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Benefits of Two Wheels: Florida Driver Stephen Cortes Explains How and Why He Became a Bike Commuter
Steve Cortes

I initially started riding my bicycle to UPS way back in the late 90s. My van had broken down and lacking the funds to fix it right away, I decided that my 10-speed was my best option. I hadn’t missed a day of work during my first year; and I wanted to complete a year with no absence from work. It was a 16-mile ride in each direction at that time, but on occasion, my preload supervisor, Debbie Fried, would meet me along the way; and I’d throw my bike into the back of her truck.

After I had my van repaired, I would still ride, but not as frequently. As time went on, I started riding as a way of saving money and staying healthy. When gas prices went over $4.00/gallon, I said, “That’s it!”, and started riding daily. I figured that driving my car back and forth to work was throwing money out the window. I could easily ride my bike to work, stay healthy and fuel my body instead of my vehicle.

After a while, I just became accustomed to riding my bicycle, rain or shine. At first, the guys at work were amazed that I could ride my bike and then perform my driving duties, but my job actually became easier. My body started having more energy/stamina. Now it’s just normal for them to see me riding up on my bicycle.

The funny part about this is that all it took was me jumping on my bicycle and pedaling. In time, it became so easy, that I started riding on the weekend with cycling groups. The groups were amazed that I could keep up with them, even though I had a bike rack on my bicycle.

There are so many ways that bicycling has helped me, but I think the most important is the workout my body gets from the ride. It has helped me to remain fit, healthy, become a faster runner and given me a different perspective than an ordinary commuter in a car.

I went from riding an old 10-speed to a mountain bike and am currently on a Trek road bike. I find that cycling, running, and working out at the gym all go hand in hand to keep a driver performing his or her best and for being in the best health.

Category: Environment, Inside UPS
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