Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Faces of Fairfax – Jeff Lewis

Jeff Lewis
FABB recently had the pleasure of having a long conversation about bicycling with Jeff Lewis, a teacher from Vienna. Jeff has been using his bike for transportation to and from work for several years. He told us that he enjoys being outside, getting exercise every day, and helping the environment. He likes to serve as an example to his students for using bicycles for transportation and recreation, believing that young people respond more to the actions rather than the words of adults. He also said that after one of his cars “died” last year, he was so comfortable with his bike commuting that he decided not to get another one. He mentioned that having one car payment instead of two really makes a difference in the family budget.

Jeff rides every morning with his 9-year-old daughter to Wolftrap Elementary before continuing on to Oakton High School where he teaches Spanish. At other times he bikes with both of his daughters to get ice cream in town, pick up a few items at the grocery store, or just to ride on the W&OD Trail. He is pleased to see that his daughters seem to feel the same sense of independence and adventure when biking that he felt as a kid.

In response to our question about what he enjoyed most about biking, Jeff said that time spent biking with his two daughters is something he would always treasure. He then returned to the sense of adventure he felt as a kid and continues to feel:
“I especially enjoy riding early in the morning or when the weather gets colder. The landscape changes, the air is crisp, and I feel like I am more a part of nature. Before teaching at Oakton, I taught for five years at Herndon High School and would ride from Vienna to Herndon. That ride was mostly on the W&OD trail and I was on the trail between 6:00 and 7:00 in the morning. At that hour, as the sun is coming up and the mist is rising from ground, it is always quite surreal. I would often see rabbits, deer, and foxes trotting through the mist along the trail, not to mention owls and other beautiful birds flying overhead. It is really magical. It is chilly some days, but I'll take that over I-495 any day.”
When asked what he would like to change to make it easier and safer for him to ride, Jeff replied that more dedicated bike lanes would make a big difference. “Biking is so much safer and more enjoyable when you can be confident you aren't going to get run over,” he said. He added that there should be better driver's education about the rights of cyclists as well as how and when to pass a cyclist.

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  Bike to Work Day 2015 at Wiehle Station

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