High schoolers often look forward to the age when they can get their license and start driving by themselves. However, there are various other modes of transportation that students can use at any age that are cheaper or more energy efficient, and a new club at OHS is encouraging taking advantage of these options.
The Hike & Bike club involves learning to use bikes, scooters, the OUT bus, and modes of transportation other than a personal vehicle to get around town. On Oct. 3, the club held their first event, which consisted of students and members of the community walking, biking, and riding the OUT bus to the Square where they met up to enjoy treats from Holli’s Sweet Tooth afterwards.
Although the turnout was minimal for the first event, members of the club, juniors Brandon Watts and Brandon Gunderson, are not discouraged and hope others join in the future.
“We are going to try and get more people into it, so that when it does happen, it is more fun for everyone,” Gunderson said.
Watts is the president of the new club under the club advisor, Virtual School Coordinator Sarah Campbell. He believes students should be involved “so that they can have a sense of unity and get exercise.”
The Hike & Bike club is in participation with the Oxford Pathways Commission, which makes Oxford an easier place to get around without having to rely on a car. Over the past 10 years, the main focus has been on creating bike lanes.
Greg Surbeck, who is on the commission and helped organize the club for OHS, has joined the League of American Bicyclists, a group that promotes cycling nationally and award towns and cities “bike friendly” status. While Oxford has worked to meet the group’s standards, one thing Surbeck found lacking was the educational outreach to audiences younger than college age. Surbeck hopes the Pathways Commission can work further with the Hike & Bike club to get Oxford biking.
“What we would love to have is high schoolers and middle schoolers, especially beginning with elementary school, understanding how to ride,” Surbeck said. “Then high schoolers and middle schoolers learn this mentality of not needing to wait ‘till 16 to have a car, and even once you do, it is easier and more convenient to hop on a bike.”