Are you tired of walking or looking for a new fitness regimen, or maybe you simply want a new and exciting hobby? Perhaps you should consider biking because the Auburn area has trails for both the serious and casual biker.
Whether you are looking for a calm ride around campus or to jump some dirt ramps, Auburn has it all as well as a large biking community that is ready for you to join in on the fun.
Maybe you have already given up any hope of biking since you left your bike at home, or you do not want to deal with the hassle of maintaining and storing a bike on campus. Whatever the reason, not having your own bike is no problem, thanks to the War Eagle bike share.
Introduced to campus in Feb. 2016, the War Eagle Bike Share is operated by Gotcha Bikes and has become one of the most successful bike shares in the country. Whether you want to borrow a bike once or twice each month for a cruise around campus and downtown or you need a faster way to move from class to class, the War Eagle Bike Share can serve either purpose and, even better can be done for no more than a dollar.
With 150 bikes and 20 hubs to drop off them off, students can rely on bikes being readily available. For even more assurance, students can reserve bikes with the Social Bikes app and find out how many bikes are available at each hub.
The bike share runs 24/7 except for home game Saturdays, and details on how to join can be found on The Office of Sustainability’s webpage or on gotchabike.com.
Another resource for student cyclers is the bike shop in the Auburn Outdoors Center. The shop is located in the walkway that goes under the Recreation and Wellness Center and can serve students in a variety of ways. For those who did not bring a bike to Auburn or need a different type bike, there are both high-performance mountain and road bikes available in a variety of sizes. Rent fees start at $9 a day.
For students who brought bikes, the bike shop loans out bike tools and sells particular parts. While the shop will not repair bikes, there are usually bike experts available who will help students repair their bikes and provide biking advice in general.
If you prefer not to bike alone and want the additional safety of biking with others, Auburn offers its very own biking club, the Auburn Flyers. Though the Flyers compete, casual bikers are encouraged to join the club and come along on the weekly rides.
“Anyone who wants to join can join,” said Sarah Carrico, an officer of the club.
The club meets regularly Mondays at 7 a.m., and more bike runs are organized each week including the “coffee ride” to Opelika for a latte stop. You can find others who prefer your style of biking as the club rides and competes on both road and trail.
“It’s really nice to have a cycling community that you can go to and have people that you can ride with at the drop of a hat,” Carrico said. “There’s always someone down to ride.”
The club placed first in the team in the 2016 season and second in the team last season.
If you are planning on mountain biking during the school year, you will almost inevitably find yourself on the trails in either Chewacla State Park or the Tuskegee National Forest. Most of the trails would not be there nor in as good condition if the Central Alabama Mountain Pedlers didn’t exist..
CAMP has been building trails since Nov. 2011 and, so far, has added 30 miles of trails to Chewacla State Park. Besides the trails, CAMP has built numerous technical challenges that are scattered throughout the park such as ramps to jump and rocky obstacles to climb over.
There is a $4 fee to enter Chewacla or you can purchase a $100 year-long pass. CAMP meets on the first Saturday of each month to work on trails, and whether you can handle a chainsaw or want to pick up some limbs, the help will be appreciated, said CAMP’s President Philip Darden.
Volunteering to work is a great way for mountain bikers to “help give back to the trails which they ride.” Darden said.
The group also meets for night rides on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. as well as all day long on the last Saturday of each month.
Auburn has the availability for different biking. With a plethora of biking lanes, natural forests and a large campus, there is a course for each and every biker. You could complain about the hills that have to be climbed or you could argue they add excitement to the ride. What adds to this biking environment is having a biking community full of groups like CAMP and the Auburn Flyers, where every one of them is ready for you to hop on a bike and join in.