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DEQ: Confessions of a Bunch of Bike-a-holics

By Donna Kemp Spangler

Ted Wilson with his electric bike
UCAIR Executive Director Ted Wilson shows off his new eBike

I once cycled for the fun of it, having participated — in Cycle Oregon II and III, a 400-some-mile trek through scenic Oregon. Peddling from town to town for six to eight hours a day at various elevations was a physical challenge, but was a great way to explore every corner of my home state. You didn’t have to think, you just peddled. Nor did you have to haul your tent, sleeping bags, or food. The weeklong ride featured beautiful campsites, plentiful food, hot showers, live entertainment, and a fully supported route. So when you got a flat, no worries. The roadside mobile fix-it station was at your service.

Not surprisingly, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is made up of a bunch of bike-a-holics — a mix of commuters and lunch-crowd excursionists — who either use their bicycle for transportation, exercise, or to catch a breath of fresh air. DEQ has 70 bike lockers, and plenty of riders that include:

  • Executive Director Amanda Smith occasionally rides either her town bike or Moots road bike to work. But mostly she enjoys exploring Utah’s backcountry on her mountain bike.
  • Air Quality Deputy Director Brock LeBaron joins a group of DEQ cyclers for an afternoon spin on his specialized Tarmac Pro that he keeps in his office.
  • Environmental Scientist Tom Daniels commutes 70 miles daily to and from his home in Ogden on his Ibis Silk Carbon.
  • Communications Specialist Christine Osborne takes an afternoon break by getting on her Orbea road bike and riding the Jordan River Parkway.
  • Air Quality Scientist Rik Ombach rides his Specialized mountain bike via FrontRunner to the office.

And Ted Wilson, executive director of the Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR), likes to commute on his eBike.

Bike Fix-It Station at the DEQ campus

Thanks to DEQ’s Green Team and support from Amanda Smith, DEQ’s campus now has a Bike Fix-It Station to accommodate two-wheelers in need of repair. Located at the southeast corner of the Multi State Agency Office Building under the building overhang, the repair stop features a high-pressure pump with capability of pumping both types of valve stems, a bike stand where you can suspend your bike in the air and use the attached tools to fix a flat or any other necessary adjustments. If you have a smartphone, you can scan the QR code on the bike station and watch videos on repairs such as removing a wheel, repairing a flat, or adjusting the gears on the rear derailleur. You can also check out the tips at dero.com/bikerepair.

Unlike Cycle Oregon, we can’t come to you, but you can come to us.

In honor of National Air Quality Month and Utah Bike Month, DEQ will celebrate our new bike repair station on May 19, 2015 with a ride-to-work day and a ceremony with invited guests. Look for more details on social media: Twitter (@UtahDEQ) and Facebook.
Donna Kemp Spangler Communications Director/ Public Information Officer

I am the Communications Director for DEQ in search of a new ride since the old road bike I used as a participant of Cycle Oregon in the late 1980s is collecting dust in the garage. I welcome any thoughts and suggestions.

Contact our PIO at deqinfo@utah.gov with further questions.

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