources is the Cyclab, a student-run bicycle cooperative and do-it-yourself repair shop located in the basement of Rockefeller College. The Cyclab is open to the University community and hosts events for bikers of all interests, from the recreational rider to the competitive cyclist.

"People can come in with any sort of bike problem or bike project that they want to work on and we are a resource for them to try and … fix up their bikes and learn how to do basic bike maintenance," said volunteer mechanic David Hocker, a fourth-year graduate student in chemistry.

Fellow Cyclab volunteer Rebecca Smaha, Class of 2014, said one of her favorite experiences so far at Princeton was leading an Outdoor Action bike trip for incoming freshmen. The group spent a week last summer exploring back roads in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

"We went through some really beautiful scenery," said Smaha, who also rides with the Princeton Cycling club team. "We also had [freshmen] who maybe hadn't ridden bikes in 10 years. It was fun to see them grow more comfortable with the bikes, the trip, with each other and [with] Princeton in general."

For more information about University bike policies, safety tips and a campus bike map, visit the Transportation and Parking Services website.