Bikes on the Brickyard

Jameson Wolf

The Brickyard was filled with bicycles of all makes and models on Thursday, Aug. 25 as students and staff pedaled up for free safety checks, bike registration and information at the Bikes on the Brickyard event organized by NC State Transportation

Limited parking and long walks between classes have turned bicycles into the ideal mode of campus transportation for many. It’s hard to beat a bike in efficiency and speed. When you add in the independence and flexibility they give pedalers, it’s no wonder that bikes are everywhere on campus.

This independence also allows the biking community to be easily overlooked in campus transportation planning. In an effort to support and protect cyclists on campus, NC State Transportation partnered with other university offices, local businesses and advocacy groups to set up a temporary one-stop shop for all things campus cycling on Thursday afternoon. 

“[Cyclists are] one of those groups that we probably need to do a better job of reaching out to,” said Demar Bonnemere, the communications manager for Transportation. “So we're trying to think of ways that we could engage with the student cycling community more and really show them that we hear them, we see them, we care about them. We just want to promote cycling on campus as much as possible.”

Bikes on the Brickyard gave students a chance to talk to NC State Transportation about the resources they have available to them, the Office of Sustainability about the environmental benefits of cycling and Outdoor Adventures about cycling and mountain biking opportunities on campus. 

“We always try to encourage sustainable transportation in terms of reducing the amount of cars on campus and choosing alternative methods,” said Lani St. Hill, communications and outreach coordinator for the Office of Sustainability. “We all have this goal to reduce our dependence on cars here at NC State and get students to ride their bikes.”

Free safety checks from Oak City Cycling drew lots of students to the event with the line of students waiting to have their bike inspected stretching across the brickyard for the full three-hour duration of the event. 

Jessie Pittman, a second-year studying communication, came for the safety check and free registration. 

“I'm doing a mountain biking class, and I'm a little hesitant about it,” Pittman said. “So I just want to make sure everything's in order, and I want to make sure that I have everything registered because that's mandatory.”

Many students expressed appreciation for the biking experience on NC State’s campus. Addison Selna, a first-year studying parks, recreation and tourism management, feels that campus and Raleigh are both bikeable.

“The greenway is nice and convenient,” Selna said. “The bricks, unless they’re loose, are wonderful to bike on. I have yet to fall. There [are] few bike lanes that I’ve noticed.” 

NC State’s campus is behind some surrounding campuses when it comes to biking infrastructure. With no specified bike lanes, cyclists are always sharing space with either vehicles or pedestrians, requiring extra attention and communication when it comes to navigating. 

Karen Stritzinger, a volunteer with local bicycle advocacy group Oaks and Spokes, shared some tips for sharing roadways and walkways, especially for beginning cyclists.

“Finding other people that you can ride with helps,” Stritzinger said. “It can be very intimidating  the first time you go out, especially if you're riding [in] traffic. … [You] start becoming way more aware of infrastructure — what is lacking in some parts that you want to avoid. Taking baby steps and taking time to learn basic bike maintenance and hand signals is important. There's certain parts of streets that can be more dangerous, like turning intersections, so just general knowledge. If you're going out with someone who's ridden for a few years, they can easily save you so much research.”

With some basic cycling knowledge, biking through campus can be a rejuvenating way to break up your day. Phillip Fries, a third-year studying fashion and textile management, whose bike is his main form of commute, rated the campus eight out of 10 for bikeability.

“[Biking is] better on the environment,” Fries said. “It's nice exercise, and it’s hard not to smile when you’re on a bike.” 

Bikes on the Brickyard celebrated this joy that comes with biking while promoting safety and sustainability on campus.

Refer to NC State Transportation’s bicycling page for a complete list of campus cycling resources, tips, maps and directions.

Assistant Culture Editor

I am a third-year studying English and mechanical engineering. I started writing for Technician as a correspondent in January 2021 and became a staff writer in November 2021. I currently serve as the assistant culture editor.