To owners of these magnificent creatures, a bike is an instrument that makes the impossible possible — like getting an extra seven minutes of snoozing time or enjoying long-distance relationships with Forbesians. And didn’t a wise man once say, “You are what you ride”?
Like any noble steed, bikes, too, have feelings, so allow me to hand the floor over to one of them:
They call me Xanthus, after Achilles’ prized stallion — but of course you Princetonians got that reference. If not, the point is: I’m sexy, and I know it. Who wouldn’t want to know what the typical week of a beautiful mustang like me entails?
3 p.m. Obligatory I-survived-Monday-classes Bent Spoon run. What are these signs that seem to say “No Bikes Allowed” decorating Palmer Square? Don’t look at me — I can’t read.
7 p.m. That hot-pink Mongoose locked up next to me at Dillon Gymnasium has been eyeing my new locks for the past few days. Sorry, hon, I only do Diamondbacks.
1 a.m. Running all the red lights as I charge down the median of Nassau Street. A new form of Princetonian stress-relief? #YOLO
9:58 a.m. Heads turn as I sweep past a crowd trying to conceal their power-walking as they hurry to their 10 a.m. classes. I must be looking sharp today.
Or maybe it’s because my owner’s riding down Elm Drive at 20 mph wearing a skirt ...
4:30 p.m. As I cruise down campus, a squirrel attacks my front wheel and bounces right off.
6 p.m. Seriously, who put this hill here? #PrincetonBikeProblems
8 p.m. It’s raining, I’m wet, and I’m lonely. I just want to cuddle.
11 p.m. Blue Schwinn is getting a little too cozy in the bike rack. Get your ratchet hands off my handles!
9:58:31 a.m. Dear owner, the ride from Holder to the E-Quad is certainly longer than 90 seconds.
9:59:59 a.m. I stand corrected.
3 p.m. You know your owner is delusional when she spends an hour washing and scrubbing you clean on a Wednesday afternoon.
3 a.m. You know your owner is a procrastinating idiot when she takes you on runs to the U-Store for late-night coffee on the night before all the problem sets are due and forgets to lock you up.
8:57 a.m. Who’s roughly mounting me so early in the morning, pulling at my reins and spurring me down to Fine Hall!? Bike-napped! I hope he crashes into a pole or a squirrel drops onto him from out of a tree.
9:01 a.m. Unceremoniously tossed into the bike rack as the bike-napper dashes into his math lecture, leaving me crashing into and falling on top of a flaming scarlet Diamondback. Sorry, I’m not usually like this, but hey there, beautiful.
9:58 a.m. At least this kind-hearted bike-napper has the good sense to ride me back to Holder.
11:30 a.m. My owner strolls into the courtyard after her 10 a.m. class, looking both depressed and infuriated. But when she sees me, she lets out a cry of joy, and with tears in her eyes — we are reunited. Oh, I feel so loved.
Except that this ritual seems to happen every week. Note to bike owners: Lock us up. Unlocked bikes are just cruel temptations for the unfortunate sleep-deprived Princetonian.
2 a.m. Thankfully, my owner has the sense to lock me to a post. Otherwise I might end up like that poor Schwinn over yonder. Some football player just thought he’d be an excellent object to toss into a tree.
12 a.m. Quick run to Garden Theatre to grab free popcorn before the Street.
12:12 a.m. I don’t understand which part of riding to the Street in a short black dress makes sense ...
2 a.m. ... but riding uphill after the Street makes even less sense. Your Princetonian intelligence never fails to impress me, dear owner.
8 p.m. Borrowed by roommates again. The number of different people who ride me in a day truly astounds me.
12 a.m. Let’s get something straight. Say we’re on the Street and we’re coming at each other from opposite directions. When I veer to one side of the road, this is not an open invitation for you to join me on that side and halt right in front of me.
Can’t you see it puts me in an awkward position? Courteously swerving to one side is a signal that screams: “DO NOT WANT.” What part of that message is so difficult to comprehend?
7 a.m. Watching a few students ride their bikes back in their boxers and blazers, amid the astonished stares of Korean tourists armed with cameras. #BikeofShame
5 p.m. As the sunlight catches the scarlet leaves falling and dancing across Holder Courtyard, I take a moment to just breathe in the autumnal breeze. What a beautiful campus we forget we have, racing from one destination to the next, engrossed in our own self-absorbed worlds. In my humble opinion, those Korean tourists have the right idea — just take a second to admire the high Gothic architecture, marvel at the intricately carved figures adorning those arches or ponder the deeper meanings of the blowjob statue.We bikes may be a means to speed up your lives, but from bike to Princetonian, here’s my best piece of advice: Take a walk. Pause and appreciate your friends — old, new and yet to be — and try to embrace again the bliss you felt when you first arrived here. And if you own a hot Diamondback, keep her locked up tight — and call me maybe?