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A not-so-conventional morning commute

By Kyle Kittredge, Contributing Writer

courtesy Kent Chamberlin, a UNH professor, rides his bike to work every day. He said he even rides in the winter, as long as it’s above 30 degrees.
Kent Chamberlin, a UNH professor, rides his bike to work every day. He said he even rides in the winter, as long as it’s above 30 degrees.

On a brisk fall morning, Kent Chamberlin, an electrical and computer-engineering professor at the University of New Hampshire, has an interesting morning schedule. He wakes up, grabs breakfast, checks the weather, leaves around 7:40 a.m., and breaks out his bike to start the seven and a half-mile ride to UNH. While many associate the morning commute with frustration, traffic and something to dread, Chamberlin does not share the sentiment.

Chamberlin loves riding his bike to work everyday, a part of his daily routine. The feeling of “runners-high” and commuting to work in this fashion gives both a more relaxed feeling and a great exercise. The roads are very friendly in the Durham area and drivers are more courteous to bikers. Biking also allows him to beat the morning traffic and save gas money. Chamberlin’s route is not the longest or the shortest, but an in-between route that gives the commute a pleasurable and relaxing feeling.

“It can be addicting,” Chamberlin said.

To Chamberlain, a healthy workout is a feeling that can be missed after not having gone to the gym or done any physical activity in a while. 

For the last few years, the Durham area has been bike-friendly, offering paths to bikers in the woods, making paths on the main roads and establishing new bike racks recently to accommodate the increasing number of students — and faculty — that are commuting in a healthier and more fun way.

“It’s nice to see more people using bikes,” Chamberlin saidChamberlin said biking to work was “an ideal thing to do.” The implications of this have led to better health and a general well-being for Chamberlin. He wakes up naturally, with something as simple as riding a bike being enough to wake him up.

What advice can he offer to people looking to incorporate similar routines? Chamberlin recommended that occupation choice factors into incorporating exercise into your daily routine.

“Getting a job that enables you to commute to work … [is] a lot better way, and makes doing your job easier after coming from a commute like that, feeling more relaxed” Chamberlain said.

Chamberlin even rides his bike on the weekends, and in the winter.

“All I need is a fleece jacket, windbreaker and a pair of warm mittens, and I’m warm enough,” he said. 

He checks the radar and takes into account the amount of rain and snow and other conditions that may affect his ride. If it’s below 30 degrees, there is a chance he won’t be doing any biking.

Chamberlin also likes to have lunch on a park off of Oyster River, riding his bike to and from there. His morning routine is a unique one, as not many faculty ride six miles on their bikes to work.

“I hope more people will do it,” Chamberlin said.

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