Avoid Veoride disasters with these tips


A Veoride bicycle is parked on a sidewalk in Champaign. The rentable bicycles lie all around campus and can promote hazardous situations if improperly parked.

By Kyra Sadovi, Assistant opinions editor

Anyone who has stepped foot in Champaign-Urbana in the past two years has inevitably seen them. The jokesters on the University Facebook page have raucously abused them. And nearly everyone in the vicinity of the University seems to have a very strong opinion about them. 

Yes, it is clear Veorides have truly taken the on-campus community by storm. 

Veorides, as any seasoned University student knows, are public bicycles parked freely all over campus, available for use through a smartphone app and the cost of a quarter. The unfortunate confluence of easily accessible public bicycles and 33,000 drunkards with the tendency to enjoy delinquent pranks yields all-too-common irritants when walking to class in the morning. As you make your way through campus for the first few weeks of the semester, make sure to keep the following tips and tricks in mind so as to ensure as peaceful a commute as possible — and even take advantage of the Veorides as you go. 

Look out for Veoride bikers when crossing the street — or sidewalk, or lawn, or hall. You never know. 

Too many Illini have wound up as deer in the bike lights — that is, they step out confidently into the street without looking for oncoming Veorides. Make sure you keep in mind not only where the cars are on the street but also where the bike lanes are directed. It will help you avoid painful collisions and even injury!

Unfortunately, Veoriders don’t always stick to the street. They may wind up biking on the sidewalk, a lawn or — God forbid — the Main Quad during a passing period. As you’re walking between classes, stay alert for oncoming bikes. If you listen to music as you walk, turn down the volume or take one earbud out so you can better be aware of your surroundings. 

Keep an eye out for stray Veorides in bushes and on the ground at night. They’re strewn everywhere. 

You may be surprised to find those blue bicycles poking out of the bushes by the ARC or even in the middle of a lawn. When trudging home in the cold and damp from the UGL one late night, you may find yourself stumbling over them if you don’t keep an eye out. Make sure you stick to sidewalks, and even then try to be on alert for a surprise Veoride parked in just the right spot between street lamps and under foliage so as to make it invisible. 

Try to stay to the sides of a sidewalk or pathway; Veorides are chunky bois, and it will be much safer for you and for a biker if you do so.

Even as you walk in the cold light of day and safely on the sidewalks, you may not be safe from a bump or a nudge from a Veorider dutifully on his or her way to class. For your sake, the sake of bicyclists of all stripes and even your fellow pedestrians, please stick to the right (not left) side of the sidewalk. 

These simple tips should help you avoid getting clobbered by a clumsy Veorider while innocently making your way through the September heat to class. By the same token, if you decide to take up Veoriding please be aware of the pedestrians and drivers around you. Use hand signals, the bell on those bikes’ handlebars and plain old common sense to be a considerate bicyclist. 

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