Mike Stefancic, assistant director of community partnerships for the Service-Learning Program, has been in the Cycle Learning Center’s bicycle commuter club since 2017 and recently surpassed 10,000 miles commuted by bicycle.
As a member of the 10K Bicycle Commuter Club, the Cycle Learning Center provides Stefancic, and all club members, with free tune ups, discounts on gear, and parking codes for days when it is necessary to drive to campus.
To learn more about the 10K Commuter Club or to sign up, email email@example.com.
Below is Stefancic’s account of his bicycle commutes.
Biking for life, by default
I feel privileged to have access to the most efficient means of transportation, the bicycle. With over 20 years of commuting, ten years at Boise State, and 10,000 plus miles, I have never found a friendlier place to make biking the default form of transportation.
Boise’s cycling community has helped me create a sense of place and become more connected with the neighborhoods. Each day I notice the daylight increasing or decreasing, I see the vegetation change, I’m more willing to stop to say hello to my neighbors, and I find all the secret routes to my destination that Google Maps will never know. Biking makes the world better and encourages me to participate in its sustainability.
I enjoy being active and look for any opportunity to exercise. With a family of five, my commute allows me to be active while not at my desk or supporting my family. Bike commuting has always been that outlet, and now I can share it with my son on the back of our e-cargo bike. When he was born, I knew giving up the bike ride to work each day would be more expensive and not conducive to my mental health, so instead, we chose to invest in an e-cargo bike which opened up the option of reducing our car dependency. The e-cargo bike can replace many car trips, and I can attest you can do a Costco run with it.
Biking makes my commute, errands and kid transporting easier. It’s the only form of transportation that takes me to all the front doors from work, childcare, stores and restaurants. It’s much easier to drop my kid off and not wait in a line of cars trying to go as quickly as possible. I can easily stop to pick up the last thing for dinner without finding a parking spot because there is always one in the front of the building. These experiences drive me to engage as a resident to improve the infrastructure for biking, either by serving on boards like the Treasure Valley Cycle Alliance or advocating at an Ada County Highway District meeting.
With that said, it takes work. There are mornings when I don’t feel like it, or the weather is not conducive to the ride, but I have never regretted getting on my bike those days. In some ways, I consider it training for the rest of my life. Having lived in other parts of the country as a bike commuter, I know Boise has the best weather, warm shoulder seasons, and light snow accumulation. There is the occasional flat tire or some other mechanical issue, but the Boise State Cycle Learning Center on campus is always there for me. I’ve been thankful to drop a bike off in the morning and pick it up in perfect working order at the end of the day.
To those thinking about bike commuting to Boise State, you don’t have to bike every day to be a commuter, and you can even combine it with other forms of transportation, like a bus. Some days, bike commuting doesn’t work for my schedule, and I drive to work. But the days I do, I always wish I was biking. It’s never too late to give it a try. Bike commuting is the most fun way to spend time in the daily routine, build community and discover a new world around you. Biking is my default form of transportation to Boise State and hopefully for another 10,000 miles.