Presentation touts benefits of switching to bikes


With gas prices approaching $4, it may be time for Sinclair students to consider trading in their gas-guzzling vehicles for a fast, healthy and time-tested alternative—the bicycle.

On May 16, Sinclair Sociology Instructor Kathleen Gish and Chemistry Department Chair Mike Canestaro will be giving a presentation discussing the benefits of commuting to school or work by bicycle.

Gish and Canestaro started organizing their annual talk several years ago, and are now part of the Sinclair Talks schedule. Both are bicycle missionaries, encouraging others to discover what bicycling has to offer.

“We come from sort of different universes,” said Canestaro of himself and Gish. “She is actually more of an urban, riding on the streets person. You can see her in the weirdest weather riding in her pumps, so she’s a little cooler than me.”

Canestaro rides his bike to Sinclair from Beavercreek, putting in more than 100 miles each week, while Gish rides from her home in Downtown Dayton. Gish’s spouse also plays bicycle polo.

“We’re a bike family,” said Gish.

Gish said that she started biking as a student. At that time, there were no marked bike lanes on Dayton’s roads. She found that by cutting out the city’s one-way streets and the difficulty of finding parking, switching to a bike cut her commute time in half.

“By taking a bicycle you can eliminate most of the traffic and the constraints, and also you can just park right outside of any building,” said Gish.

Riding a bicycle can help students save money on gasoline and parking costs and is also better for the environment, as it both saves fossil fuels and cuts back on carbon emissions.

Riding a bike also helps burn off a person’s own fat fuel stores. Biking to school or work is a good way to stay healthy and to get blood flowing in the morning to arrive at school or work feeling alert and fully wake, said Gish.

“I’d love to say that I do it for all those health reasons, but I don’t,” said Gish. “I do it because it’s fun.”

Canestaro said that the talk would include a discussion of how to stay safe while biking, where to park and how to keep your bike secure.

“I have an overwhelming fear of car doors now,” said Gish. “I can avoid most everything except for car doors.”

Gish said that many people who live in the Dayton area could probably bike to Sinclair fairly easily, and would perhaps find it easier than driving.

“I just think we’re such a car culture that it doesn’t occur to anybody,” she said. “People don’t even know that it’s illegal for bikes to ride on the sidewalk.”

The talk will take place on May 16 from noon until 1 p.m. in the Library loggia. Gish will be personally purchasing and raffling off a $50 bike gift certificate to encourage students to come.

“Get a good bike and a U-lock, and the world is your oyster,” said Gish.