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      Bike to Widener

      Biology and Environmental Science Professor Bikes to Work, Reducing Carbon Emissions

      bruce grant

      Hybrid Electric Bike

      Professor Bruce Grant rides an IZIP hybrid electric bicycle from Wallingford to Widener every day.

      May 18 is Bike to Work Day – an annual celebration in which communities promote cycling as an option for commuting to work.

      But, for Professor of Biology and Environmental Science Bruce Grant, every day is Bike to Work Day.

      Almost a year ago, Grant's Subaru stopped working – and instead of buying a new car, he bought an IZIP hybrid electric bicycle. He now makes the 9.5 mile round-trip commute from Wallingford to Widener by bike every day in the rain or sunshine.

      "It has improved my life tremendously," Grant said.

      The work-day commute – as well as trips for groceries and other shopping within a seven-mile radius of his home – isn't just an exercise regimen. It is a way to reduce his carbon emissions and have a positive impact on the world.

      "For me personally, this is an example of approaching a global problem at a small scale with a simple commitment," he said. "This generation needs to change civilization to run on sunshine. It requires a mindset in which we envision the long-term environmental impacts of our energy usage and waste disposal decisions."

      Since June 15, 2017, Grant has traveled 2,562 miles and made 183 round trips to and from Widener. Icy or snowy weather has only forced him to take public transportation, instead of his bike, six times this winter.

      He uses an app to record mileage and then enters the data into a spreadsheet every week. In total, Grant has cut his carbon dioxide emissions by 2,283 pounds, using his old Subaru's mileage and emissions rate as the comparison standard.

      His bicycle is a power-assist bike, which means the rotor nearly doubles what he puts into pedaling. When he stops pedaling, or when the bike speed exceeds 20 mph, the power assist turns off.

      Every few days, Grant recharges the 48-volt battery at home, where he has 100 percent wind power through the Energy Co-op, making the bicycle truly carbon neutral.

      Grant explained that universities are in a good position to show leadership around issues of sustainability. He shares his experience with students, faculty and staff, in hopes of inspiring others.

      "I am done with having my own car," he said. "It has really been a big win."

      "I love the breath-taking daily exercise. I arrive at work refreshed, and I get home energized," Grant added. "And, my coffee consumption has dropped by more than 80 percent."


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