Among the 30 or so people who turned out for the annual Bike to Work Day event was perhaps one of the most loyal devotees of the movement — who rides from his Delphi, Indiana, to his Purdue job about three times a week.
Brian Stirm says he has consistently attended the kickoffs for more than a decade.
Stirm, 63, works as an air operations technical specialist for Purdue's Polytechnic Institute. Seven years ago, he started to commute from Delphi on his bicycle.
"Been doing that now for - oh, God - actually before the Hoosier Heartland highway opened," Stirm said of the new Indiana 25 route. "I got the permission from the construction company to allow me to ride on the road before they actually opened it.”
With the 90-minute ride, Stirm wakes up an hour before his usual 4:30 a.m.
Because of rainy weather, Stirm has just completed his first ride of the season. "My muscles are a little stiff this morning," he said, "but it’s all right."
The mayoral proclamation attracted a number of bikers like Stirm, including members from Bicycle Lafayette and West Lafayette Bicycle and Pedestrian committee and recently announced mayoral candidate Zachary Baiel.
Baiel said commuters should bike and walk more often, because of a lack of parking spaces.
The Area Plan Commission has suspended its rules each time with new developments, minimizing the parking spaces that developments add, Baiel said.
"And so that means, How do we make sure that the area is conducive to alternative forms of transportation? We have to make sure the infrastructure is in place," Baiel said.
Doug Poad, the APC's senior transportation planner, compared Indiana’s current biking roads with interstate highways in the 1960s.
Need some air?
Aaron Madrid, Purdue's alternative transportation coordinator, said broken and missing bike pumps around campus will be replaced this summer. "With so much of the construction, I kept wanted to wait to actually put them in, because I didn’t want to put the new ones in and yank them right back out."
The new pumps will be in these locations: Stewart Center; the Co-Rec; Northwestern parking garage (sponsored by graduate student government); Ford Dining Court; and between Hillenbrand and McCutcheon dorms.