By Barkha Patel
The Rutgers International Student Orientation helps students from all over the world familiarize themselves with their new environment before the domestic students arrive on campus. A major part of this weeklong process is an array of orientations and workshops offered to the students. On August 27, 2015, representatives from the New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center (NJBPRC) hosted a Bicycling Workshop. The session was held in a classroom at Murray Hall, located on the College Avenue Campus.
Over 40 students attended, from countries including China, Germany, France, Vietnam, and Brazil. As they walked in the door and collected informational pamphlets, the attendees were excited to see a bicycle at the front of the room. The workshop began with an introduction of the presenters and the BPRC. The presentation included valuable information about the resources that are available to students who wish to buy or borrow a bicycle in the immediate area. Presenters provided demonstrations on (1) how to determine whether a bike is the right size for the rider, (2) how to perform the ABC Quick Check, (3) how to properly fit a helmet, and (4) how to securely park and lock a bicycle.
Additionally, the presentation offered a thorough explanation of bicycling laws at the state- and municipal-level. This included the principles of traffic laws, traffic skills such as riding right, changing lanes, and making turns, and illustrations of the most common types of crashes. Attendees were also shown examples of infrastructure they will encounter in the area.
The presentation ended with information about taking bicycles on public transit and where to bicycle in New Brunswick and nearby communities. Scenarios were presented to give students an understanding of how they can travel from one campus to another in the most practical and safe ways. The presentation flowed easily into a discussion with the attendees about renting a Rutgers bicycle. The students were enthusiastic about using bicycles during the school year and were eager to find out when more rentals would be available. Students also had questions about buying used bicycles from the New Brunswick Bike Exchange. Other bicycle enthusiasts wrote down information about the BPRC in the hopes of finding a group for longer and more scenic rides. The workshop ended with excitement about biking around campus and taking advantage of all of the biking opportunities in New Jersey.
A copy of the PowerPoint presentation that was given can be downloaded here.