Hop on the bike. Pedal 3.6 scenic miles from Wright State to downtown Dayton. Take in the fountains and flowers at RiverScape MetroPark. Grab lunch. Then wheel back to the university in time for afternoon classes.
With the opening of the Mad River Bikeway on June 21, this could soon become a popular pastime for students
With completion of the bikeway, downtown Dayton and more than 330 miles of trails in the regional bikeway system will be connected to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the United States Air Force, the Huffman Prairie Trail and the Kauffman Avenue Bikeway that extends to Wright State and Fairborn.
“Now, you can ride your bike from the Wright State campus to downtown Dayton and stay on a bike path,” said Eric Corbitt, director of Wright State Campus Recreation.
Five Rivers MetroParks told the Dayton Daily News that the new paved segment is also part of the multistate, 4,600-mile North Country/Buckeye Trail that continues past Fairborn by roadways to Springfield and beyond.
The bikeway offers views of the Mad River and passes Eastwood MetroPark, an area where bald eagles nest, under a 1918 railroad tunnel and over the top of Huffman Dam.
The extension also passes the Hanitch-Huffman house, home to Colonel Frank T. Huffman, whose Huffman Manufacturing Company came to national prominence with the Huffy bicycle.
“There are some nice pieces there, and I feel like we’re right in the middle of it,” Corbitt said. “We’re in an area where things are starting to converge.”
Bicycling Wright State students, faculty and staff will also get the benefit of a pedestrian bridge that will soon span Interstate 675, offering safe walking and biking access to the Fairfield Commons Mall as well as retail stores and restaurants. Ground breaking on the project is expected in 2014.
In addition, there have been discussions about the possibility of seeking a Bicycle Friendly University designation for the campus from the League of American Bicyclists and of starting a bike-share or bike-rental program.
“We’ve got a large number of students who live just off campus,” said Corbitt. “If you lived a mile off campus, why wouldn’t you ride your bike if there was a safe way to do it?”
The Bicycle Friendly University program recognizes institutions of higher education for promoting and providing a more bicycle-friendly campus for students, staff and visitors. The program provides the roadmap and technical assistance to create great campuses for cycling.