Nexus File Photo

So here’s the deal: If you’ve committed to UCSB, you’re pretty much expected to know how to ride a bike. Now, I understand some of you never learned — actually I don’t understand, but we’ll get into that later — so I have some survival hacks for you as an experienced cyclist of the streets of Isla Vista and campus.

Let’s address the biggest issue: looking cool. There’s a certain vibe across this campus, and a key way to fit in is to look the part. (If you go here you obviously already have the superficial looks. I’m going to help you detect what can be added on to enhance what you already have.)

You will obviously need a bike to begin. I recommend going for a BMX-type two-wheeled vehicle. They’re coming back, just like Heelys, so the best way to stay on-trend is by getting your hands on them first. You’ll be the coolest kid riding between the dorm buildings, I guarantee. I want to emphasize that this would be a child-sized BMX — only these are coming back in style. Dads use adult BMXs, so if that’s your thing, go for it; otherwise, stick with kid sizes.

Next, you’ll need a helmet. I recommend the ones that look like they’ve been through a wind tunnel. You know, the ones that are pointy on the back and round up front. And you know why you need one of these? It’s because safety is sexy. And you are sexy, so this is a fine addition to what you already have going on.  

To keep all of this safe and accessible, you will need a bike lock. The most economical way to go is zip ties. If you’re really nervous someone might come for your kid-sized BMX …wait, lol, what am I saying?! Everyone has one of their own, so they don’t need yours. Honestly, regardless of if you’re in a rush or not, don’t lock your bike. You’ll be fine.

Now to those of you who don’t know how to ride, why the fuck don’t you know?! Sorry, I’m very passionate about serious biking. It’s really okay if you don’t know. You can pretend by walking on the bike path on your way to class. This will guarantee you’ll fit in. Sidewalks are for no one, they are lava, don’t walk on them. Bikers, skateboarders and pedestrians are welcome on our one-lane bike paths.

Don’t forget that during each bike ride you should pretend like you’re being chased by a pack of raccoons. It’s what we do here, so don’t question it. You should feel like you showered in your own sweat by the time you dismount your bike and head to your class. Everyone will love you for the stench.


Anat Katzir never attended UCSB as a freshman.