You may have noticed that there are an extraordinary amount of Green Bikes around campus – we currently have 54 working bikes!
Starting this week, we will be profiling some of the Green Bike riders. This first profile is by Glen Peterman, the Handlebar Adviser, who built the first Green Bike.
Name: Glen Peterman
Staff: Director of Sponsored Projects and Research Compliance; Handlebar Adviser
I loved biking the instant my dad took off the training wheels, pushed me down our sloped driveway and yelled, “PEDAL, PEDAL!!” I was six years old. Later I graduated to 27” wheeled bikes – a Schwinn Continental, later a Schwinn Sports Tourer, and then a top of the line Schwinn Paramount racing bike that I got for $500 in 1973. In high school I started working in “bicycle setup” at the local Schwinn dealer, got my Schwinn Factory Trained Certification, moved to the repair shop during and after college, and then ended up managing the place for a year. My boss was such a jerk that I quit and helped start another shop that sold Miyata bikes. We broke even in the first year – and eventually drove my first boss out of business. (Don’t mess with Glen!!)
Since then I went on a lot of formal rides – one a Double-Century (200 miles). Two friends and I rode all night with no moon (but we did have lights) and I came in third(!) among about 500 riders sometime in the early hours. Also made a couple tours around the Great Lakes, to upstate New York, around Israel in an organized bike-tour, and even started on a cross-country ride. I had to bail in Jackson, Wyoming, but that’s no surprise since my foot had been broken under a fork-lift about a month before. It was pretty stupid to actually DO a tour like that in my condition – but the experience, fun and memories have far outlasted the pain.
I built the FIRST “Green Bike” and instituted the program at the Handlebar. Since that first one I’ve built about 50 of them with help from Handlebar volunteers. Frankly, the reason they’re called my Green Bikes is because that’s my favorite color! (Just like my Paramount). It was merely fortuitous that my favorite color matched the sustainability jargon. Painting all those green forks was a challenge, though. (I never told anybody but once I ended up with green hair and moustache! It was just a bit windy and the overspray got EVERYWHERE. Happily it was a Friday night, so I had the weekend to wash my hair about 10 times). I use my green bike as a commuter bike from home to the Handlebar when I’m fixing bikes – I mainly ride it in the summer time.
I’d recommend a Green Bike to ANYBODY. I paid about $150 to sandblast, paint, build and rehab mine (new wheels, crank, pedals, and tires, etc., ) – but anybody else can pay a $25 refundable deposit, get a Greenie, a helmet and a lock. You can get help fixing it for free at the Handlebar if it needs fixing, then bring it back when you don’t need it anymore – and you get your deposit back! You just simply can’t beat that kind of deal. And you’ll love the speed and the wind in your face and hair – just like I did when I was six.