The Research Triangle Park

RTP Celebrates National Bike Month 2019

By Author May 10, 2019

Happy National Bike Month!

In Research Triangle Park, we want to celebrate by recognizing some of the Triangle’s bike commuters. Many people want to explore biking as an alternative form of transportation, but have no idea where to begin. Are there safe routes or trails in the RTP area? How do you navigate the roads as a cyclist? How do you plan a commute? Kevin Hicks and John Rees, both of IBM, and Jack Warman from DocuSign have been bike commuters for years. Read on to hear their expertise and start your own biking journey!

Jack WarmanRTP Cyclist: Jack Warman

Company: DocuSign

Q: When did you start biking to the RTP area?

A: I started biking to the RTP area in the early 2000s. I’ve always lived a little west of RTP and worked a little east of RTP, so I’ve been cycling through for years first as an alternative way of commuting and then as my primary way of getting around. I’ve been fortunate to work from home the last few years, but I still cycle into RTP a handful of times a month to work at Frontier RTP.

Q: What routes do you recommend in the RTP area?

A: My last office job was at the end of Weston Parkway in Cary, and I found a series of recreational trails through Morrisville between RTP and Cary that were great. The trails added about 5-10 minutes to my commute, but was well worth it. It was a really quiet route, and I’d say hi to a lot of the same folks out walking in the mornings.

Q: What do you like about cycling in RTP?

A: It’s a more comfortable commute than most folks would think. Certainly you have to pay attention, as everyone should on any vehicle. But there are enough cyclists out there that motorists are generally used to seeing us and I’ve never been hit or even experienced much incivility.

Q: What’s one thing that could improve your experience as a cyclist in RTP?

A: Reducing the speed limit to 35 would not meaningfully change anyone’s commute time, and it would make a much safer environment for everyone driving through RTP. And the lower speed would reduce the impact of crashes—not just crashes involving cyclists, but *all* crashes.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to other cyclists who want to commute in RTP?

A: Take advantage of Bike Durham’s Bike Buddy program. Bike Durham can match you up with an experienced cyclist who can help you with route planning, show you the characteristics of RTP that you’ll want to be aware of when you’re bike commuting, and then go out and ride it with you.

Kevin HicksRTP Cyclist: Kevin Hicks

Company: IBM

Q: When did you start biking to the RTP area?

A: 2011 was when I started biking into the RTP area from Chapel Hill. I’ve since moved to Snow Camp so I’m working on getting back to parking at Southpoint Mall and biking in.

Q: What routes do you recommend in the RTP area? 

A: Parking at Southpoint Mall and taking the East Coast Greenway/American Tobacco Trail to Cornwallis.

Q: What do you like about cycling in RTP?

A: Durham has bike lanes on the road, and you can send an email to alert of dangerous debris on the bike paths and they’ll come clean it.

Q: What’s one thing that could improve your experience as a cyclist in RTP?

A: Protected bike paths into RTP.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to other cyclists who want to commute in RTP?

A: Start with five miles and build yourself up to 10-20 or whatever your safest commute ends up being.

RTP Cyclist: John Rees

Company: IBM

Q: What routes do you recommend in the RTP area?

A: Cornwallis Road is really the only way into RTP with real bike lanes. Within RTP, there are the multi-use paths that circle the area around Frontier RTP.

Q:  When did you start biking to the RTP area? How often do you bike to RTP now?

A: I started cycling into RTP around 3 years ago, when I switched from work at home to the office. I ride about 3 times a week. Part of my trip is by bus and the rest is by bike.

Q:  What do you like about cycling in RTP?

A: In the morning, the air is fresh and my trip into the office leads me calm and relaxed, and gives me a portion of my day’s exercise.

Q: What’s one thing that could improve your experience as a cyclist in RTP?

A: There are no safe crossings on any of the major roads for bikes. We have to mix it up with cars who are often only focused to getting into work. The multi-use paths are incomplete and should be on both sides of these roads. Currently they are only on one side and are a source of dangerous crossings. 

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to other cyclists who want to commute in RTP?

A: Plan ahead. Try your commute first on a Sunday, when traffic is much lighter and you have time to make mistakes and re-route.

Did you know?

As part of our RTPfit initiative, we offer bike-friendly facilities at the Frontier RTP campus, including:

  • You may have passed by the metal words, “Think,” “Rest,” “Eat” and “Play” before without even realizing they double as bike racks.
  • Showers and lockers at Frontier 800 for anyone who would like to freshen up after a bike ride. 

If you’d like to stay connected with RTPfit, you can sign up for our newsletter, follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@TheRTP & @FrontierRTP) and check our main events calendar.