We are excited to announce that this fall, in conjunction with the launch of bike share on campus, Yay Bikes! will once again provide bicycle safety education to members of the OSU community. We will be delivering information sessions on bicycle commuting, an educational poster and our traditional How We Roll rides to both the academic and the medical center's students, faculty and staff. The academic audience will be introduced to riding the streets from campus to downtown, taking in the sites of the city, while those affiliated with the medical center will be taught to use bike share for rides between the various medical buildings.
This summer, we began delivering our part of the program with an info session and 8 How We Roll rides for 34 OSU First Year Peer students. When we asked them to evaluate their experience, this is what we heard:
What was your favorite part of the ride?
Responses to this question overwhelmingly referenced the beauty of Columbus and how much students enjoyed getting to go downtown. In their own words:
Seeing how close the city is
Seeing all of Columbus in a different way
Stopping in downtown, so beautiful!
Exploring the city of Columbus w/friends
Getting to go downtown
I liked going downtown and seeing all the cool stuff to do
Was there anything different than what you expected?
Responses to this question mostly referenced the fact that participants found riding on the street from campus to downtown easier and more pleasant than expected. In their own words:
It was easier than I thought
Traffic/drivers friendly, didn’t expect that
I thought I would be more tired
It was a lot easier than expected
Cars aren’t as mean as I expected
Less scary than I thought
It wasn’t as hard/nerve racking as I thought it’d be
Biking on the road is way easier than I expected.
What did you learn?
Responses to this question overwhelmingly had to do with learning how to ride safely on the roads, with some participants sharing an expanded sense of how bikeable Columbus is. In their own words:
Bikes are just like cars
I learned that bicycling can be a safe, fun alternative to driving
How to properly have my place on the road
I learned turn signals, bike laws and not to ride on sidewalks
To be okay with riding in the middle and bike safety
How many places downtown are bike accessible
A lot about safety and which lane to ride in
To not stay in the door zone
Bikes follow the same laws as cars
Meanwhile, fully 26.5% of participants said they'd be "Very Likely" to repeat this journey on their own, and/or attempt others that are similar (with another 56% saying they were "Somewhat Likely" to do so!).
So kudos to OSU for including this essential educational component in their bike share roll out plans! Clearly we should all be watching out for more and better bicycling from the OSU area come this fall, from these First Year Peer ambassadors and everyone they touch, plus all the others we reach with our message and our unique How We Roll experience.
Rides and information sessions will be offered at least through fall semester, according to demand. If you are a member of the OSU community and would like to schedule a learning experience for your group, contact Meredith.