Goldy's Frequently Asked Questions about Riding your Bike at the University of Minnesota

Hey Kids! Dismount and push your NiceRide and you'll get big strong arm muscles like me!

[Oops! Looks like you broke the law! That'll be $115.]
FAQ: Hey! I just got a $115 ticket for riding my bicycle on campus! What the hell?

Goldy Sez: Hi there student! I’m Goldy Gopher, your Official Parking and Bicycle Ambassador. Welcome to the University of Minnesota, one of the top three public research universities in the Western Half of the Big 10. We’re glad you’re here!

FAQ: No seriously, what the hell? This sucks!

Goldy Sez: The University of Minnesota loves bicycles! We just want to make sure you’re safe. Bicycles are very dangerous! You can fall off them really easily. They don’t even have seat belts or airbags. One time a rogue student on a bicycle dangerously brushed the shoulder of the Vice-President of Parking and University Relations. He was so upset he almost forgot to raise your student fees! One time I saw a bicycle rider who didn't come to a complete stop at a stop sign on campus. Seriously! I saw it with my own eyes, swear to Dog.

FAQ: How can I get a $115 ticket for biking to class?

Goldy Sez: Oops! Looks like you were in the new “Bicycle Dismount” area, a new Golden Gopher program that keeps everyone safe and secure so that all of us can learn valuable research knowledge in safety and security. My friends at the Department of Parking and Sign Placement Services have clearly marked the areas where bicycles are not allowed by placing tiny gold signs at random places around the school.

["Hello Officer Friendly!"]
So I asked my friends at the Office of Parking and Policing Services to hand out “incentives” for rogue students who are breaking the law. Looks like you were breaking the law! You’re a dangerous criminal!

FAQ: I was going 3 miles per hour! There weren’t any signs at all.

Goldy Sez: My friends at the Department of Parking and Tiny Signage Services have clearly marked the areas where bicycles are not allowed by placing tiny gold signs at random places around the school. Here’s a helpful map of the Bicycle Dismount zones on campus. See, its easy! Go-pher-it!

FAQ: WTF is that? How am I supposed to get to class?

Goldy Sez: We love bicycles at the University of Minnesota! We recently received a Silvery ranking from the League of American Bicyclists. We’re bicycle friendly!

Just don’t ride your bicycle anywhere on campus, please. It’s not safe! We don’t want you to fall and hit your Golden Gopher head!

That's why we've initiated a new safety procedure where we're marking the pavement with helpful signs letting you know that "the pavement is hard."

[The UMN's innovative new warning label for pedestrian safety.]
It's like when I went to McDonalds that one time and spilled hot coffee all over myself. I burned my fur! They should really put a warning label on those cups! They're very dangerous.

If you need to get to class, we have many conveniently located parking garages where you can park your car, including a large seven-story ramp right next to the Office of Parking and Transportation Services.

FAQ: Hey Goldy. Go to hell! [Attacks Goldy with textbook.]

Goldy Sez: Eeek! [Runs into “The Gopher Way," the tunnel system hidden underneath the campus,  disappearing into the safe safe darkness.]

[A helpful new sign informing people to walk their bicycle. Note the absence of a $115 fine warning.]

[A criminal breaking the law and endangering innocent pedestrians.]

[If you get one of these NiceRide bikes, be sure not to ride it. You're right next to a "Dismount Zone!"]
FAQ: Hi Goldy. What’s that neon green bike thing that’s parked outside my building? It looks cool.

Goldy Sez: Hello friend! That’s the NiceRide bicycle share program. The University of Minnesota is a proud partner of the NiceRide program. We’re excited to encourage new gophers to ride bikes around the large and sprawling campus of the University of Minnesota. Why not give NiceRide a try! Bicycles are good for you and good for the planet. And they’re fun, too! As my friend Tony the Tiger says, they’re grrrrrrrreat!

Oh, I almost forgot! Please dismount and push your bike when you’re on campus. It’s just not safe.

FAQ: What?!

Goldy Sez: Try our new NiceRide program! Bicycles are great for you, and great for the planet. Exercise boosts your Gopher health, improves your Gopher mood, and helps prevent Gopher heart disease! It’s gopher-tastic!

Don’t forget to dismount and push your bike on campus! 

Just remember One – One – Five! That’s how much money you’ll pay Officer Friendly if he catches you breaking the law and dangerously riding your bike on campus!

FAQ: WTF Goldy? Have you been messing around with the tubes in the Chemistry labs again?

Goldy Sez: No. [Giggles.] Gopher Gold… Coach Kill Coach Kill! Sky – U – Mah! [Giggles again.] Ow! Ow! I’m being run over by a bicycle! Help! [squeals, falls over]

[One of the many great bike lanes on the University of Minnesota campus.]
[A criminal bicycling on the incorrect side of the sidewalk.]

FAQ: Goldy... A friend of mine was killed by a truck at the University of Minnesota this summer while she was in a bike lane, biking to class. But I was over there the other day, and the bike lane is still not fixed. It’s nearly invisible.  Why haven’t you fixed this?

Goldy Sez: Oh no! That’s terrible! I told you bicycles are dangerous. Was she wearing a helmet?

FAQ: [Silence.]

Goldy Sez: Don’t worry, though. We’ve painted some other completely different parts of campus with new green paint. Just don’t ride your bicycle anywhere near the office of the Vice President of Parking and University Administration Services, because that’s a “Dismount Zone.” Oh, and look out for trucks! You might think about walking in our safe tunnel system instead. It’s the “Gopher Way.”

[Officer Friendly parking his car on the pedestrian mall, and making sure that vehicles don't obstruct pedestrian rights of way.]
[One of the many places where its illegal to ride your bike despite the nearby presence of a bike lane or a NiceRide kiosk.]

FAQ: Hey Goldy. It’s me again. I have to get to class on the East Bank. Class starts in 10 minutes. Where can I ride my bike where I won’t get a $115 ticket from the cops?

Goldy Sez: Here at the University of Minnesota we love bicycles! Thanks for riding your bike and doing your part to reduce pollution, and be a healthy gopher!

We’re working on a groundbreaking new bicycle plan. We were recently given a Silver ranking by the League of American Bicyclists. We love bikes!

FAQ: Just tell me where I can ride where I won’t get a ticket.

Goldy Sez: Gophers love bicycles! Soon our new Bicycle Center will be complete. It’s conveniently located in a large parking ramp right next to the I-94 on-ramp. Go Gophers! It has everything you need to ride a bike safely and without killing innocent Gophers with dangerous speeding bikes.

FAQ: Where am I supposed to ride? I can’t pay a ticket! Now I have to go to Hennepin County court and contest this damn thing. I’ve been on hold for 30 minutes with the county court clerk trying to get a hearing so that this stupid ticket will be thrown out. Where can I ride?

Goldy Sez: Have you tried our Campus Connector! Here at the University of Minnesota we have a wonderful system of large diesel buses that can take you quickly and safely to wherever you want to go.  Bicycles are very dangerous speeding out of control. Safety is easy, pavement is hard!

FAQ: Screw you, Goldy. [Takes off on a beatup mountain bike.]

Goldy Sez: [Shouting, voice echoing off of the walls of the Northrup Hall Parking Ramp.] Don’t forget to please remove your hat! According to the University of Minnesota fight song, all Golden Gopher students have to take their “hats off to thee” while they’re on campus. My friends at the Office of Parking and Headwear Services have put new “hats off” signs conveniently around campus, to show you where our new “Hats Off Zone” is going to be. Just remember "One – One – Five!" That’s how much you’ll have to pay if Officer Friendly sees you wearing a dangerous ballcap in a “hats off zone.” You could poke somebody’s eyes out!...

[Before becoming the official University Parking and Bicycle Ambassador, Goldy was the drummer for the house band at Showbiz Pizza until he was kicked out because of substance abuse and missing a few key gigs.]


Unknown said...

I LOL'd. So true. So insane.

Anonymous said...

WTF? I had no idea those tiny signs were prohibitions, rather than recommendations of courtesy. And it certainly isn't clear that there's a fine involved for disobeying them. I would be angry as hell if I got written up for that.

But the map you posted is a joke and made by you, though, right? The official map just has the Scholars Walk area on the East Bank as the only walk-your-bike area, which isn't so bad. Campus is still navigable by bike. But they absolutely need to post warnings of those fines.

Alex said...

Bummer man. At least it gave you a way to work in Rockafire and the Explosion.

Bill Lindeke said...

Map is a joke, only kinda sorta. The UMN's real official "biking and gopher way" map is here (http://www1.umn.edu/pts/maps/Library/pdf/BikeGopherWay.pdf), but I think mine is a far more accurate reflecting of the bicycling conditions on campus.

Rockafire and the Explosion is AWESOME! I kinda wanna go see them again.

Bill Lindeke said...

oops, map is here Biking and Gopher Way Map

harmoniousheaven said...

I'm in your Sidewalks Geography class (which is what I've taken to calling it because we've been focusing so much on sidewalk space), and I read this, laughing the whole time. So, so true. I passed it along to the whole University of Minnesota Marching Band, and it's now circulating a large majority of my Facebook circle. Thanks!

Andrew said...

That's just plain awful, how is a cyclist supposed to navigate the East Bank without getting a fine, and dismounting through certain areas completly negates the purpose of riding..
Pedestrians have a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings as well and be mindful of cyclists.
Hope you get the fine removed, do you post content from your sidewalk Geography class? Sounds like an awesome class.

Unknown said...

The next time I have to dismount and walk my bike through campus I plan to loudly shout how dangerous my bike is and how, for the safety of all, that I keep it restrained so that it doesn't leap out and attack any innocent pedestrians.

sexual intercourse said...

This will not succeed in fact, that's what I suppose.

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