Kent State Profs Bike to Work for Bike Month
Peggy Doheny, Ann Jacobson to bike 30 miles for Bike to Work Day
Kent State University College of Nursing professors Peggy Doheny, Ph.D., and Ann Jacobson, Ph.D., will ride their bicycles to work on Friday, May 18, to mark National Bike to Work Day. Doheny and Jacobson, both in their 60s, will ride about 30 miles to work in Kent, Ohio, from Jacobson’s home in South Russell, Ohio.
National Bike to Work Day, a yearly event since 1956, was established by the League of American Bicyclists to promote bicycling to work as a healthy and safe alternative to driving. The event also promotes bicycle safety. In conjunction with National Bike to Work Day, Kent State is joining in an effort to be “fuel-less” by encouraging its employees to participate in Fuel-Less Friday on May 18 by walking, riding a bike, riding public transit or carpooling to work or campus.
Doheny and Jacobson will ride about three hours to get to work at Kent State – a distance they can easily cover in 45 minutes by car. The ride will take them along several bike trails, including the Head Water Trail in Mantua and the Portage Hike and Bike Trail in Portage County.
During their ride to work on May 18, both professors will reminisce about past rides, as well as take in the sights along the bike route. This year, Jacobson is trying out an iPhone app that records her distances and times using GPS technology. Because riding a bike is much like operating a vehicle, they plan to stay focused on the road and avoid distractions.
Doheny, who rides about 2,000 miles a year, considers biking to be a great way to be in touch with nature and see the countryside; something she says cannot be experienced in a car.
“I like to bike and it is always fun to have a destination,” Doheny said. “Biking to work day on May 18 is one way to exercise, and is a great way to avoid the commuter traffic and stay in shape.”
“Biking is my favorite way to relax and enjoy life,” Jacobson said. “It is a healthy stress reliever, and I would definitely encourage others to bike to work, particularly if there are showers and places to secure the bike available at the destination.”
Kent State has several bike racks across the campus, and Gretchen Julian, director of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center at Kent State, is offering the center on May 18 to anyone wanting to shower after riding their bike to work.
“We are happy to let the bike-to-work participants use the recreational center for showers,” Julian said. “It is just one small way we can show our support for the biking initiative.”
In warm weather, Jacobson bikes four to five days a week. Although she has biked several times to Kent, she had always wanted to do it on National Bike to Work Day, but it never worked out well with her schedule before now.
“I took those trips before Google Bike Maps came into being and had to do a segment on State Route 43 South, which is a nightmare,” Jacobson said. “But now, thanks to Google Bike Maps, we will have a route that circumvents 43 and will actually have us on a bike path.”
Doheny, who has worked at Kent State for 35 years, will be retiring this summer, and biking, she said, will be part of her retirement plans. She has ridden in the MS 150 Pedal to the Point, the annual ride in support of Multiple Sclerosis, for the last 17 years and plans to continue to participate to support the cause. Doheny said she has had wonderful support for her rides over the years from her colleagues at Kent State’s College of Nursing.
“I am planning to go to South Africa with my son and husband in June, and I also have several local bike rides planned over the summer,” Doheny said. “One ride my husband designed is what he calls the ‘Tour de Cleveland,’ which is a great tour to appreciate the history of Cleveland.”
Doheny and Jacobson will continue to share their love for biking even after Doheny retires. Both plan to participate in bike rides together with their families.
“She will leave a huge void,” Jacobson said. “I am sorry to see her go and wish her much happiness in this next chapter of her life. I will see her during our annual Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure ride in June, an event that Peggy introduced my family and me to 10 years ago. This will be the 10th anniversary ride for my husband and me. I have Peggy and her husband to thank for planning trips involving many happy miles on the bike in downtown Cleveland, the towpath, the Vermont countryside, and more.”
For more information about National Bike to Work Day, visit the League of American Bicyclists website at www.bikeleague.org.