Commuting by bicycle good for UWSP employees,
Hundreds of University of Wisconsin-Stevens
Point faculty, staff and students bike to work or school. Several tell why they
brave the elements and encourage others to do the same during Bike to Work Week
associate Psychology professor, lists several advantages of biking: Getting to
work under his own power, not having to pay for parking on campus and reduced
expense of automobile. “I ride my bike to work because it’s a sensible mode of
transport for the distance and cargo I need to carry to work.”
He and his wife
chose to live in a neighborhood less than a mile from campus and rarely drive.
They have put only 43,000 miles on their car since 2005.
Nemeth has begun
researching persuasion and bicycling. “There are different ways you can promote
bicycling—cost savings, exercise, connection to nature, reduced environmental
impact. But the most important thing is that you like to ride a bicycle,”
Julie Schneider, Academic Advising, says she
has never driven to a job. She biked the six blocks from home since she began
working at UW-Stevens Point in September 1993 until recently. Now she walks.
Jeremy Solin, interim director, Wisconsin
Center for Environmental Education, likes having transition time between work
and home. “It’s great thinking and decompressing time. Most of my best
ideas come on my bike ride to and from work.”
Solin rides the Green Circle Trail home,
which is four miles from campus, and enjoys observing plants and wildlife. He
encourages others to start by biking to work or school one day a week.
Colleen Boardman, Continuing Education, has
been biking to campus since she was a student at UW-Stevens Point. Her mother
encouraged a mode of transportation other than driving. “She walked
everywhere,” Boardman said. Now, she encourages her children to bike and walk.
Doug Moore, campus photographer in University
Relations and Communications, bicycles to and from work year-round. “Biking is
a great way to commute. It’s healthy, economical and good for the environment.”
Moore cites two challenges: Wisconsin weather
and inattentive or aggressive motor vehicle drivers. “The best way to deal with the former is to
dress for the weather.” When conditions are subzero, he wears snow pants, Cabela’s
snow boots, goggles, earmuffs, ventilating face or mouth guard and a helmet big
enough to fit over a winter hat. “It’s also wise to go slowly, avoid quick
turns and pick your route carefully.”
In rain, Moore recommends Gore-Tex or
breathable footwear, pants and parka.
Regarding motorists, Moore advises bicyclists
to follow basic traffic rules for vehicles, be alert and aware of traffic
conditions. Avoid busy intersections, if
possible. Wear your helmet at all times when biking, he says. And don’t bike at night without head and tail
lights and flashers.
Jonathan Rivin, waste management specialist
for UW-Extension’s Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center, enjoys being
outside, especially on sunny days, and getting exercise on his four-mile commute.
Biking in winter can be dangerous because of
slippery road conditions and reduced visibility for drivers in bad weather. “I
try to avoid main roads in those conditions and find alternate routes with fewer
added weight of a bike trailer is difficult in snowy conditions, noted Kimber
Goodwin, an accountant in Old Main. “Winter is the biggest challenge for
biking, particularly because I pick up my two kids from the babysitter and
school by bike.”
Burley trailer also provides a social aspect to biking. “It’s a great conversation starter. The conversations not
only act as a catalyst for interpersonal relationships, but also get others
thinking about their own commute to work.”
“My No. 1 reason for biking-to-work is to
reduce my environmental impact by using fewer resources and by reducing my
carbon footprint,” she said.