Mopeds and Bikes @ MSU

I get asked about the issue of the exploding moped population on our campus quite often.  They have become regular illegal users on our sidewalks and pathways on their way to park at bike racks (see photo of example signage at the racks).  They’re required to walk their mopeds on sidewalks/ paths to get to bike parking according to MSU Police/ Parking which I’ve rarely ever seen done in practice.  They have rapidly become a large percentage of the vehicles parked at the already over-crowded bike racks all over campus, in some cases (like on the east-side of Broad Business College) making up over 1/3 of them.  See recent photos in the gallery below all taken in 2016 except where noted.  A series of three videos (College of Business, Wells Hall, Jenison Fieldhouse) taken earlier in the fall of 2016 add additional visual confirmation of the extent of the problem at its peak.

Well, hope is on the horizon via a long-standing board-created campus committee called the AUTTC (All University Traffic & Transportation Committee) which advises the Chief of the MSU Police.  For those of you who don’t know, the AUTTC has done a lot of great things to help improve the bike-friendliness of MSU; for example, the MSU Bikes Service Center is a result of an AUTTC recommendation.

We finally put together a comprehensive set of recommendations to help resolve the moped issues that we’ve been observing over the past bunch of years.  These recommendations were based on the established examples of several peer universities and their successful strategy to reign in the abuses (referenced in the recommendations appendices (pg. 34-35).

The Police Chief accepted our 2015-2016 recommendations (which can be viewed here in detail) and  the Committee has been assured that the Police and Parking departments have staff working on implementing our recommendations on campus.  We haven’t been told of a time line for those coming changes but suffice it to say things will hopefully be much improved for the safety of our campus community on our sidewalks and pathways.

Darwin Award tips for Cyclists


So, you’re an aspiring Darwin Awardee and have a bike handy, what are your options to make history?  Here’s my top 10 tips based on years of observation, listening to incredible stories of crashes and researching fatal crashes all over the country that will give you a pedal-up on your competing wanna-be awardees! *

Ride your bike while…

1. …staring at your phone and rarely look up, just go by “feel”.  You’ve been all over this campus so many times, you know every bump, bush, pothole;  who needs to actually see where they’re going?!

2. …wearing ear buds or better yet, full ear-covering headphones w/ music cranked up.  Your hearing is designed for awesome music not buses or trucks passing nearby.

3. … drinking coffee and going  no-handed for extra coolness just like the hip song “I can ride a bike with no handlebars!”.

BETTER YOUR ODDS!  Combine 2 or all 3 of the above for more  chances of a fatal crash!

Jump on your bike…

Extra points for non-working front brakes!

4.  …without checking whether your brakes are working; who really needs brakes?!  Maybe just take them off altogether to save weight and use your feet to stop?!

5. …with your fork mounted backwards (just the way it came out of the box!).  Assembling a bike is easy-peasy like walking and chewing gum.

6. …without making sure someone hasn’t stolen your front wheel skewer that holds your wheel on the fork.

7. …with your handlebars flopping around completely loose.

Don't be a Ninja cyclist!
If you can see them that’s all that counts!  Right!?

Ride your bike….

8.  … on the sidewalk, in the bike lanes, wherever is the fastest (against traffic)!

9. …at night with no lights and dark clothing.

10.  … through red lights, stop signs, whatever.  Street laws are for cars/ trucks and wussies.

* This article is satire and not intended to be a serious guide to your demise.  Please DO NOT do these things if you would like to continue livingRead this article for REAL tips that will help save your life.