There is more than one way to get from point A to point B. At least that is what Walk/Bike Nashville hopes to demonstrate by staging the third annual Great Commuter Race. At least five participants will test their mode of transportation on a four-mile route at morning rush hour. A motorist, bus rider, cyclist, runner, and skater will depart from center of the Trevecca Nazarene University campus (at the roundabout-center of campus) at 7:45 A.M. and see who will be first to reach the finish line on 7th Avenue between the Bicentennial Mall and the Farmers' Market.
Over the past two years, the bicyclist handily won the race which took place on West End Avenue in 2003 and Shelby Avenue in 2004. The skater came in a strong second each year while the bus rider and car driver traded 3rd and 4th place. The runners have always come in last, but they claim a definitive victory in the most calories burned during the event. Participants are allowed to choose their own route so long as they follow all traffic laws. Regardless of who wins, organizers hope to show that we have choices in how we move about our city.
This year organizers hope to show that alternative modes of transportation are going to be critical for the future of Trevecca and other colleges in the Nashville area. Don Kintner, a Trevecca faculty member, will be the bicycle rider during the race. He frequently commutes by bike. "As colleges across Nashville grow and new developments come in near the campuses, we are going to have to find better ways to allow students and staff to travel to and from the campuses," says Kintner. Could Nashville ever become like college towns like Davis, California, Madison, Wisconsin, or Boulder, Colorado where the bicycle is the preferred means of transportation? "Maybe not in the near future," says Kintner, "but our auto-oriented system is not going to be able to serve Nashville's college communities in the future."
New to this year's race will be a bus rider who will bring her bike on an MTA bus to complete the trip from downtown to the Farmers' Market. MTA added 51 new buses in 2004 and another 25 are due this spring. All buses are now equipped with bike racks. Advocates applaud this as another important step in giving citizens real choices in how they move about our city.
Walk/Bike Nashville and the Viridian Tower are hosting Bike-to-Work Day on Tuesday, May 24. If you would like to join other riders, Walk/Bike Nashville will have ride leaders departing various locations on the east and west side of town between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. and arriving at Church St. and 5th Avenue by 7:45. Refreshments will be served and participants will receive a free water bottle. Visit www.walkbikenashville.org for more details. More information about National Bike-to-Work Day is available at www.bikeleague.org Helmets required.
Red Caboose Playground-6:40 A.M.
Gran Fondo Bike Shop-7:00 A.M.
Join Murphy Rd Route at Elmington Park
Richland Park-7:00 A.M.
Elmington Park-7:15 A.M.
Join Hillsboro/Belmont Route at 16th/Magnolia
Hillsboro High School-7:00 A.M.
Shelby Community Center-7:15 A.M.
East Community Center-7:30 A.M.
Stones River Greenway/Dam-6:30 A.M.
Donelson YMCA-7:00 A.M.
Cleaning the Air
- A 4-mile trip by foot or bike keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe
- 60% of pollution created by automobile emissions happens in the first few minutes of operation, before pollution control devices can work effectively.
Burning calories on the go
A 150 pound person will burn the following amount of calories in a half an hour:
- 360 calories while jogging a 10-minute mile
- 290 calories while biking at 12-14 mph
- 250 calories while in-line skating
- 140 calories while walking at 3-3.5 mph
- 50 calories while driving a car