Today at Berkeley Lab

ETA’s Scott Young Cycles for Exercise and Freedom

— By Keri Troutman

May is National Bike Month, a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try. We’ll be highlighting Berkeley Lab employees who bike to work this month, sharing their perspectives and advice.

Scott Young bikes to Berkeley Lab from El Cerrito just about every day because he knows himself well—if he had to set aside time to go to the gym it just wouldn’t happen. Exercising between home and work is how he keeps himself honest.

It took a bit of tweaking for Young, a program manager for the Energy Efficiency Standards Group, to get his ride just right. After starting at the Lab in 2012 and cycling in regularly on his mountain bike, Young realized the wrist strain was too much and he made the switch to a recumbent bike, which he’s pedaled in happily almost every day since. He parks his bike, walks over to the showers at the building next door (see a list of shower facilities around the Lab here) and he says he is good to go for the day, with his workout already behind him.

When he needs to run an errand at lunch or after work, Young rides his bike downtown and drops it off at the BikeStation, which offers free bike parking in a secured indoor space (the free service is available 7 a.m.–9 p.m.) Some days he parks there and then jumps on the shuttle or walks up to the Lab.

Young doesn’t see the lower profile of his recumbent as a safety concern, but regardless of bike style he advises the safest way to cycle is to develop a route that avoids cars as much as possible.

“I take the bike boulevards in Berkeley and try to stay off busy streets like Hearst and Shattuck,” says Young. “There are always parallel streets that are much better—I like to take Virginia (more slowly these days with all the roadwork) to get through Berkeley.”

Vigilance is part of Young’s daily commute. “On a bike you have to be constantly watching what’s going on around you, and I’m always willing to stop rather than trying to assert my space, because it’s the safer thing to do.”

“I really enjoy the freedom of biking—I never have to worry about traffic congestion,” says Young. “I can leave whenever I want and know that my commute will be my commute.”

Young is part of the Lab’s Bike Buddies program, a network of cyclists who are willing to share tips and tricks, including buddy rides for new commuters. Go here to see a list of all the LBL Bike Buddies.