The View from Two Wheels
As a stubborn, first-year fool, I remained loyal to my 29-inch swallowtail skateboard when I arrived at Kenyon two years ago. With its swinghead nose truck, I could easily navigate my way from McBride to Peirce or Ascension. For a while the skateboard was all I needed to get around campus.
I was new to the Kenyon bubble, and between the dizzying amount of events on campus and my brief glimpses of the Quarry Chapel on my daily runs, I wondered how I could see everything in my limited time on the hill. In no way am I saying that in the past three years I’ve been able to do everything here — that is far from my situation — but I began to crave something more out of my adventures.
Before I could really get a handle on all things bicycle-related, winter dashed my hopes of tearing up Gambier on two wheels. Luckily, when spring arrived, the good boys at the bike co-op hooked me up with a great price on a fantastic single-speed. Things were about to change.
It’s not that my day-to-day changed all that much. I could just do everything faster. I could wake up at 11:04 for my 11:10 class (which is huge when you live all the way in New Apts). If I was working late in the library, I wouldn’t have to dread the long walk home in the cold — I could look forward to a fun ride en route to bed. On weekends, I could take the Gap Trail farther than I had been able to on my runs. Those tantalizing extra miles to Howard, Ohio, were easily claimed under my new wheels.
I was late to get in the bike game at Kenyon, but I think that only makes me appreciate it more. Passing through quarries, riverbeds and cows along the Gap Trail, being greeted by every passer-by, falling asleep on a bench ten miles from campus in the afternoon sun: This is what college in Ohio is all about. Should you go the other way on the trail, you would get to chase the mighty Kokosing into Mount Vernon. It’s a unique crossroads you reach when both directions promise a fantastic journey. If you should be lucky enough to visit the hill, even for a day, you must rent a bike from the bookstore and see where it takes you.
It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.