Engineering at Nebraska, Spring 2008
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After Hours

Ride on

David Sockrider with his bike

Rules of the road: Nebraska Engineering web developer David Sockrider says his bike commute is less than 10 minutes each way, a ride that's faster by bike than by car.

photos by Katie McKinney '09

Big Red is going green these days, as UNL encourages energy-saving practices. David Sockrider, Nebraska Engineering's web developer, found an eco- and budget-friendly path on two wheels for his daily commute to work. So far, he has biked more than 200 two-way commutes, amounting to nearly 500 of his 1,500+ miles traveled in 2008.

Sockrider's 1.6-mile roundtrip ride to work can be more difficult amid rain or snowstorms, but he gears up and proves that living in Lincoln without a car is doable. A good tailwind and his favorite coffee ("Jamaica Me Crazy" blend) waiting at the office help motivate him on the darker mornings inbound. Traffic sometimes adds challenges, but he long ago developed the cyclist's ability to foresee and bypass what drivers can't.

Sockrider grew up on wheels, with a love of skateboarding, too. He knows Lincoln about as well as Google street views shows the city. And, with friends, he still gets out of town to Red Rocks (Colorado) or Wakarusa (Kansas) or Omaha for live music events.

"In 2008, I've spent less than $200 on gas," Sockrider said. For the past six months, his riding stats tracked an average of 6.8 miles per day: comprised of his commute, plus occasional errands and riding for fun (Wilderness Park trails are some of his favorites).

"In January of 2009, it'll be a year that I've biked here every work day except two, when I bummed rides from (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering staffer) Trish Fenster," said Sockrider. Cold weather is a disincentive-the chilliest riding temperature he has endured was -10°F - but drivers using cell phones and not paying attention to the road create a more dangerous "anytime" hazard, he added.

So this winter as you're out driving and contemplating the cold, be kind to the bikers. Their tire tracks in the snow are not even as narrow as their carbon footprint.