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 153-mile bike trek, participants will ride up and down hills 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 through 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 classmates. While we accept all levels, some basic biking experience is required.
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.
Most BOPpers bike in the bare minimum of mesh shorts, a cotton T-shirt, biking shorts and kicks. Spandex biking shorts (padded for comfort) are highly recommended, they can make biking much more comfortable and enjoyable.
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 polypropylene. Nylon dries quickly and is extremely windproof (recommended).
T-shirts, two (one for biking, the other for the campsite/sleeping)
Long-sleeved shirt or sweatshirt
Shorts, a pair or two
Underwear and socks
Sneakers for riding
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 (very important!)
Bug repellant (non-aerosol)
Headlamp or flashlight
Sunglasses (Bring a strap to keep glasses on while riding)
Pocket knife, with short blade and a can opener (No long knives)
Crazy creek sleeping bag/camp chair
Personal helmet if preferred (COÖP will provide everyone with a helmet)