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Bike/Walk to Work Day May 18

By Beth Potier, Media Relations
May 9, 2007

High cost of gas got you down? Eager to shed some winter weight and lighten your carbon footprint?

Leave the car at home next Friday (May 18) and celebrate New Hampshire Bike/Walk to Work Day. Bike or walk to work, then stop by the wildcat statue in front of the Whittemore Center for a free commuter breakfast, bike tune-ups, and information about incorporating sustainable commuting into your life. After breakfast, clean up with a shower at the Hamel Recreation Center, which will open its doors to all biking and walking commuters that day.

If the average American commuter bicycled to work one day per week from May to September, we’d avoid 33.7 million tons of CO2 emissions annually, according to Seacoast Area Bike Routes (SABR). Commuters would also save $11.2 billion in gasoline at $3.00 per gallon.

SABR also notes that more than 22 percent of all motor vehicle trips Americans take are less than one mile long and that half the working population commutes five miles or less to work – an easily bikeable distance.

Commuters who live farther from Durham should consider incorporating Wildcat Transit from Dover, Portsmouth and Newmarket into their commutes. Wildcat Transit buses are all fitted with bike racks (available on a first-come, first-served basis; call 862-2328 to reserve a spot), so a commuter from Epping could bike to Newmarket, load the bike on the bus and enjoy the ride to UNH.

Wildcat Transit is free with a UNH i.d.; the general public is welcome for a fare of $1. For more information, go to http://www.unh.edu/transportation/wildcat/. University Transportation Services, which operates Wildcat Transit, is the state’s largest public transportation system; it just hosted its one millionth rider this academic year.

The Seacoast celebrates bicycle commuting all week (May 14 – 18) with Bike to Work Week activities, including a bicycle repair clinic at Papa Wheelie’s in Portsmouth Monday, May 14 at 6 p.m.; a casual bike ride leaving from Papa Wheelie’s May 15 at 5:30 p.m.; the inaugural Wednesday Pease Lunchtime ride May 16 leaving from the Redhook Brewery at noon; and a celebratory ride around Portsmouth followed by a party at the Portsmouth Brewery May 18 at 5:30 p.m. For more information on these and other bike-related events, go to www.seacoastbikes.org.

Durham’s Bike/Walk to Work Day festivities run 7 – 10 a.m. May 18 and are sponsored by Durham: It’s Where U Live, the UNH Office of Sustainability, and SABR. Rain date is May 25. To register online for Bike/Walk to Work Day, go to www.seacoastbikes.org/biketowork.cfm. For more information on UNH’s Climate Education Initiative and commitment to protecting the climate and human health, go to www.sustainableunh.unh.edu.

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