More than two wheels
Outside many Geneva buildings, the bike racks are overflowing. The number of bicycles on campus has been steadily growing over the past couple of years, but this fall has seen a dramatic increase.
Every cyclist has their reason for choosing two wheels instead of four. Jake Leifer works with the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO) as a student minister on Geneva’s campus. He says cycling is about "slowing down life at a time when everyone is worried about how fast things can be done."
Bikes offer inexpensive transportation, exercise and a closer connection with community. In other words, it is freeing. Leifer explains, "Bikes are less complicated than cars; with a bike, I know that I can fix it and at a low cost, it eases my mind. Also, I can enjoy where I'm going while I'm traveling. I'm meshing exercise and transportation and I get to see a lot more of the town and countryside."
Geneva’s students have discovered this freeing experience as well. Larry Tepe, a junior student ministry major, rides his bike to class. “Initially, I bought my bike as a way to commute without paying for gas and to get more exercise. But the more I ride my bike the more I find that it connects me with my neighbors.” Whether it is kids playing on the street or a couple resting on their porch, being outside of a car offers the chance to say hello or stop and talk.
The Hub, a bike co-op founded by Leifer and other volunteers, allows student cyclists to earn or tune up a bike and share cycling experiences with one another. Christopher Olshefski, a senior English education major actively involved in The Hub, explains that "owning a bike has opened up many new opportunities. It is how I get my groceries, go to student teaching and connect with my friends." Taking him on many trips to New Brighton, Falling Water and Beaver, Olshefski’s rides have turned cycling from a necessity into a new favorite pastime.
- Caitlin Zeiset '10