Biking for a Cause

Blogger: Terry Thiele, Corporate Recruiter | Arlington, VA, USA
July 08, 2016

I loved biking as a kid. I grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia and would bike to the mall, to soccer practice, to get ice cream—everywhere. I went on a few multi-week biking and camping adventures (what they are calling “bikepacking” today) in high school. I mostly forgot about biking in college and my 20’s but picked it up again a few years back when I transferred from my transportation engineering firm’s NYC office to Washington DC. Even though I was in a recruiting role, I was inspired by the work the engineers around me did working with DDOT to improve bike lanes throughout the city and getting the signals timed to accommodate bicyclists and not just drivers. The office’s Managing Principal was also an avid bicyclist and our enthusiasm eventually rubbed off on the entire office. To make things even better, it turned out that my commute to the office by bike was a full two minutes faster than the metro!

My 3 miles (each way) commute quickly turned into a daily habit, and I invested in winter and rain gear so I could take on all the elements DC winters threw at me. Soon I was biking out to breweries in Virginia and Maryland and competing in triathlons. Since joining HDR, my commute has grown to 7.5 miles each way, mostly on the area’s extensive network of bike trails.

Now I’m ready for my next challenge: the NYC to DC Climate Ride.

The Climate Ride is special to me for a multitude of reasons, but there’s one that stands out in particular.  My love of cycling was reborn when I moved from New York City to DC. It led me on some great adventures and helped me to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

This is also when I learned about all the issues we must overcome as cyclists to be safe out there. In Washington, DC, for example, there is a law that says (Contributory Negligence) if a cyclist is just 1% at fault (e.g. if bike lights are not bright enough) for an accident with a car, the car’s driver and insurance company has no responsibility to the cyclist for damages of any kind. Participating in this ride will allow me to raise money for charities that work toward achieving sustainable solutions, active transportation advocacy, and healthy living as we must meet a minimum goal of $2800 to participate.

The beneficiaries I have chosen include:

WABA advocates for safe bicycling and fair laws for cyclists in the Washington DC area. 

SAHA Global provides resources for women in impoverished rural communities to run their own water cleaning business improving the health of the community as a whole and providing an income for their families. 

Rails to Trails Conservancy is an organization dedicated to creating a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people.  

If you are interesting in contributing to my ride, you may visit my personal fundraising page here. I would love to ride into Washington, DC on the final leg of the ride into a crowd of supporters, politicians, and press proudly wearing the cycling jersey of the company that has supported me on this journey!

If you are interested in getting involved in a Climate Ride with me or even in another location, you can visit their website here

What an adventure this will be!

Reader Comments (1)

terry, this is great! active transportation issues are so important and it is so valuable to have dedicated groups working to make safe streets for everyone. i've been commuting by bike for the past 8 years, and its pretty incredible to see how much of a difference even small improvements can make, and how much they can increase the number of people who ride. in SF, the city has made a ton of improvements since the injunction was lifted in 2010, and although these improvements have made the city a much better place to ride, there is still so much more that needs to be done. the HDR Foundation donated to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition to help support their work, and hopefully we can all get you to your donation goal so that WABA, SAHA and Rails to Trails get the support they need to. i've considered doing the west coast climate ride many times, but my girlfriend and i have plans for a coastal oregon to SF bike tour in the near future, so for now, i'll volunteer my time :)

Post a New Comment