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Davis, California

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Column: Riding bonds

Squirrels, bikers, students texting while walking. They have one thing in common: they’re all in the way as you bike frantically to discussion with negative minutes to spare. A squirrel seemingly pops out of nowhere and numerous bikers collide while the texting students are oblivious to it all.

But wait; there is one more annoyance to add to the list of disruptions: couples.

Yes, you read correctly, couples – you know, as in, romantic couples. The ones who tightly grasp hands while crossing the middle of the bike circle as if their lives depended on it. The ones who drift at the center of the road while staring gooey eyed at each other as if there is no one in this world except the two of them.

So, of course, I understand that couples are in love (or at least I would hope so), and therefore want to spend as much time as they possibly can together.

But … in the middle of the road? I’m fine with couples admiring each other and spending quality time by the MU, talking on their cell phones in front of the Science Lecture Hall, or strolling at the arboretum. But when they’re so absorbed with each other they forget to look both ways while crossing the street, or to pace themselves so they are not in the way of bikers, then it is a problem.

Straddled students scattered across campus are tough enough to maneuver around, but when there are couples involved, the problem is doubled. This is because, well, a couple involves two people, and when these two people just happen to be holding hands … let’s just say the bonds are quite difficult to break – even with a bike involved.

There has got to be a limit as to how long a couple is allowed to be in that “honeymoon stage” of being fully absorbed with each other and oblivious to their surroundings. I say the stage needs to be broken the second they step onto the center of the road – rather, any location in which transportation is involved.

Typically, they roam the campus streets causing a line of bikers to brake for dear life. After tires squeak, rubber tears, and hearts pound, the lovely couple is still taking their sweet time, unaware of the chaos they have caused while a pile of anxious bikers await their exit.

It is not uncommon to see couples hand-in-hand slowly walking toward the bookstore while causing a minor meltdown for others.

Sophomore Rita Kao has had to swerve away from couples numerous times. She finds it baffling that of all places, they need to demonstrate their passion in the middle of the street.

“I’m pretty sure they have plenty of time to be intimate somewhere where bikers and multiple other lives aren’t in danger,” she says.

Sure, there are endless reasons to adore couples, but being a hazardous roadblock is not one of them. There are dire consequences to slowly strolling in the middle of the street on any given afternoon.

After all, a slip of the bike handle and anything can happen.

Couples, you were forewarned.

TIFFANY LEW is warning all couples out there: She is more likely to run you guys over than she is to run over a squirrel. If you would like to plead otherwise, contact her at tjlew@ucdavis.edu.

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