Posted June 3, 2011

Breakfast gathering shows growing appeal of cycling

Joseph V. Labolito / Temple University
Cyclists Sarah Sanders and Robert Gage were among 65 members of the Temple community to attend a May 20 Bike to Work breakfast held at the Bell Tower. Approximately 9 percent of Temple students, faculty and staff ride a bike as part of their work commute.

The weather was less than picture perfect, but grey skies and rain didn’t stop nearly 65 students and faculty members from marking National Bike to Work Day May 20 with a breakfast gathering at the Bell Tower.

National Bike to Work Day is held each year during May — National Bike Month — to promote cycling as an alternative means of commuting to work. Temple’s successful event was an indicator of the growing appeal of the grant-funded Bike Temple advocacy initiative, which mirrors the national effort by supporting and growing the university’s cycling community.

“We focus on organizational outreach and increasing commuters per capita on Temple’s campus,” said Bike Temple Manager Tim Broderick, adding that the group especially hopes to grow the number of riders from within the 8 percent of the Temple community who live within biking distance of Main Campus.

The breakfast was sponsored by Temple’s food service provider, Sodexo, and featured several other Bike Temple partners. Breakaway Bikes offered free maintenance to all riders, and Neighborhood Bike Works, a Susquehanna Avenue bike shop, offered free educational information and safety tips.

The event was just one of several initiatives Bike Temple has organized to make the university more bike-friendly. The group has been successful in advocating for the addition of bike racks around campus and has been working to educate students and employees in how to keep their bikes secure. Broderick emphasizes that the well-traveled racking areas provide an added measure of security for campus cyclists.

“There’s inherent safety in numbers,” said Broderick. “One of the number one ways to increase the risk that your bike will be stolen is to lock it alone.”

The group also encourages students to use Campus Safety Services’ bike registration program, which provides students who register their bikes at its headquarters with a voucher for a free bike lock redeemable at Breakaway Bikes.

To help cyclists navigate the sometimes challenging city terrain, Bike Temple also partners with the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia to offer urban riding courses each semester to students in Temple residence halls.

In another recent cycling accomplishment, Temple served as co-host for the hugely successful Philly Phlyer collegiate cycling race, held over two days in March.

Bike Temple is also taking part in the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia’s Commuter Challenge. Throughout the summer, teams from across the city will compete to see which has the largest percentage of walked or biked commutes. Temple’s team leads the challenge, with 2,525 miles logged in May. Those interested in joining the team may inquire by e-mailing Broderick at

For more information about cycling at Temple, visit the Bike Temple web site,, which shows the locations and capacities of Main Campus bike racks and offers biking tips, a forum, blog and calendar of upcoming cycling events.

— Elizabeth DiPardo