Cars, buses, mopeds, bikes and feet are all popular methods of transportation in Madison. From Volkswagen to Vespa, Madison Metro to Mazad, Schwinn to Steve Madden, Wisconsin students have a variety of options when looking to get around campus.

Traveling through a campus as large as Madison can present a lot of obstacles for students. The largest obstacle is weather. Precipitation, either frozen or in its simple wet state, can cause headaches from Veterinary Science to Vilas Hall. Library Mall on a windy day can remind everyone that they’re not in Kansas anymore. Finally, the bitter cold is enough to keep any student locked inside, hibernating like a bear from November to March.

Walking is the most commonly employed routine of transportation. For the 15 minutes between each class, the streets look like they’ve been taken over by packs of antelope trudging the African plains. Crossing the streets in a horde is advised, since mopeders, like lions, can usually only take one down at a time.

Another dangerous time for walkers is after a snowstorm. Unlike other colleges in less arctic locales, UW never cancels classes. The university, always thinking of Badger athletics, kindly considers the cross-country ski team and leaves the sidewalks and roads covered with fresh powder for at least a day. According to my own research, weather causes students to fall an average of 1.5 times a year — causing some serious injuries and laughs at the same time. This leaves many students, sick of sore behinds, to search for a safer alternative than the campus promenades.

The biggest line and longest wait for a seat is not to redeem vouchers for football tickets — it’s the line for the 80 bus up Bascom Hill. People have started to walk south — to other bus stops earlier in the route — in hopes of finding a seat. I have no problem with people taking the bus to Animal Science, but Social Science? Give me a break! In addition to that, most of you on the bus look like you could use a few walks up the hill.

The more Ironman-inspired students take a page from their youth and jump on the Huffy again. Students take riding a bike very seriously. Between classes, University Avenue turns into the Champs-Elysées. Whether thousands of Lance Armstrong wannabes are winning Tour De France gold or just racing to their next class, it is hard to know.

Anyone not on a cycle better watch out. Most Madison bikers follow the Mike Tyson mantra: “My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable and I’m just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat your children.” We can agree that these people are jerks, but just stand clear of the bike lanes and you won’t have to worry about removing the handlebars from your kidneys.

As underclassmen become juniors and seniors, they’ll do anything and everything they can to leave the freshman BMW (bike, metro, walk) behind. Students bring their cars from home for transport to off-campus activities. A brave few ignore the risk of a fake Jake (university parking police) ticket and drive to class.

Here’s a novel idea: take the money generated from all those $40 tickets and build some more parking on campus. Alas, that’s just too logical. After all, we can’t ask the university to give up such a money-making revenue source when Camp Randall is still waiting for a Jumbotron.

I’ve saved the form of transportation most simultaneously beloved and hated in Madison for last: mopeds. I love mopeds. I hate mopeders. As a moped owner, I guess you can call me a self-hater — I just go and brush my shoulders off. The arrogance, egoism and general lack of consideration for others embodies all that a mopeder is. Generally seen throwing caution, as well as traffic laws, to the wind, mopeders flaunt their two-wheeled, gasoline-powered devices as if they were Harley-Davidson machines. Next time you see me on my moped, feel free to flip me the bird — I probably deserve it.

Finally, I’ll admit that I’ve fallen on my moped, creating free entertainment for everyone at the intersection of Observatory and Charter during a particularly icy day last year. Never once, however, have I seen a crash caused by riding two at a time on a moped. Besides the drinking-age law, this prohibition is one of the worst laws on Wisconsin’s books.

As I’ve listed here, there are many methods of transport available to the Madison student. All come with various positives and negatives, and only the individual can evaluate the best method. Just remember that for any form you choose to utilize, you’ll likely hear the Ludacris chorus over and over again, “Move bitch, get out the way. Get out the way bitch, get out the way.”

Andrew Fein ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in journalism.