Heath Auger

heath auger manchester nh

Why do you ride?

I commute to my job at Manchester Transit Authority every day. I go to the bank and restaurants and even do some light shopping with my bike.  I also like to bike downtown during special events, like functions at Veteran’s Park or Fourth of July fireworks. You don’t have to worry about finding a parking space or pay for parking.

I ride for the fresh air and exercise, and because I don’t own my own car.  

What kind of bicycle do you ride?

I have several bikes.  In the winter it’s my white Peugeot Montreal Express 15-speed mountain bike. During the warmer months I switch between a light-blue 10-speed road bike and a one-speed Huffy Santa Fe cruising bike with whitewall balloon tires (my ‘easy rider’). 

One of my first bikes was a black Raleigh Rapide 10-speed that I got from my dad when I was a teenager. But after 30+ years of faithful service it finally gave up the ghost.

As a kid I enjoyed fixing up old bikes.  I recently re-discovered that joy and have a few other old bikes that I’m looking to fix-up and put into service.

What do you carry with you when you ride and how do you carry it?

I always have a backpack on and usually have some basic bike tools (to fix a flat), rain gear, safety lights, and whatever else I need for where I’m going.  

I’m looking at strapping more stuff to the bike (like a tool pouch, a raingear pouch, etc.) to lighten the load off my back.  I also want to suit up a bike with a basket and luggage rack to carry more stuff (like groceries), so my trips to the store can be more productive.

Where do you ride most often?

I usually ride the whole length of Elm and Chestnut streets to get back and forth to work.  In the past I’ve ridden from the top of Cilley Road hill, across Queen City bridge, up Second Street and down Route 3 south to get to my old job in Bedford (a 7-mile, 35 mintue commute one-way).

I would like to do more recreational trail and group riding, and hopefully will be able to with the Bike Manchester group.

Do you ride year round?

Yes, I ride year-round, often turning down offers for rides, especially in the winter.  The only times I will not ride is if the streets are covered with excessive snow or are icy, on which days I will either take the bus or accept a ride.  Cold, wind, rain, snow… I am usually riding.  One year I did own a set of studded snow tires for a Trek mountain bike (which was later stolen) and experimented with riding during the harshest winter conditions.  

I have always challenged myself to overcome riding obstacles and find ways to make biking more useful and feasible.

What’s your favorite riding experience in Manchester?

My favorite riding experience is across the Hands Across the Merrimack bridge.  It’s a nice, bicycle-pedestrian only path behind Fisher Cats Stadium and goes all the way to West Side Ice Arena.  I also enjoy the bike path along South Willow Street behind the former Stop & Shop to Gold street.

What city bike rack do you use most often?

Demoulas on Elm Street, Farm and Flower Market on Webster Street and Livingston Park, although most of the places I go don’t have bike racks, so I end up tying it to a telephone pole or sign post.

At what locations would you like to see bike racks that don’t currently have them?

St. Mary’s Bank / Dunkin’ Donuts on Elm and Valley Street
Red Barn Diner on Elm Street, Bunny’s Superette on Webster Street, Veteran’s Park