Archive for the 'Cycling' Category

National Bike Challenge: Accepted

The National Bike Challenge – Town Gown Showdown has been going on since May 1st and there’s still a couple months left to take part! Marquette teamed up with other Milwaukee-area schools and Milwaukee County as a whole to take on this annual cycling competition. Last year Milwaukee took 3rd place with over 169,000 miles from May 1st through September 31st! If you ask me that’s pretty incredible. But I also say that means this year Marquette and Milwaukee will do even better.

I want to see Milwaukee as the #1 biking community. I especially want to see all of Marquette’s employees and retirees out putting on some miles on their bikes. As of week 8, we were sitting at 57,746 miles. Considering the challenge lasts a total of 18 weeks, I think it’s safe to say we’re off to a good start (although behind last year).  We are currently in week 11 and have 7 more to go, so that leaves plenty of time to make sure you log some miles. Whether you are going 1 mile, 10 miles, or 30 miles at a time, it all counts. When you are doing something beneficial for your body, IT ALL COUNTS. So don’t be afraid to get out there and do some biking today.

It’s really easy to take part in the challenge. First, you have to create a Strava account, connect with Marquette’s club and then sync to the National Bike Challenge. For detailed instructions on how to participate, visit our employee wellness page.

After you’re all set up with your Strava account, it’s time to get on your bike. You could go on a grand, solo adventure, or gather up some family members and enjoy a fun afternoon together. There are so many cool places to bike in Milwaukee and the surrounding areas. You can find maps of biking trails here along with plenty of other biking resources from bike sharing to safety information.

Now that you’re all set with biking resources and plenty of motivation to get out there and make Milwaukee and Marquette proud, I hope to see you all on the trails.

Alicia Diedrich

The movement starting with 2 wheels

IMG_1510Despite the cold weather, I have always known Milwaukee to be a very bike-friendly city. Along with the bike lanes in the streets, we even have trails down by the lake for cyclists. Newer, though, to Milwaukee’s city life is the addition of Bublr Bikes, a bike rental system that involves stations at different locations throughout the city. Milwaukeeans can go to any of these bike racks, rent a bike for some time and drop it off at the Bublr station nearest to their destination. A pretty solid idea. And now Marquette is in on the game.

In the past week, Bublr installed a few new stations right around campus. The first, just off campus to the east, is on the corner of 12th Street and Wisconsin Avenue right next door to Straz Tower.The second and more obvious is located right smack in the middle campus behind the Alumni Memorial Union across the street from the corner of 15th Street and Wells Street, next to the Weasler Auditorium. This Bublr addition is due to a vote that Marquette students participated in early last semester. Marquette University Student Union arranged for the station to be put in, hopefully tying Marquette to the Milwaukee community a bit more.

Marquette staff is also involved with the National Bike Challenge starting in May. We are taking on other institutions across the country in biking as much as possible to work between May and September. As a university, we are competing against UW-Milwaukee, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Alverno College, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and Milwaukee County.

Biking to work not only helps the environment, but also helps your health. Turns out, starting your day with a quick bike ride to the office could help you stay awake and happier throughout the rest of the day. It also is just another way to keep active, which can be hard while working full time. And not to mention the best advantage of riding a bike to work – no need to worry about pesky Milwaukee parking (YES!).

Marquette now has plenty of resources at hand making biking to work a doable endeavor. With the incentive to beat the rest of Milwaukee, the new Bublr stations near or on campus and the beautiful Milwaukee summer weather (that will hopefully be coming soon), being the difference while biking the difference should be a no-brainer these next few months. Also be sure to join President Lovell by taking the new Bublr bikes for a spin around campus on April, 14!

Join the Marquette Biking the Difference movement here:  https://nationalbikechallenge.org/team/6291
Check out Bublr Bikes, their stations, memberships and more here:  http://bublrbikes.com/

Q+A with bike challenge champion Todd Vicker

Todd Vicker was recently featured in Marquette Matters for finishing No. 1 in the state for this summer’s Wisconsin Bike Challenge, sponsored by the Wisconsin Bicycle Federation. You can read the article here and an extended Q +A below.

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Congrats on having the highest bike mileage in the state! Was this your motivating goal all summer? 

No, not until the very end. My goals were simple at first, ride to work, ride more for errands, and ultimately reach a better level of fitness.

How did you get all those miles in?

My weekly pattern was very consistent. I rode to work every day except a few days in May where I drove to work to move my kids back from school. I never rode directly to work or home. I joined some early morning group rides, some as early at 5:15 in the morning, so my mileage before work ranged from 20-42 depending on the day. I did a group ride every Wednesday pm, Friday am, Saturday and Sunday am, but usually logged 20-30 extra miles before each weekend ride even started.

About how many did you average in a typical day? 

More than 400/week – Monday and Tuesday 40-50 easy, Wednesday 75-95 fast tempo, Thursday 50+ hard, Friday 50-65 steady, Saturday and Sundays 75-100 steady tempo rides.

Out of all your miles this summer, what’s your proudest accomplishment?  

The Annual Bone Ride – Tosa to Madison. I finished with the lead group and ended up with 162 miles from 8:30am to 5:30pm with an hour lunch on State Street that day!

Was it a single ride or a goal you met? 

No, I really enjoyed riding this summer – my family, the weather, and my body all cooperated.

Did you bike to work every day?

Yes.

What were the logistical challenges of that and how did you handle it? 

The biggest part is stocking up the clothes. I have a couple lockers at work for most of my stuff. I run my suits and sport coats back and forth to the drycleaners, so regular drop offs must be planned when I’m driving near campus. I keep a lot of essentials right here in my office – a shoe shine kit, belts, shoes, toiletries, etc.

Did you ever take any rest days?

I didn’t take any days off.

How did you recover?

I rode much easier on Monday & Tuesday and I really focused on consuming a well-balanced diet – eating a very healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, low fat, little dairy, and gallons water. I also tracked everything I ate through the Livestrong.com program. I went to bed early! Did you find your energy decreased or increased by putting in all those miles? I can’t believe how great I felt all summer. I am actually more tired now that I’ve cut back a bit, but workdays are longer and more intense since all the academic year has begun.

Now that the summer challenge is over, what’s your next goal? 

I have a few goals set to maintain my fitness. Frankly I’m motivated to stay in the same notch on my belt.

What’s your advice to others thinking about getting started biking to work or biking in general? 

Biking to work is so rewarding compared to driving. My route along the lakefront captivates me every day. It’s the “discernment time” the Jesuits talk about. Commuting by bike is all about the logistics that you can work out if you plan it out. In my opinion biking in general has so many benefits:

  • It’s a lifelong sport
  • It’s easy on the body – knees, feet, back, etc.
  • It’s good for the mind
  • It’s a sustainable
  • It’s a great way to see and enjoy the outdoors
  • It’s an efficient mode of transportation
  • It’s convenient – avoiding traffic, easy parking, etc.
  • It’s economical
  • It’s fun!

Bike streak crosses the finish line

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Kurt Gering biked for nearly 600 consecutive days

After a bout with a nasty intestinal infection, Marquette ITS Project Manager Kurt Gering has finally ended his amazing streak of biking every day. But his passion for cycling remains unbroken.

Gering started a daily bike streak on New Year’s Day 2011 and continued to pedal day after day without fail for more than another year and a half.

“Too often,” he said in a Marquette Matters profile earlier this year, “we place false limitations on ourselves.”

At the end of this streak, he reflected on what the accomplishment meant to him:

For nearly 600 days I rode my bicycle every day, pedaling over 11,000 miles as I continued the streak. Along the way, I met so many incredible athletes in person and virtually through sites such as dailymile.com, who shared their stories of tragedy and triumph. Their inspiration guided me along the way, helping the streak to persevere through colds, late flights, broken ribs, a nasty bout of influenza and even a broken foot.

Read his entire note on Facebook here. Congratulations, Kurt! You inspire us.

Homestretch of the Wisconsin Bike Challenge

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As the Wisconsin Bike Challenge wraps up at the end of this month, Marquette employees have a lot to be proud of. In total, 55 cyclists have joined the challenge and logged more than 28,000 collective miles on their bikes since May 1st. There’s still time to add to those numbers.

Additionally, Marquette’s own Todd Vicker, Executive Director of AMU and Auxiliary Enterprises, currently has the second most mileage in the state with an astounding 6,868 miles and counting. Well done, Todd!

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Marquette’s total puts us at No. 10 in the state for most miles from a workplace, just behind the City of Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Trek Bicycle Corp is No. 1.

Following Todd Vicker is ITS Project Manager Kurt Gering with 4,686 miles. Kurt has biked every day for nearly 600 consecutive days, he recently completed the bike ride across Iowa known as RAGBRAI, and even a 103 degree fever couldn’t keep him off the bike.

See the top 10 list from Marquette below:

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Haven’t started signed up for a team yet or added your mileage? There’s still time! You can learn how to join a team here and you can add any mileage from May 1st onward on the Endomondo site.

Any Marquette employee who logs their miles for this challenge will be entered to win a $50 gift card from Wheel and Sprocket!

Why not get started now? Have a great weekend!

-Tim Cigelske


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