Gordon in the News: last updated 04/22/2008

Gordon's Biking Professors

April 21, 2008

Cyndi McMahon
Office of College Communications


WENHAM, MA- Each work day--and today's Earth Day Celebration is no exception--a handful of Gordon professors trade in their comfortable four-wheel drives and sedans for a more daunting commute. Some live as far away as Lynn, some only a few miles from campus, but they have one thing in common--a sincere concern about the environmental impact of driving to work.

Many would think riding a bicycle to work in New England weather--the rain, the snow, the cold, the roads--would be too much to handle. Jonathan Senning, associate professor of mathematics, couldn't disagree more. "I ride my bike to work year-round, and have been over the past five to eight years." A bike-commuter since the 1990s, Senning commutes each day from his home in Hamilton. At times he'll ride along the main roads to get to his office, but he also likes the adventurous terrain of Chebacco Woods. "I enjoy getting to work without the use of fossil fuels and I love riding."

Karl-Dieter Crisman, assistant professor of mathematics, commutes from Lynn to the Wenham campus 1-2 days a week, weather permitting. "It takes me five minutes to bike to the Lynn train station, followed by a 25-minute train ride to the Montserrat station in Beverly. Once I get off the train, it's about a 15-minute ride to Gordon's campus." A bike-commuter intentionally so he can commit to being a one-car family, Crisman wants others to know about the benefits of riding to work and how easy it can be. "You don't have to be an athlete to bike to work, just committed to doing it often enough…especially so you can make it in without dehydrating."

Daniel Johnson, associate professor of sociology, is also committed to being a one-car family and reducing his carbon footprint in the environment. Johnson commutes by bike an estimate 150 days a year, but admits biking can be a challenge in foul weather. "At such times, the only thing that keeps me doing it are the commitments that my wife and I have made-commitments not just to a particular way of commuting, but to a way of living, a way of relating to the planet and to the other creatures and people who inhabit it." Johnson also enjoys the straightforward procedure of commuting by bike. "I just strap my computer on my back, hop on my bike from home, and hop off once I get to Hilton-and I never have to worry about finding a parking space."

According to the Bicycle Institute of America there are an estimated 4 million people who commute to work each day by bicycle. Jo Kadlecek, Beverly resident and an assistant professor in the Communication Arts Department, rides a total of eight miles to and from Gordon each day, year round. "I bundle up in the winter months and have rain gear when it's soggy." Kadlecek, a former New Yorker who never enjoyed commuting by car, believes biking to work gives her clarity and makes her a happier person. "And it's not that hard to do. People all over the world ride their bikes daily as transportation. It's more fun, you get your exercise in at the same time, and it's much easier to maintain a bike than the cost of a fixing a car."

Caring for the environment is an important part of the ethos of Gordon College. For more information about environmental programs and outreach at Gordon, visit www.gordon.edu/restorecreation.

 # # #

Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The college offers majors in 36 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian colleges.