All about the Bike


  • William Watts Butler University


First-Year Seminar, Physical Education, Cycling


FYS101-02: All about the Bike is a year-long course offered as part of Butler University’s First-Year Seminar program.  All students at Butler are required to take a First-Year Seminar, which is designed to cultivate the writing, speaking and researching skills that will serve them well during their years in college and beyond.  Each year, the University offers about fifty sections of the First-Year Seminar, with 18 students in each section, on a wide variety of topics, such as “Gender and the Law,” “Faith, Doubt and Reason,” “Utopian Novels” and ‘Madness and Creativity.” The structure of the First-Year Seminar program allows incoming students to choose a topic that interests them; the topic of the course then provides a focal point for the reading, writing and research they will do over the course of the year.

My version of the First-Year Seminar, “All about the Bike,” which I designed in 2011-12 and taught in 2012-13, focuses on cycling; students read, write and think about cycling as part of the course.  My section is unique at Butler in that it is also tied to a one-hour Physical Well-Being course, which I also teach.  As they are reading and writing about cycling, students are also cycling, and when they complete the course, they have also completed our physical education requirement.  My section is further distinguished from other sections of the First-Year Seminar by the fact that it also fulfills the Indianapolis Community Service requirement, a service-learning requirement that student may complete at any time during their undergraduate career at Butler.  In designing “All about the Bike,” then, I have sought to address the diverse goals of the First-Year Seminar, the Physical Well-Being, and Indiana Community Service requirements in one coherent course, focused on cycling.