During the Chapel Hill Climate Strike Friday, activists biked 33 miles from Chapel Hill to Raleigh to prompt local and state lawmakers to address climate change. Their ride, while a little long for a daily commute, proved that biking is a feasible mode of transport in the Triangle.
For students at UNC, the personal and environmental benefits of biking are well worth it. Biking is a low-carbon form of transport that saves money, provides regular exercise and gives riders greater control over their schedules.
Compared to driving to campus, biking is incredibly affordable. The cost of a full-year, on-campus parking permit ranges from around $200 to $800 for students, while bikes can be built for free at the ReCYCLEry off of Franklin Street or purchased for cheap at the UNC's annual bike auction. If students are wary about owning about a bike, the University’s Tar Heel Bikes bike share program allows students to ride throughout Chapel Hill's campus for up to an hour for free every day.
Beyond the financial benefits, biking helps to reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and depression. A group of researchers from the United States and Europe found that biking leads to “higher levels of satisfaction, lower stress, higher relaxation and a heightened sense of freedom compared with car drivers.”
For most students, biking to campus saves time and provides greater flexibility in their schedules. The trip from Downtown Carrboro to the Old Well takes less than 10 minutes on a bike. The same route takes nearly half an hour by foot, approximately 15 minutes by bus and about the same amount of time by car when factoring in time to park.