Madison is, I hear, the most selective school in the University of Wisconsin system. They take the highest average GPAs, the highest average ACT/SAT scores, or, generally, the brightest students, on average. This year’s freshman class at UW-Madison is insanely smart. For instance, 426 of the 6,142 new students (nearly 7%!) are number 1 in their high school class. That’s simply astounding. Plus, over 63% of the incoming freshmen came from the top 10% of their high school classes. Wow.
That being said, something in this situation doesn’t add up. My gripe today: bicycles. If there are so many smart people at this school, how is it that nobody understands how to ride a bike? Allow me to elaborate (aka “rant”):
- Bike racks. You would think we were a school for the mentally handicapped if you ever took a look at our bike racks. Honestly people. Yes, I know the bike racks can be crowded, but for real, learn to use the damn rack the right way, and they would all fit fine. Don’t put the bike in from the wrong side, Don’t lean your bike against it crosswise, and Don’t put your bike on top of someone else’s. Please.
- Traffic Laws. Obey them. As a bike, you have the same rights and rules as a car. Don’t run red lights. You’ll get hit and you’ll hit pedestrians. Don’t make changes to your riding path without warning, especially don’t stop without warning, and most especially, don’t stop in the damn bike lane, ever. Get out of the way so we don’t hit you from behind. Don’t ride the wrong direction in the narrow bike lanes. They’re one way. For a reason. This is not rocket science. Oh, and don’t ride full speed in crosswalks either. Technically I don’t think you’re allowed to ride in crosswalks at all, but definitely don’t ride full out. Pedestrians will die, and hate you.
- Helmets. Wear them. Without these we will be a school of mentally handicapped. It’s your life. (And if you’ve ever tried to cross Park St in the east-bound bike lane of University, you’ll understand that cars Do Not Watch out for you.) Do the odds, and then buy a helmet.
I think that’s all I have to rant about bikes today. There’s other things about the masses at Madison that tick me off, and generally fail to meet the purportedly high academic calliber of the UW-Madison student, but I’ll save those for another time.