The Life of a Bicycle and How You Can Help

Aliasger Ezzi

Freshman, Engineering major

Photography by Amanda Rorabaugh

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Here I am, sitting in the cold weather outside of my owner’s residence hall- chained to a rod of steel cemented to the ground. I am only ever unchained from this frigid jail when my owner is late to class or needs to go somewhere in a hurry. I know that I could do so much more. Who am I? I am Tim Taylor, a UF student’s bicycle.

I love Gainesville! The city is extremely bike-friendly. I hope my owner gets me a Bicycle Benefits Decal which only costs $5! Once I wear the decal, many local businesses (such as the 1982 Bar Inc, Swift Cycle and Wild Iris Books) will give my owner a discount. Then, perhaps, my owner will take me out more often (you can see the full list of participating business by clicking here.)

Many of my bicycle friends are not ridden because their owners are afraid of getting a little wet when it rains. I think this is both thoughtless and irrational. After all, people don’t rust when they get rained on. Furthermore, the RTS bus system is so accommodating that, when rain starts to pour, I can be attached onto a bike rack on the front of the RTS bus! This allows my faithful owner to sit inside the warm and dry RTS bus.

One of my favorite people is bike enthusiast and Associate Director of the Honors Program, Ms. Regan Garner. Ms. Garner highly recommends taking a day trip on the sixteen-mile Hawthorne Trail that connects Gainesville and the town of Hawthorne. The trail cuts through Paynes Prairie, making it welcoming to any nature lover. The day I heard about this trek, I put it on my “bike-it” list (bucket list for bikes). Not only will it be a physical challenge for both my owner and myself, but it will also be a good a break for my owner from stressing about classes.

If my owner ever actually rides me enough to merit repairs, I hope that my owner will take me to the luxurious Bicycle Spa- also known as the Student Government-funded, free bicycle repair at the Reitz Union! It’s a magical place where UF students will repair almost any part on a bicycle. My friend John went there last week for a flat tire and was in line for about 2 hours! He later found out that the line is usually non-existent if he gets to the shop right at noon. Fortunately, if owners know how to fix their bikes without assistance, they can skip the line and use the shop tools for free.

I aspire daily to become a part of the UF Cycling team. They are a student-run sports club that will take any owner with any kind of bike! They practice several times a week. The bikes on the team even get to explore Gainesville, making new friends along the way!

At the end of the day, I just want my owner to be happy and healthy. So, if you have a bike and only ride it to get to your 7:25am class on time, please heed my call and take your bicycle out more often. It will benefit both you and your dear friend, the bike.

Sincerely,

Tim Taylor

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