Bench Press: Season’s Greetings

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Welcome to Bench Press! My name is Lainie Rowland and I’m the starting quarterback on the football team, like to run marathons during my free time, and am currently in the process of qualifying for the Rio Olympics as a competitive ping pong player. I’m kidding, of course, but I do love sports and Brown, so I’m really excited to write about a combination of the two this year. 

Welcome to Rhode Island, where the seasons change in the blink of an eye and New England weather and beauty abounds. When I was looking at schools, my love for fall foliage, snowy scenery and blooming springtime influenced my decision a lot to stay on the East Coast, and I have not been disappointed by the seasons here. I love the outdoors, nature and all that good stuff. It’s fun to experience and live with, not to mention it makes our campus gorgeous no matter the time of year. It would be a shame to live in the middle of New England and not take advantage of and explore our scenic surroundings. Rhode Island (and even nearby Massachusetts) offer a lot of different parks, hiking trails, and even beaches that can be enjoyed at any temperature.

Let’s relate this back to sports. I grew up hiking and camping and, when choosing to attend Brown, looked forward to continuing that pastime here. I’ve written about the Brown Outing Club before — the BOC is a great organization that offers highly subsidized regular hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, and various other outdoor recreation trips. They take care of everything (transportation, planning, the works), offer equipment rentals and go to super cool places. Long story short: the BOC is great and the things they do are great.

There are also lots of options for those who are looking for a casual day hike or bike ride with friends on a crisp Sunday afternoon. The great thing about Rhode Island is that, although it’s small, there are TONS of places to go. The RIPTA bus can get you to a lot of those places. — This blog lists some of the destinations and how to get to them from Brown. Other people rent Zipcars for the day and split the cost, another easy and pretty cheap way to explore the state’s natural beauty.

If you’re into biking, there is also an abundance of options for you to utilize. Even if you’re not into biking/you don’t own a bike, you don’t have to! There’s a student group called Bikes@Brown that loans out bikes on a weekly basis for free. FOR FREE. Free stuff is a big deal in college. Back to biking, though, Providence and the surrounding area offer lots of bike paths, including the East Bay Bike Path, which runs along the river and runs from Providence to Bristol (14.5 miles). Also, while I was digging around Providence biking information, I found out that Providence recently instituted a long term plan to encourage biking and put bicycling infrastructure in place. Lots of people at Brown bike around campus and to class, but that’s definitely not the end of the road (pun!) for bicyclists here.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Need a pen pal? Shoot me an email at And I’m not just saying that, I would genuinely love to hear from you!


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