Jon: Zero to 100 in 6 Months
If circumstances had not catapulted Jon Strack out of his lifelong home of Massachusetts into North Carolina, Jon would not be riding a bicycle. As a new Durhamite, away from friends and family, his first months were fairly isolated. As the weather began to improve, Jon bought a bicycle as a way to explore his new city. What he did not realize was that his new bicycle would come to have a major influence on his social and civic life.
After his initial bicycle explorations of Durham, he began to consider riding to work. He got some tips from a colleague who rode a bicycle to work and one day he took the plunge…then he repeated the bicycle commute one day the following week…then the next week. Taking note of his new found interest in riding, Jon’s colleagues from Fidelity invited him to join them on a charity ride in New Bern. Six month after first buying a bicycle, he was riding 100 miles.
Jon said that soon after he began cycling his social world in Durham opened up. It was through a ride that he met Duke Park neighbor Brian Green, who connected Jon with other neighbors and the neighborhood association, for which he is now a board member. He also met fellow neighbor and bicycle transportation trainer Katherine O’Brien at rides.
In a turn of luck, it was a bicycle that took Jon on a journey from exploring a new city as an outsider to becoming an involved and active citizen, very much a Durham insider. Jon is still exploring new ways to get around by bicycle. In fact, following this interview, Jon emailed, “I took the plunge yesterday and did the bike/bus combo to work! 700 from Durham Station to RTP headquarters on Davis Dr., then less than a mile bike ride to my building. It’s such a neat option – look forward to utilizing it more.”
So for those who reckon their chance for bicycle days are too far in the past, talk to Jon: you may want to reconsider after he gives you the insider’s scoop. To be connected with Jon, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.