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Davis

Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Column: Blatantly bland bicycles

When I first arrived in Davis with a twinkle in my eye and still holding onto some semblance of innocence and my childhood, I always dreamed of the day when I would finally feel like I had a pulse on the school.

Several bike accidents, frat parties, and CoHo sandwiches later, I have found myself feeling probably as close as I ever will to that point. So now that I have reached this Pinnacle of Influence in my senior year, I will do my best to share with you all the irrelevant things that make Davis “Davis.”

When explaining where you go to school to your second cousin, your Dad’s boss, or whatever random person you are talking to about your college life, the first thing they’ll happen to know is that it is bicycle-centered.

While everyone and their uncle knows that Davis is about bikes, they don’t have any sort of grasp of the depths of the meaning one can bestow. These vehicles aren’t simply a means of conveyance, but an extension of our personalities and a friend with whom we will spend the majority of our time with here at UCD.

What kind of bike you ride says a lot about you – and not necessarily what you’d think.

Maybe that guy on that fixie isn’t a hipster and is actually an engineering student who realizes it provides the most efficient ratio of energy exerted to distance traveled. What matters is that every person here is unique and, similar to their owners, their bikes have a story to tell.

Let’s take my friend Robbie, for example. He ordered his fixed-gear online, custom made and built before it even shipped to his house. Featuring yellow handlebars and seat with purple rims, it truly deserves its title of “The Laker Bike.”

However it represents more than just the Los Angeles Lakers basketball franchise, it epitomizes the LA state of mind. It is clear that no expense was spared in assembling this bike. There is no messing around with this bike and, like Robbie, it is flashy, quick and even a bit chauvinistic.

So what does a mountain bike say about a person? What does a beach cruiser say? You could jump to the immediate conclusion that they are for sporty and casual people, respectively, but it runs a little deeper than that.

A mountain bike belongs to someone who wants a lot of utility in his life. A classmate of mine has been riding the same gigantic red mountain bike since he was a freshman, and has never had to repair it beyond pumping up a tire once or twice.

You also have to consider the practicality of their many uses. You want to ride on a mountain? No problem. You want to ride on a road? We got that too.

While a cruiser does emit the image of a laid-back life style, this doesn’t mean that’s all riding one of those heavy bikes can convey.

When I borrowed one of these bikes my freshman year, I took a blue Sun Cruiser bike from someone on my floor. Riding it to class pretty much felt like driving a truck in heavy traffic for the first time. While other bikes can make a statement about their owners, car-like cruisers are a plateau that makes the rider even more of a statement.

If you want to consider your own bike to review yourself, there are a few details you can check out.

What color is your bike? According to some chart I found on the internet, a green bike represents intelligence, while a red one could belong to someone who likes to be a little more loud and outrageous.

However, when we look at details like this it becomes obvious that much of the time people are just riding whatever bike they could find in their garage or on Craigslist for $60.

So for this reason I encourage you all to try and make a statement when picking your bike. Don’t settle for a run of the mill Mongoose. Go for something with a little more gusto or maybe even become Davis’ newest unicycle guy.

My point is that we would like to think ourselves to be the bike capital of America and we should probably start acting like it.

AARON WEISS thinks your bicycle totally sucks and can be reached at atweiss@ucdavis.edu.

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