To continue our examination of Bike to Work Month, Professor Thane Erickson has graciously shared his bicycling testimonial. Erickson is an Associate Professor of Psychology and the Director of Psychology Internships here at Seattle Pacific University. Besides his impressive academic background, Erickson has been a committed bike commuter ever since his first Bike-to-Work challenge in 2011. His time on two wheels has brought him some surprising insights.
Why I Bike-to-Work
By Thane Erickson, Associate Professor of Psychology:
“I bought a relatively cheap bike several years ago in Columbia City at BikeWorks, a non-profit organization that recycles and rehabs old frames. However, I didn’t ride it much. Fellow Clinical Psychology Professor Lynette Bikos invited me to join her “Psychlers” team for the May “Bike-to-Work” challenge a few years back. Initially, I balked, concerned that I’d be the “weakest link.” She wisely “low-balled,” suggesting that I commit to riding only a few days. Once I joined, I felt accountable to help the team with miles. Three days a week, I biked from home to work, then did a bike-bus combo to get home (“cheating” by catching the bus for the uphill portion of the ride). After a few weeks, I was surprised to notice that I was sleeping well and less stressed. Then it dawned on me – even academics have bodies! The combination of stress-relief, enjoying the scenery of Seattle, saving gas money, and waking up without coffee helped the habit stick (I’ve displaced coffee consumption to dinner time). Two years later, I’m still riding, and even sold one of our two family cars. I can’t compete with the serious riders, and refuse to wear biker shorts, but am happy to have at least one healthy habit going as I enter middle age!”