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Rainy days and cycling

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Rainy days and cycling
Bravo to all of our Ride in the Rain participants

While wet weather and colder temperatures may encourage some folks to stay inside, fall’s inclement weather didn’t stop dedicated bicycle commuters from taking part in November’s Ride in the Rain Challenge.

Transportation Services would like everyone who bikes to campus — whether it’s one day, one month or throughout the year — to know that they are appreciated and supported. You are helping us continue to make campus healthier and more sustainable.

Last month, 375 University of Washington staff, students and faculty pedaled to, from and around campus, logging a total of 51,425 miles and saving 25,369 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. Just as many people participated in fall’s Ride in the Rain Challenge as May’s Bike Everywhere Month, proving that a little rain doesn’t deter us Dawgs!

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Jeff Filmore and Dan Druliner

Ride in the Rain teammates Jeff Filmore, left, and Dan Druliner.

One such bike enthusiast is Dan Druliner, a web manager at the UW, who’s been biking to campus for 26 years, rain or shine.

“Biking is much faster than driving and I regularly use my bike to get to meetings around campus. I can park right next to whichever building I’m visiting. It’s so much more convenient than driving. I’m not sure why more people don’t do it,” Druliner said.

UW is one of the largest employer participants in the Ride in the Rain Challenge and this year was no exception. Transportation Services hosted classes and events on campus to encourage our passionate riders to continue cycling. At an inaugural Ride in the Rain Trivia Night held with partners at U District Let’s Go, attendees were quizzed about topics related to biking, UW and Seattle. And clearly, UW riders know their material.

The Ride in the Rain Challenge attracted commuters with short and long commutes from all over the Puget Sound.

For Sam Senturia, his round trip commute is 34 miles in winter and slightly longer during spring and summer when the weather’s nicer and he wants to extend his rides. He says he’s been commuting from Woodinville to campus for the last 19 years.

“My bike time is my favorite time of the day. I watch for crows, eagles, the sunrise, and the sunset. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

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Each summer, Sam Senturia takes part in the 150-mile RAMROD but says biking to campus has become a daily routine

Senturia, who works in Information Systems for the University of Washington Investment Management Company, also gets a kick out of longer cycling events, including the 150-mile Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day that takes place each July. He says his daily commute to campus reminds him that his commute to campus is short compared to the RAMROD.

Some other perks Transportation Services provided to bikers during the Challenge included a coffee commute station and a pop up event where walkers and bikers were given safety lights.

Kim Eckart, a public information officer, says it’s those dark, rainy mornings that make it hard to stay motivated, but when she sees how backed up traffic gets on I-5, especially at night, she’s convinced she’s doing the right thing.

“I bike from Lake Forest Park once a week, and it ends up being about 20 miles round-trip,” Eckart said. “I see it as a way to take care of my daily exercise and my commute all at once. I normally take the bus, and I think biking, especially the way home in the late afternoon, might take only five or 10 minutes longer than the bus. So, I’m outdoors, getting exercise, and the time it takes compared to riding the bus is almost negligible, as far as I’m concerned.”

Thank you to all of our supporters, partners and most importantly, our participants for making Ride in the Rain 2018 one of the best ones yet!