Motivation Monday: Bike to work and inspire others

Burgess "BJ" Jeffries. Photo by Gregory B. Huber.

Burgess “BJ” Jeffries. Photo by J.C. Bravo.

By Chanda Temple

Huffman High School math teacher Burgess “BJ” Jeffries is used to dealing in matters that add up.

So when he researched the benefits of how riding a bicycle to work would increase his fitness levels and decrease his carbon foot print, he knew there was only one thing to do. He bought a bicycle in February 2014 and started riding it to work in March 2014. He’s maintained the routine every week, when weather permits.

Does he have a car? Sure. But he says that riding his bicycle increased his energy levels and allows him to help the environment. His ride to work is 3.2 miles, one way, on Roebuck Parkway in eastern Birmingham. He hopes his efforts will encourage others to ride work.

“I didn’t see the point of getting in a two-ton car and driving three miles up the street when I can literally hop on a bicycle and get there,” says Jeffries, 35. “I just felt it was wasteful for me to get in that car and waste gas. There was no point.”

When he first started riding, it took him 20 minutes to get to school from his house. Now, it takes 12 to 13 minutes. He’s increased his endurance so much that he can make a 45-minute, one-way bike ride with no problem.

He maintains his love of bike riding by joining friends every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Redemptive Cycles, 1305 Second AVe. North for “The Trample,” a bike ride from downtown Birmingham to Southside, the Lakeview District or Avondale. He joins his Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. brothers on Sundays.

Burgess "BJ" Jeffries started riding a bicycle to work in 2014 to help save the environment and to get fit.

Burgess “BJ” Jeffries started riding a bicycle to work in 2014 to help save the environment and to get fit. (Photo by Greg Harber.) 

Bike riding refreshes him.

“I’ve never heard anyone get off their bike and complain about their commute to anyone,” says Jeffries. “People complain about traffic when they are in their car. But there is no complaint when you are on your bicycle.”

With school now out, he says he will continue to ride his bike this summer. “If I still have places to be and the weather permits, I’m still going to pedal,” he says.
Chanda Temple is a former reporter now working in public relations. She blogs at Follow her on Twitter at @chandatemple.




Leave a Reply