Alternative forms of transportation arise on campus

Candice Rogers

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The students at St. Edward’s University have found many transportation methods when traveling from class to class ranging from walking, biking, skateboarding and even unicycling.

Junior Joseph Luedecke learned to ride the unicycle by himself at the age of 16. It took him six months and he said at times he wanted to quit.

“I wanted to know what it felt like,” Luedecke said. “Would it feel like flying?”

To allow for more balance, Luedecke said he uses toe shoes which work well with the unicycle. Because of the toe shoes, Luedecke said the spikes on the pedals don’t bother him.

“[A toe shoe is] a special type of shoe that quite literally is shaped to fit each toe,” Luedecke said. “It looks like a toe sock, for example, but has a flexible rubber sole and a strap to close it in on the top. “

This year, there seems to be an increase of skateboarders on campus.

When it comes to skateboarding to class though, the skaters face people getting in the way.

“I really don’t skate that much to class,” junior Marc Chilton said.

The skaters said the pavement on St. Edward’s campus is great for skateboarding. The pavement is smooth, and doesn’t have pebbles or cracks.

Some of the skaters said they often go to Mabel Davis Park, a local park, to watch or participate in competitions. The skaters use the campus to practice ground tricks like the flip tuck or olie.

The stairs on campus allow the skaters to practice their jumps as well but not their grinds. When it rains, the board and wheels can be damaged. The wheels can get water logged or rusty, similar to bikes.

While the walk from Main Building to Ragsdale may be easy, walking from Johnson Hall to Fleck Hall have some students wishing for a bike.

For freshman Clara Friedrichs, having a bike isn’t that glamorous.

“People get in the way, and it’s hard walking up the hill with the bike,” said Friedrichs.

Like skateboarders, the packed sidewalks make it difficult for many bike riders. It may be faster to class, but it requires a great deal of coordination. Agility is another skill bike riders pick up when weaving in and out of slow-moving students.

Most bike riders can be seen on days when the sky is blue and the sun is hot.

When it rains, the water can cause damage to the spokes, chains and wheels. It’s a safety hazard because the tires often lose friction and skid out of control. But overall, Friedrichs said that bike riding is “better than walking.”

Some students also prefer to walk rather than biking or skateboarding.

“I like walking,” said junior Devon Oswald. “I mean, we’re not at the University of Texas. Classes are about five minutes away. Having a bike seems to be too much space. Roller blading, I’ll have to carry shoes. No, I like walking.”

Oswald also said that walking to class gives her time to ponder or to look at the yellow flowers by the big weeping tree.

So whether it’s unicycling, biking, skateboarding or just walking, St. Edward’s students seem to enjoy and utilize various ways of getting to class.