Though St. John’s is a mystical city of near-infinite joy, it sure feels good to get out every once in a while. Sarah Smellie rounds up a variety of ways for the non-motorized-vehicled proletariat to pick up and roll out.
The ingenious folks at Project Green have gotten together with MUN to offer RideShare, a service that helps you find rides to all sorts of destinations. All you need to do is log in to your MUN account at my.mun.ca and you’ll see an option for RideShare under the Student Services menu. If you’re looking for a ride somewhere, just post it on the bulliten board. If you’re lucky, someone will be driving out that way and have space in their car for you.
n-Wheeled Options, where n ≥ 4
This is an island of bus travel. There are tons and ton (and tons) of little bus services going from St. John’s to every town imaginable, and they’re all dirt cheap. Most of the services are of the dude-and-his-van variety, so you have to phone ahead, make solid reservations, confirm the pick up spot(s) and make sure you’re on time. A lot of them only make one trip per day so if you miss the bus, you’re out of luck. Check out our handy list for specifics.
If you need more help planning your trip, avail yourself of the ninja-grade wisdom of the ladies at the Visitor Information Centre at 384 Water Street.
Listen: you can bike anywhere there’s land to bike on. You don’t need a fancy, expensive bike and you don’t need to be a super fit athlete. All you need is a sturdy bike and an average set of knees and you’re good to go.
The best spot to bike to for a day trip is Butterpot Park. It takes about two hours to get out to Butterpot on the wide, smooth shoulder of the Trans Canada Highway. Once there, you can swim, rent a canoe, build a fire, go one hikes, whatever. It’s beautiful out there and it’s, like, right freaking there. The park closes for the season on September 15th. Why haven’t you left yet?
Bell Island ranks a close second to Butterpot. It’s about two and a half hours to the ferry terminal in Portugal Cove. The ferry costs a mere $2.25 return (bicycle or no bicycle) and there are restaurants that serve good fish and chips on both sides.
If you’re looking for a more robust bike trip and have a few more days to spare, pedal yourself down to LaManche Park. You’re welcome to get all hardcore about the giant hills along the way, but there ain’t no shame in pushing your bike up those bad boys. There’s a little tea room and bakery about halfway there and tons of stop-off points to grab some water and gawk at the scenery. The whole ride is about 6 hours, taken at a very leisurely pace.
If all this seems a little daunting and you’re just starting out, take yourself out to Middle Cove Beach instead. It’s about 45 minutes one way and bonfires are always welcome.
Need a bike? Check the Buy and Sell, Value Village, or Traders for a good used deal. If you’re just looking for a temporary ride, Project Green at MUN have BikeShare and they can probably hook you up.