Pedal to Work, and Smell the Roses [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

PEOPLE bike to work for various reasons. For some, it's a way to help the environment. Others see it as a regular opportunity to exercise, or to save money. For avid cyclists, it's a way to log in miles. All great reasons to commute by bike -- but not the main reason I do it.
I appreciate how biking to work allows me to be outside for at least a small part of my day. I'm a senior program director at the Lasker Foundation, which supports medical research by educating people about its benefits and honoring excellence in science.

If I didn't bike to work, I'd spend my weekdays almost entirely indoors -- underground tunnel, subway car, eight hours under the fluorescent lights and then back home again. On the bike, I get trees, air and a great way to get to know city neighborhoods. Of course, I also get bad weather and city traffic. But it's worth the trade-off. The weather's not often inclement, and rain and snow have their charms.

I live in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn and work on 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan, about eight miles away. It would take too long for me to walk, of course, but I find that the distance is perfect for commuting by bike. Over the years, I've lived in a few places in Brooklyn and Queens, and biking has almost always been quicker than taking public transportation.

I've been cycling to work since the late 1990s. I started when the city was doing some construction in the subways and rerouting passengers, which would have lengthened my commute considerably. I tried riding my sister-in-law's bike to work one day and liked it, so I bought my own. Even though I hadn't biked since I was a child, I got back into it right away.

Read more: