A view from two wheels
Teresa Sarai is currently the associate director of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy and previously spent seven years with the Brown School, as manager and director of Global Programs.
Until recently, her primary mode of transportation to WashU was her car. Today, she is a self-proclaimed “multi-modal commuter.”
“To get ahead of the parking changes last spring, I decided to force a change of habit and build more activity into my daily routine,” said Sarai. “Because Metrolink locations are limited near my home, I chose to purchase a ParkSmart permit and park at West Campus. I then found a folding bike on Craig’s List last April. Ever since, I have been riding to work each day from West Campus.”
A bike commute is nothing new to Teresa, who lived in the Netherlands for a year and regularly rode her bike the eight miles to and from classes. She also lived in Washington, D.C. for 18 years and, in the early days of her professional career, cycled six miles each way to work.
“After visiting Copenhagen, Denmark this spring, which features some of the world’s best cycling infrastructure, I was inspired to rekindle the positive impact of my earlier cycle-commuting years,” she said.
Teresa loves her commute and achieved her goal of building more activity into her day.
“Although I travel a shorter distance than previous commutes, I definitely get my heart pumping and that’s invigorating,” said Sarai. “Not to mention that wind-in-your-hair, youthful feeling that you get when you ride a bike. It is an amazing sense of freedom and I get to experience this tiny slice of joy every day.”
Teresa is also adding to her 401K plan with the savings from parking at West Campus. “The $70 savings per month isn’t huge, but it will certainly add up over time!”
For those interested in giving cycling-commuting a try, Teresa highly recommends How Cycling Can Save the World by Peter Walker.
“We need only to look at Denmark and the Netherlands to see how everyday cycling has a positive effect on not only reducing our carbon footprint but also improving our health outcomes and overall quality of life.”