On the Columbia Outdoor Biking Orientation Program (BOP) participants will complete a “tour de Hudson Valley” as they bike a four day route from Tarrytown, NY, back to the Columbia Campus. During BOP’s 150-mile bike trek, participants will ride alongside rivers and farms on winding tree-lined roads through the lower Hudson Valley. At the end of the trip, the group bikes across the George Washington Bridge, down the west side of Manhattan, and right into the gates of Columbia.
Although all participants take the same route, intimate groups of six or seven first-years and two or three leaders ride together for the entire trip, sharing tents, cooking as a unit, and traveling at their own pace. At the end of the day, all the BOP groups come together to relax around the campfire and share stories, eat delicious food, play games, and enjoy the company of fellow classmatess. While we accept all levels, some basic biking experience is required. (As long as you’ve ridden a bike with handbrakes, you’ll be set.)
There will be no cell phones, music devices, Iliad, non-prescribed non-over-the-counter drugs or alcohol, or anything else used that detracts from the outdoor getting-to-know-you experience.
Some advice about fabrics: Cotton is comfortable and breathable, but it absorbs and retains water, becoming heavy and smelly when wet and no longer keeping participants warm. Polypropylene is a non-absorbent synthetic fabric that repels water, but is not very windproof. It can also get pretty hot biking in polypro. Nylon dries quickly and is extremely windproof (recommended).
Most BOPpers bike in the bare minimum of mesh shorts, a cotton T-shirt, and kicks. Some leaders have recommended wearing spandex biking shorts (padded for comfort) and a nylon biking shirt and say, as a general rule, "go for comfort."
- T-shirts, four or more (a change of clothes for each day)
- Long-sleeved shirt or sweatshirt
- Shorts, a pair or two
- Pants, at least one pair to wear around camp to keep the mosquitoes off
- Underwear and socks
- Sneakers for riding
- Sandals or slippers, to wear when not riding
- Rain jacket, rain bottoms optional
- Helmet, SNELL or ANSI approved (not required, can be provided by COÖP)
- Bicycle water bottle (not required, can be provided by COÖP)
- Sleeping bag, down or synthetic (not required, can be provided by COÖP)
- Bowl and cup/mug
- Spoon and fork
- Sunscreen lotion and bug repellant (non-aerosol)
- Bike jersey
- Light jacket
- Cycling gloves
- Bike shorts
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Sunglasses (Bring a strap to keep glasses on while riding)
- Disposable camera
- Pocket knife, with short blade and a can opener (No long knives)
- Crazy creek sleeping bag/camp chair