Bikers pedal to freedom

Erin Tsai, Staff Writer

We know them and love thembikers took to riding on the streets along Portola Parkway and Wolf Trail to protest Northwood’s unfair treatment of bikers in comparison to drivers on the morning of Feb. 2, forcing cars onto the sidewalks.
In the protest arranged by The HellMets, bikers parked in the Northwood parking lot similar to cars, with one slanted bike per three spaces. Cars with nowhere to park could only take to parking along the fence by the avocado fields. Due to the close proximity of the vehicles and the lack of parking space, many drivers were forced to lock their door handles to the fence in order to secure their parking “spaces.” Many drivers even began to stack cars on top of parked cars, but this was banned for “imminent threat to the public” when admin realized that parking permits were no longer visible. Those without the foresight to park by the fence had their cars unfortunately compacted.
“How come those useless cars get such large parking spaces, while the spaces us bikers get is so small?” sophomore Mike Bici said. “Those dang environment-destroying drivers finally got a taste of what it feels like to be us.”
The HellMets hold weekly assemblies on the roof of the school market to inform student bikers of their rights as defined by the Association of Student Bikers (ASB). A petition was created to demand the official classification of bicycles as proper vehicles, allowing bicycles to follow the same rules as cars. If approved, bikes will receive many of the same liberties as drivers at Northwood, such as parking permits, provisional licenses to ensure the safety of all bikers and bike insurance.
“Drivers at Northwood are so privileged,” HellMets member senior Tike Vélo said. “They get to park close to school, while the bike racks are so far from the campus. This is just exclusionary toward students who bike to school.”
Bikers state that the last straw was the rainy weather they experienced during the winter, the physical exertion they go through to get to school feeling like a burden.
“we just kan’t stand bykeeng uphill to northwood anymore,” a tweet by the official The HellMets Twitter account stated. “northwood high upon a hill? the hill is high indeed.”
With plans to lobby the front office next Tuesday, The HellMets believe that their actions will help bicyclists regain rightful control over the road.
“Before cars existed, bikers were the king of the road,” The HellMets tweeted again. “Everything we’re doing is just to return the power to the people.”