Employees who bike to work share their stories

No doubt you’ve seen folks bicycling to work and maybe you’re wondering what it’s like or what motivates them to hop on a bike to get to work. To take the mystery out of bike commuting and encourage other City employees to give it a try, the folks at the Minneapolis Bicycling Program asked City employees to share their stories.

Meet some of our bicycle commuters

Jennifer Jordan – Public Works, Administration Division

Jennifer says using her bike to commute to work and run errands means she doesn’t have to rely on a bus schedule or sit trapped in traffic. She says she didn’t set out to become a bike commuter and it didn’t happen overnight, but she came to discover that biking to and from work was actually faster than busing and a good way to decompress. Jennifer’s story

Garrett Bing – GIS Business Services

For Garrett, the reward of bicycling is the opportunity to travel at his own pace, without having to sit in traffic. Garrett’s trip to work takes him on the Midtown Greenway and the Hiawatha bike trail. He says once you start biking to work, you’ll never want to drive again. Garrett’s story

Lynn Schwartz – Communications

Lynn’s commute from St. Louis Park is about 5½ miles via the Cedar Lake Trail. She says you shouldn’t consider bike commuting something that’s only for the young and super athletic. She says she’s proof you can be old enough to be a grandparent and still enjoy the fun and health benefits of biking to work on an occasional basis. Lynn’s story

Daniel Swalve – Police Department

Daniel’s round-trip bike commute totals 45 miles, and he bikes to work between three and five times a week. He says that bike ride work does more than spare him the hassle of driving, it provides a feeling of freedom and the opportunity to enjoy the morning darkness and the afternoon sunshine. Daniel’s story

Pam Nelms – Human Resources

Pam rides her bike year-round. Bicycling 7½ miles to work and to run errands really adds up: last year, she racked up a total of 3,268 miles. She says that winter commuting is really beautiful and she doesn’t really feel the cold, thanks to specialized clothing and goggles. Besides the fitness benefits, Pam says the “me” time that bicycle commuting provides has enabled her to better know herself and her priorities. Pam’s story

Brendon Slotterback – Sustainability Office

Brendon, who bikes to work two to three times a week, says riding to work gives him energy and is often just plain fun. Bike commuting was partly prompted by the sale of the family’s second car, which saves the family a lot of money on car insurance, car payments and gas. He advises folks to try by bicycling to work on a nice day and just enjoy the ride. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself wanting to ride more.  Brendon’s story

Jane Shey – Homegrown Minneapolis

Jane doesn’t own a car, so she bikes every day. She says using a bicycle rather than a car means she doesn’t have to worry about finding a parking place, buying gas or getting the oil changed. Biking to and from work, she adds, is a great way to ease into the day and unwind on the way home.  Jane’s story

You can do it too!

Even if you wouldn’t want to bike as often or as far as these folks, they all urge you to give it a try. If you’d like to start pedaling to work — even if it’s only on an occasional basis, check out the City’s Bicycling website. You can use this website to ask a question about bike commuting or learn about classes and resources available to get you out pedaling.

Minneapolis is among the top cities in the country for bicycle commuting, according to a U.S. Census comparison of the nation’s 50 largest cities. In recent years, Minneapolis has garnered national attention for its 167 miles of bikeways, connections to regional trails, growing number of bike commuters, expanded Nice Ride bike-share program, comprehensive bicycle master plan and its Bike Walk Ambassador program.

 

Published Jul. 18, 2012