Biking in the Haven

February 26, 2008

K.S., 2L

There is some cliché about riding bikes, to which the exact phrasing escapes me, but sounds something like: “You’ll never forget how to ride a bike.” The saying (however it goes) is absolutely, unequivocally correct and it took a year in New Haven for me to come to terms with it.

New Haven is surely an interesting place. The downtown area, which is close to the Law School and home to many of the law students, is similar to any city downtown, especially regarding parking. There are few parking spots available and those that exist require endless coins into a meter. At the same time, New Haven is not as big as your average city, so the distances to and from things are manageable with walking. Yet, earlier this fall, I had the epiphany – could I cut time by purchasing a bike and riding it around? The answer is a resounding yes! New Haven wonderfully accommodates its bike riders by allocating specific street lines and areas to bikers, making riding so convenient and easy. Now, I don’t want to appear as if I am some great innovator and upon your trip to New Haven, all of the people on bikes are following my trend, but simply to say that my bike and I have become new best friends (or besties as we say in New Haven).

Prior to New Haven, I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was 13. Living in Denver, Colorado and going to school in New York City provided me little opportunity to ride anywhere. To be honest, I kind of thought biking died with the 90s, kind of like baggy pants and popular boy bands. But I was wrong – biking is alive and well in New Haven, and is the reason why I can now get to places on time and place more items on my ever so busy schedule.

Biking, in addition to being the fastest way to commute around the city, is also a great workout. I’ve noticed a loss of pounds (this is significant because I gained a lot of weight eating meals for free at my law firm job all summer) since returning to New Haven, most of which can be traced back to my new bike regimen.

The truth is that biking represents the main reason why I love New Haven. Here at Yale, we live in a city that is not too encompassing, but still provides more than enough amenities for relaxation, social interaction and class bonding. Biking fits into this. Here, we get the pleasures of attending a school in a rural area, while also having the feeling of living in an urban setting. Similar to biking, New Haven has many unknown treasures – take the time to explore the city before you make any judgments!