You’ll Bike Too!

By Victoria Currie ’20

View from a bike on the UMaine bike trails

Here in the Office of Sustainability, we’re encouraging you to put down your car keys and take the scenic route to where you need to be. Traffic getting to campus can be stressful. So why not save some gas money and start utilizing the more than ten miles of bike trails UMaine has to offer? The UMaine Demeritt Forest Recreational Trails offer the convenience of getting to campus, often quicker than sitting in traffic, and they are also a great way to spend an afternoon with friends taking in some much needed sunshine. Whether it is going on a walk with friends or taking advantage of the cross country ski trails once the snow arrives, there is always something fun to do and discover on the UMaine Demerritt Forest Recreational Trails.

If you’re ready to hit the trails but your bicycle isn’t, UMaine offers on-campus bike repair stations conveniently located at The New Balance Student Recreation Center, Maine Bound, Sawyer Environmental Research Center, and Fogler Library. The bike repair stations are free to use and can help you when you have an unexpected flat, not enough air in your tires, or some mechanical issues. UMaine wants you to have the best tools necessary to keep you going greener longer.

Student Rec bike repair station
Bike repair station outside the New Balance Student Rec Center. Photo by Karina Graeter

With gas prices currently in the mid $2.40s, taking a short bike ride on the trails could put a little less stress on your wallet, and more importantly, you will also be helping keep our planet a little greener. According to the EPA, “A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.” Every gallon of gasoline burned creates about 20 lbs of CO2. Think about that. If you were to bike 2.5 miles to and from campus, you would prevent 5 pounds of CO2 from entering our atmosphere each day. It’s true that life in Maine means that a majority of the time we’re covered in snow (a quick ski to class, anyone?). But, choosing to walk, ride, or skate to campus in the warm and colorful fall and spring months would be a significant step toward reducing your carbon footprint. You would be giving back a little bit of love to the planet as well.

small icon of the Demerrit Forest trail map
Click here to view the Demerrit Forest trail map

For more information on the trails, you can contact Campus Rec or check out the UMaine Trail System Update Facebook page. Be sure to practice safe trail usage as well. Do not take the trails alone at night and be sure to consult with the trail map before going on them for the first time.