Why I ride: Time to think, plan and dream
Updated: Jun 26, 2019
Biking to work is good for fitness, productivity and the environment. The 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment reported that 32% of those who work outside the home have a commute of 5 miles or less. It also showed that 48% of us are inactive or insufficiently active. So why don’t more of us commute to work by bicycle? Perhaps many of us consider biking to take too long, or to be too difficult. Mark Yeaton’s bike commuting story shows that with just a bit of extra preparation and time, biking could be a great way to start and end your work day.
Mark Yeaton, a teacher at Southside, has been commuting to work by bike for over 33 years. Mark’s commute is four miles one way, which takes him about 20 minutes each morning and then again in the afternoon. Mark rates his commute as “pretty safe.” Mark is the type of person to ride his bike year round, and actually prefers biking in the snow, when there is less traffic. In 2017, Mark went 7 months without using a vehicle. From January to July he relied solely on his bicycle as a mode of transportation.
Safety comes first for Mark, but he tells us that you don’t need a lot of special gear to commute by bicycle. When someone is considering commuting to work by bike, his first suggestion is for the commuter to invest in front and rear lights. These lights allow bikers to be seen by drivers who may not be watching out for cyclists. Another safety must-have is bright colored clothing that will also keep you warm and dry. Colors that are easy for drivers to spot are high visibility yellow, orange, or green.
Commuting by bike to work allows Mark extra time to think, plan, and dream. He enjoys the time away from technology where he can get lost in his own mind. This is an essential part of Mark’s day. Mark suggests that it takes a while to get used to commuting to work and definitely takes more preparation; however, eventually it just becomes a habit. He would not have his day start out any other way.
Mark is what you might refer to as a bicycle fanatic. He has spent a large part of his life on his bike. While off his bike, Mark has also spent time writing a book chronicling his 2012 ride across America titled Elephant on the Menu. This book is available at Xulonpress.com, Amazon.com, and Barnesandnoble.com, so be sure to check it out!
Rain, sunshine, or snow, Mark Yeaton continues his bicycle commuting journey. We should all take a leaf out of Mark’s book and give bike commuting a try – even if only once a week or once a month, every bit of physical activity counts!
This blog was written by Brooke Short