Posts Tagged 'Biking'

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/

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

Bike Warrior: When Good Enough Isn’t

By Kurt Gering, Project Manager, Information Technology Services & Adjunct Instructor, College of Professional Studies –  It was a hot, steamy midsummer’s day in August. You know the kind that makes you run outside and start your car to let the air conditioner run for ten minutes before getting in and going on your way. Yet, despite such conditions, at 7:00 AM on a Saturday morning I found myself geared up on my bike, sitting in the parking lot of Wrigley Field. Although the day’s ride to Miller Park involved a little over 100 miles, a distance I had previously done many times, the ride itself was a first for me and only the second year for the charity event to benefit the World Bicycle Relief. As my riding partners and I set up at the starting line, the air was filled anticipation and the assembled riders were brimming with excitement over what was to come. While waiting for the starting gun, I took a moment to look around and size up my fellow cyclists. Judging from the European cut bibs and jerseys, I could tell that this was an experienced and well-travelled group. Gone were the mountain bikes and super-hero costumes of RAGBRAI (an annual bike ride across Iowa) replaced by clusters of professional cycling clubs and endurance athletes. I raised my eyes towards the heavens and whispered a silent prayer to the gods of cycling to not embarrass myself.

At the sound of the starting gun we began our journey northward, including a short ride through the inner concourse of Wrigley Field. It was pretty amazing and thought for a moment of all the historic figures that had walked through these hallowed halls of sport, even though it wasn’t Miller Park.  As we made our way out of the stadium, we were treated to a police escort for the journey to the Chicago city limits. As you can imagine, there was quite a bit of traffic and although we had started at 8am, it took nearly 90 minutes to travel the 13 miles to the edge of the city. Along the way we were greeted by homeowners who came out to watch us ride by and there was even a lemonade stand or two operated by some teenage entrepreneur ready to help quench our thirst.

The route eventually took us through less urban areas and once we hit Lake Forrest the ride was filled with fewer traffic interruptions.  Unfortunately after the urban congestion it was not smooth sailing the rest of the day.  We were subjected to a brutal headwind the remainder of the ride. Weather Underground listed the wind at 17mph gusting to 25mph, but I am wondering if those numbers were a little low. There were times when the wind almost knocked me over, especially those sections along the lakeshore.

In spite of the wind, the ride was quite scenic and I hunkered down, settled into the drops and began to enjoy the ride. Unfortunately, just as I was finding my cycling groove, trouble struck me at mile 52 in Kenosha in the form of a flat tire. Luckily there were several vans perusing the route for breakdowns, and once I called SAG (support and gear), they had me back on the road in a jiffy. Sadly though, the entire process cost me 45 minutes, so instead of spending a bit of time enjoying a fabulous lunch catered by Harry Carey’s along the shores of Lake Michigan, I scarfed down half a turkey wrap in five minutes and was once again on my way.

After we reached Wisconsin, we wound our way up scenic route 32 amongst various tree-lined parks before turning onto Lake Drive in Cudahy for the final 20 miles. This is a path along Lake Michigan that I have ridden many times before, so I really began to feel like I was nearly home. I met many interesting people along the way, including a few Marquette graduates and several of the organizers from SRAM and the World Bike Relief organization.

As wound through the hipster streets of Bayview, we could see the stadium off in the distance and after battling the blustery winds all day, our reddened faces looked with contemplative relief at the sight of our journey’s end. However, it would seem the gods of cycling had not exacted their full measure yet, for at mile 97 I suffered yet another flat tire.  Curse you gods of cycling! It was so close to the end and I was certain most of the SAG support had already gone ahead to the game. I could see no point in waiting another 30 minutes, so I called a friend who came by, picked me up and took me home. Sort of my own personal SAG. I quickly showered and then the two of us headed out to meet up with the rest of the cyclists at Miller Park and enjoy the game.

Once at the stadium we were treated to free beer and pizza at the Palermo pizza factory before walking over to the game. When we entered Miller Park we searched for our seats and were all surprised to see our seats were along the third base line and only a few rows from the field! After kicking a few seat poachers to the curb, we settled in just in time to see Corey Hart hit his 20th home run of the season.

As the evening drew to a close, a Brewers win topped off the evening and we headed to the parking lot for the drive to my downtown home. On the ride back though, I could not help but be a little overcome with guilt as I had ended three miles short of my century.  I was so close! I just needed a few more miles to make it 100. So while my friend tried to persuade me that 97 miles was good enough and had set our sights on a few cocktails at some swanky alfresco venue, I was having none of it. Sometimes good enough just isn’t.  I insisted that before we engage in the evening’s revelry I needed to do a quick three miles on my trainer, which would put me at my 100 miles for the day.  I know. It sounds a bit scrupulous. Perhaps even a bit punctilious. But that my friends, is the way of a Bike Warrior.

Since January 1st, 2011 Kurt Gering has ridden his bike every day.  If you would like follow his journey as he attempts to reach 500  miles of cycling every day, please “like” his page on facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bike-Warrior/179104322119069


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