By Irene Han
As a veteran student biker, I thought I had the basics down.
Avoiding collision? After years of swerving around listless drivers, middle schoolers and the occasional suicidal squirrel, all I needed was a glimpse of a telltale selfie stick to safely loop away from yet another tour group.
Finding a place to park? Let’s just say I’ve had too much practice scouting for the last bike opening from habitually arriving to high school two minutes before class.
Upon coming to Stanford, however, I realized how pitifully inexperienced I was in one paramount skill: finding my bike.
Morning: It is T-minus 10 minutes until class, and I half-jog-half-walk to the bike cage in a scramble of frosh awkwardness. Backpack slung around my shoulder, I make it to my dorm’s courtyard only to face a stunning scene. From the mass of bicycles that pours out of an almost comically undersized cage, I can’t even begin to recall where I locked my silver s-frame.
For the next few minutes, I am convinced that I lost the thing until by some stroke of luck, I recognize the orange lining of my helmet in the pack of handlebars and wheels. Who knew that helmets did more for bikers than just make us look ridiculous?
Noon: After my fifth time scouring the bike rack, I am convinced that this time, I really did lose it. I am justifiably furious about the theft. I am frustrated at the thought of walking the ridiculous distance between classes. I… find my steed resting faithfully against a tree, exactly where I left it an hour before.
Afternoon: When I do a double take at finding my bike absent from where I had (supposedly) left it, I remind myself that I most likely had locked it elsewhere. Come to think of it, I had probably mistaken this parking spot for the one I used the day before, or possibly the day before that.
At this point, I think I’ll walk.
Night: Leaving my bike somewhere that is already fast slipping my mind, I return to my dorm with my helmet in hand. As a veteran student biker, I have the basics down.
Avoiding collision? Check.
Finding a place to park? Check.
Locating my bike? With all the practice I’m getting, I’m hoping to get that down soon, too.
Have any bike-finding tips? Contact Irene Han at irenehan ‘at’ stanford.edu.