Registration is now open for the 2012 Good To Go Commuter Challenge, May 12-18. The Challenge is a friendly competition between individuals, teams and workplaces. During the week-long challenge, participants track and report their sustainable commutes online; anything counts except driving alone. Learn more about the Challenge. Thanks to Danny Hajek and photographer Karen Hanrahan for making this series of interviews with sustainable commuters possible.
Prior to the Commuter Challenge in May, GLT is bringing you a series of interviews with commuters who choose to get around sustainably all year long. With rising gas prices, we hope you’ll join them for at least the week of the challenge to save some money and enjoy the ride. GLT’s Danny Hajek talked with Bill Davison, a salesman and bike-fitter at Vitesse Cycle Shop in Normal, and his son Noah, a third-grader at Metcalf Laboratory School. Both are regular bike and bus commuters – rain or shine.
Danny Hajek: Noah, I understand you enjoy riding your bike to school, but what if the weather’s bad? What do you do?
Noah Davison: Well, if it’s rainy or snowy or just bad or really cold, we usually take the bus. But usually we take the bikes because it doesn’t pollute and it gives you exercise and we just go on the Constitution Trail. And on our way home, we stop at the Coffee Hound and we buy a scone or something.
DH: Sounds good! When you do decide to take the bus, is it rough waiting at the bus stop in bad weather?
ND: No, it’s only about two blocks away so I’d say the walk to get there is probably harder than the wait.
Bill Davison: We tend to cut it pretty close so we’re usually waiting only three or four minutes.
DH: Bill, how long is your commute to work?
BD: Well, we live one-and-a-half miles from Vitesse so my daily commute is using the trail to cover that distance. Takes me about six minutes and I do it almost every day.
DH: It sounds like your family is always out riding bikes or taking the bus to get around. Do you see familiar faces and meet a lot of new people during your commute?
BD: You meet a lot of people when you’re riding a bike, they tend to be friendly. And so you have more of an impact than you would think just from your immediate interactions like when we take Noah to school, we’ll see other families when we’re coming and going and they notice that we’re on bikes. Some of them have talked to us about how they’d like to do it and typically they’ll say they don’t have time to fit it into their routine but they see us and I think it prompts them to at least think about it more.
DH: You both are very passionate about sustainable transportation. What is it you enjoy most about it?
BD: I just enjoy the ride itself. I like riding the bike. I don’t like driving so it’s really nice that way, to get to do what you like. I like the exercise you get and incorporating exercise into your life. I’ll just run errands, get groceries and things like that on the bike. I feel better riding versus driving.
ND: It makes me feel good, I feel like it motivates me to do more of it. It helps me physically and mentally. So it’s like an all-around good thing.
BD: I just think it’s a great form of exercise and way to get around town.
Bill Davison works at Vitesse Cycle Shop in Normal and his son Noah is a student at Metcalf. Join the Davison family on the bus, on the Constitution Trail or choose the sustainable commute that works best for you and participate in the 2012 Good To Go Commuter Challenge, May 12-18. Everyone who logs at least one sustainable commute during the challenge is eligible for a drawing for a $200 Visa gift card. Learn more and register for the challenge today!
The Good To Go Blog is administered by Mike McCurdy, WGLT Program Director and co-coordinator of the sustainable transportation project Good To Go. The Commuter Challenge is May 12-18. Danny Hajek and photographer Karen Hanrahan helped make this series of sustainable commuter interviews possible. Hear an audio version and see an archive of past interviews in the series at the WGLT website.