Skates, buses and bikes: Alternative ways to get to class

Kent State University has the third largest campus in Ohio, which doesn’t make getting to class any easier.

But instead of walking, some students are finding a quicker, more health-beneficial way of getting to class.

John Miller, sophomore visual communication and design major, uses inline skates to get to class. He said the skates cost about $150.

“I use Rollerblades because it takes eight minutes to get to McGilvrey from Tri-Towers, and that’s just casually getting there,” Miller said. “And I hate walking.”

When Miller is skating to class, he said he has his shoes in hand so he can change before he goes into the building.

Miller said since he used to skate competitively, he is at an expert level of skating so he doesn’t wear a helmet or pads. He said it is a smart thing to do, but he is more cautious and is knowledgeable of his limitations.

“I’ve learned my limits, and I know how to turn,” Miller said. “(The skates) have active flex, so when you move forward or back, (the blades) move with you. You want to skate with your knees bent.”

Miller said his inline skates are not aggressive ones, meaning they are not supposed to be used outdoors. But even though they are inline and for racing, with proper care they can be used outside, he said.

But there are a couple disadvantages using skates to get to class.

“I hate the bricks and the gaps on the sidewalks,” Miller said. “I’ve actually got caught a couple times. They’re a road trap.”

Miller also said the employees in Eastway Cafe don’t like him skating in there.

“They might think I could roll by and steal something,” Miller said. But the employees in Rosie’s Diner understand why he rolls by – it’s because he works there.

But if in-line skates aren’t the way to go, another popular way of transportation is using a bicycle.

“I use a bike because it’s a quick way and the best way to get to class,” said Westley Gaddis, senior exercise science major. “Walking is fine to take in the scenery, but it takes five to eight minutes to get anywhere riding my bike.”

Gaddis said the bike was a birthday gift to himself last year. It cost close to $300, but he said it was worth it.

“I don’t take it out if it’s wet or during the winter,” Gaddis said. “I would be sliding and everything, plus they use a lot of salt and that eats away at the bike. I either send it home or keep it in my room.”

Even though Gaddis doesn’t use his bike in these conditions, he still recommends riding a bike to class.

“It’s fun, a good form of exercise and it’s quick,” Gaddis said.

But both Gaddis and Miller said that walking or the bus might be an option during the wintertime.

“I’ll probably take the bus,” Miller said. “I don’t want to think about it right now.”

Contact features correspondent Carrie Circosta at [email protected].