Although Bruce Ellsworth did some mountain biking while doing his post-graduate studies in California in the late 1980s, he wasn’t an avid bicyclist until he moved to West Windsor and began work at Bristol-Myers Squibb. He would occasionally ride a bike to work on roadways at first, and only from late spring until early fall.
But when the Lawrence Hopewell Trail opened up, he was able to ride in much more frequently. “It was a lot less stressful and safer than biking on busy roads,” he says. “The LHT extended my season.”
Ellsworth points out that his current nine-mile bike commute isn’t necessarily arduous. “If it was five miles, any beginner could do it,” he says. “The caveat is experience. Weather conditions can affect the ride; rain can make for muddy conditions. You need to build up your technical riding skills.”
You may also need to keep some clothes at the job. “I’m lucky in that BMS invests in biking facilities—showers, lockers, bike storage,” he says. “Often on weekends I’ll drive over and drop off work clothes, soap, and a towel.”
Even so, in summertime, Ellsworth says that he’ll need time to cool down before the shower, because he’s a vigorous rider. “A friend who bikes to work and does not have a shower just keeps the biking tempo low and doesn’t build up a sweat. It’s a combination of distance and how vigorous you do or don’t want to be.”