Why I Ride: Student Cyclist Edition

Pedaling her way through May, and every other day of the academic year, is UCLA undergraduate student Kelsey Dempsey. For perspective on life in the bike lane at UCLA, take a spin with Kelsey as she shares why she loves taking to the campus on two wheels.

In the final stretch of her college career, Kelsey is a senior majoring in communication and minoring in geography. In 2020 she got herself a cruiser bike to get outside when UCLA moved to remote-only instruction for the fall quarter.

Kelsey said, “I started riding every day — usually laps around campus, Westwood, and occasionally the bike path at Will Rodgers State Beach and Santa Monica. Biking started as a fun hobby to spend more time outdoors and now I just love riding through campus— it's very peaceful and liberating to me.”

She states there’s nothing she loves more than playing music from her phone speaker and going for a ride. Kelsey adds, that when driving, it can often feel like she’s just going from one destination to the next, whereas biking is all about the experience throughout the ride, allowing her to be more present.

“It's also helped me become a better navigator since I'm constantly thinking about the next turn,” she noted.

For Kelsey, biking is an activity she finds joy in that also helps her destress and allows her to explore places from a different point of view.

“So much of our time in college is spent indoors — be it in lectures, at work, in the dorms, etc., and it's hard to motivate yourself to get outside, especially after walking up those hills! Biking has allowed me to spend more time outdoors and appreciate the campus,” said Kelsey.

“There are so many ways that you can use a bike in college, and I highly recommend trying it out!”