Leo Horishny and Jeph Daley-Hazekamp concur: Trading in the car for the bike is just plain fun.
Bike to Work Week is May 12 – 16, so leave the car in the garage, hop on that bike and use some pedal power to get to work. You may find you enjoy it. And you might even cross paths with Leo Horishny and Jeph Daley-Hazekamp — they’ve been biking to their jobs at Renown Health for years.
In fact, Bike to Work Week was the catalyst for Leo to get back on his bike after years of cars, motorcycles and the big gas-guzzler he held on to for far too long. But it took some self-coaxing to get started.
“I was asking myself, ‘Can I pedal five miles both ways?’” recalls Leo, a Pharmacy Technician with Renown Rehabilitation Hospital. He found the idea of pedaling hills after a long day of work daunting. But Leo finally gave it a try, and it must have been a pretty great ride because he now bikes to work nearly every day.
Jeph, a Physical Therapist at Renown Regional Medical Center, got back into biking around the same time as Leo. Aside from the cost-savings inherent in biking, Jeph really wanted to get more exercise and do something for the environment at the same time.
“Biking is just a part of my green lifestyle,” Jeph says, which also includes home gardening. “I’m trying in general to reduce my carbon footprint.”
If biking to work sounds insurmountable, just ask Jeph and Leo and they’ll tell you it’s a lot easier than it sounds — if you plan ahead. They both leave sets of clothes at work, and they wear the appropriate clothing and gear for protection when riding. Their bikes are equipped with the necessary safety features, and they have both found routes that effectively get them to work 20 minutes or less.
“You don’t have to worry about the traffic jams to and from work,” Jeph says. “When I go to work, I’m passing all of these cars and just laughing to myself sometimes.”
Leo has a lot of miles under his belt. He puts more than 3,000 miles a year on his bike just going to work, running errands and shopping. On the weekends he schedules his route to hit as many places as possible on a bike. “It makes it more stimulating than driving in a car. It makes more sense, and it’s fun.”
The biking fun factor definitely speaks to Jeph as well. And she and Leo agree unequivocally that Bike to Work Week is a fun, energizing way for newbies to get their feet wet — along with the rest of the community.
But take Jeph’s advice and don’t overthink it. “I think people should just try it, and they’d be surprised at how easy it is.”