What do moths, mosquitos, ticks and bicycles have in common? The answer is that they are all on the mind of Planet Bike’s new Super Commuter Dr. Julian Shepherd.
Dr. Shepard lives in Binghamton, NY where he is an Associate Professor of Biological Science at SUNYBinghamton specializing in the behavior and ecology of arthropods. He has made commuting by bike a part of his life for the past 48 years! Despite the fact that Binghamton is known for excellent bicycling facilities and trails, the weather in the southern tier of New York state is not always so pleasant. As a year-round commuter, he deals with cold, snowy winters and warm, wet summers typical of the north branch of the Susquehanna River.
Julian’s colleague Dr. Matthew Johnson nominated his friend for this month’s Super commuter distinction and recounts, “The only time I saw him not go to work on a bike is when there was so much snow that he skied to work.” That’s a prime example of the kind of dedication a supercommuter embodies
Dr. Shepherd has been a fan of the bicycle’s simplicity from a young age. He started riding bicycles as a child in England and has continued his pedal-powered passion for decades. While he never felt the urge to take up any racing or touring, Dr. Shepherd has always loved using his bike as transportation.
What started in 1964 as an easy and inexpensive way to get around while in grad school has become a nearly everyday ritual. That’s right, Dr. Shepherd has been commuting by bike since 1964! The bikes and the scenery have changed since then, but the invigorating morning ride remains the same.
These days Dr. Shepherd tackles his daily 7 mile commute aboard a Jamis cyclocross bike. He says the most difficult part of his commute is “crossing multiple lanes of traffic.” That’s a sentiment most all bike commuters can get behind.
Dr. Shepherd isn’t against cars, but he often lets the auto commuters he shares the road with know why he’s riding his bike. He says, “I like to wear a t-shirt designed by Earth Day students which has ‘ONE LESS CAR’ printed across the back. Not great English, but it sure gets the point across.”
Photo credit: Daniel O’Connor