Biking to Church

Sunday, April 24, Earth Day
UUC Climate Action Team Call to Action

The UUC Climate Action Team invites you to get to church with a lower carbon footprint on Earth Day, Sunday, April 24. Bicycling is a wonderful sustainable way to get to church.

Susan riding her electric-assist bike

Susan tells us how she came to get an electric-assist bike

After 8 months of cancer treatment back in 2014, I was rather out of shape. I had been a bike commuter previously, but the idea of biking up the View Ridge hill to church was just too daunting with my post-treatment body. But the first time my daughter and I rented Lime ebikes to try them out, I was sold on the idea of ebikes as a way I could get back into riding again. After some shopping around (I ran into other UUC members at the ebike stores!), I bought an electric-assist bike in 2018 and started biking to the (interim) church office. I chose an e-assist bike, so I still need to pedal, but I can choose the level of assist, from none at all, to “turbo” assist up the steep hill on NE 75th Street! It was the perfect way for me to gently get back into shape, enjoy my commute to work, and reduce my carbon footprint.

Susan St. John, UUC member and part-time staff
Hugh and Dwight, wearing reflective jackets, standing next to their bikes in the UUC parking lot after dark

Here’s what Hugh and Dwight say about biking to church

For trips of 5 miles or less I have found the bike often better than the car. It takes about the same time and I get some exercise.

Hugh Kimball, UUC member

Besides environmental concerns, I admit my resolve to ride my bike to I.G.C. recently was bolstered by the invasion of Ukraine. “Take that, Putin, I don’t need your oil!”

Two incidents exemplify my mind set about biking:

1) Years ago, I drove my car to the U district, drove round and round looking for parking, got fed up, drove home, got on my bike and returned to the U district.

2) Later, I once found myself unable to find a solution by metro/bike to get to a destination, then I remembered, “oh yeah, I have a car.” It was then I realized how I had shifted my thinking beyond cars. It’s a mindset.

Years ago the City of Seattle offered the One Car Challenge. We sold our motorcycle, truck, and second car leaving us with one car in our family So, if my wife needs the car, biking or taking metro is my only option.

We loaded our roof with solar panels so, eventually we are good candidates for an electric car but, first we’ll run our Subaru to the ground.

P.S. My wife always commutes to work on her electric bike.

Dwight Beckmeyer, UUC staff

See also the Climate Action Team’s previous articles on:

A row of silhouettes of human footprints, larger to smaller
Shrink your carbon footprint!