Last year we saw a tenfold increase in Xavier's participation for the Bike Easy April Challenge.
This year, things are different. Way different. We're not biking to campus now. Most of us haven't even set foot on campus for a couple weeks.
Here's the good news: In spite of everything, the challenge is still on. Instead of riding to campus, we'll just do solo bike rides around town.
As we all know, we are under a stay-at-home order. However, walks and bike rides are still allowed. In fact, they are encouraged, as long as we maintain appropriate distance (6' or more) from others.
We can all stay connected through the Love to Ride website (see link below) where we can share photos, send messages, and track all our rides.
It's a fun, free competition between organizations. Last year, Xavier's own Terry Watt was the top commuter not just for our team but in the entire city. It doesn't matter if you ride every day or if you haven't been on a bike in years. You only have to ride for ten minutes to be eligible for some truly awesome prizes. You can also win by encouraging others to ride.
New Orleans has a high percentage of residents who bike to work, compared with other American cities. Yet we could certainly do better by our bike riders, our transit riders, and our pedestrians. As I've argued elsewhere, safe transport is an issue of social justice and aligned with Xavier's mission.
Sign up for the challenge now at lovetoride.net/bikeeasy
I'm joining the challenge to get more Xavier faculty and staff riding bikes in New Orleans. Riding a bike can make you happier, healthier and wealthier. That's what I call professional development!