Friday, May 12, 2017

UNH student biking down Main Street in Durham

As summer mockingly pokes its beautiful head out just as finals are starting, it’s time to start thinking about summer jobs and where we’re all going to live this summer. If you’re one of the many students picking up sublets or staying on campus over the summer months, you’re bound to be wondering how to get around. Cars are expensive! The buses don’t run full schedules! There’s so much to consider that we forget our two-wheeled friends. Biking is a great way to whip yourself into shape and cut down on your greenhouse gas emissions. By using two wheels instead of four, you’re cutting your gas usage, creating less traffic on the road, and cutting down on idling which can blow through gas.

Believe it or not, UNH has a wide variety of biking trails for you to get out and adventure. Most of the campus has bike lanes already laid out. Are you a commuter coming from Dover or Newmarket? No problem! Check out some of the routes below to either spend your day off hitting some trails or if you’re looking for routes around or into town.

Dover to UNH (map):

Dover, NH

Dover’s a hopping city that’s slowly growing from a small, seedy town to a socially diverse hub of business and entertainment. Local bands are always playing a set or two in the local pubs and from La Festa to Dos Amigos, you’ve got some pretty amazing food fare.

This isn’t the easiest of bike rides but fortunately, Google Maps has got your back. The route follows along NH-108 but tends to stick to back roads as much as possible. While it seems a little longer than any would want to spend on their morning commute, this route takes you from the heart of Dover straight into campus, whether you’re working in a dining hall or somewhere on Main Street, you’re saving gas and getting in shape!

Newmarket, NH

Newmarket to UNH (map):

Newmarket is one of my favorite little cities in the area. Having grown up no more than 20 minutes from UNH, I’m no stranger to the wonders that Newmarket holds; namely the Big Bean. Hopping on your bike in this beautiful town ensures a spectacular ride past classic colonial style New England buildings and plenty of cool natural sights along the way. This route, like Dover, has you spend a little bit of the ride on NH-108, so make sure you’re careful. This short 30 minute ride is absolutely worth your time!

College Woods:

We all know College Woods to be one of the most beautiful places to take a walk and escape into nature. Located no more than a 10 minute walk from anywhere on campus, these woods have entrances all over. Not only is it a great spot for a walk, but its trails are more than excellent for mountain biking as well. The well maintained trails are extremely extensive, meaning that every time you go, you’re sure to find something different!

College Woods - UNH

Kingman Farm (map):

This is one of the lesser known areas near Durham. Kingman Farm is a research facility owned by the university that, while it lies two miles from campus, has some of the most extensive biking trails on the 330-acre property. It’s trails range from easy to moderate skill levels and have been described by as an “exceptional local mix of trails.” If you haven’t been out to this beautiful area, it’s worth the ride out there.

West Foss Farm (map):

West Foss Farm is another area that not many students tend to know about. This area, located off of Mill Road, has a fair expanse of trails for adventurers to journey out upon.

The trails splits off right off the bat, one taking you past an old cemetery, the other past a beaver pond. The trails are not difficult and are a great place for prospective mountain bikers to test their mettle. Again, if you haven’t found the time to explore this cool area, make sure you do so this summer!

West Foss Farm

Along with all these routes, keep in mind that if you do end up tired from a long day of working, the Wildcat Transit buses have bike racks on the front of the bus. If you find yourself realizing that you don’t know if you’ll make it home from work without falling asleep, there’s no shame in hopping on public transportation! It’s another way to reduce road congestion and lower that carbon footprint.

Just a final thought for all of you gearing up (bike pun intended) to pull out those mountain bikes this summer. Being an avid longboarder, I’m no stranger to wipeouts. Please, when you’re getting ready to head out on any of these routes, especially those with traffic, do yourself a favor and throw on that bulky helmet that your mom bought you all those years ago. Your safety comes first and a helmet will save your life. Have fun and be safe this summer Wildcats!