Tom Murray, 31, Shares His Experience Commuting To MD Anderson

MD Anderson won our Bike-Friendly Business award at the Houston Bike Summit. It was a perfect time to sit down with one of their employees who is a daily bike commuter.

Tom Murray, 31, is a postdoctoral fellow at MD Anderson’s Department of Biostatistics.

Tom commutes to work by bike every day. He says he feels comfortable on his bike most of the time. “I ride on Caroline and through Hermann Park to get to the medical center. I am usually on my bike to get somewhere, but I do occasionally join some of Houston’s many social and exercise rides as well.  Once I was involved in a crash on Caroline when a driver blew a stop sign at a cross street and I hit the back end of their car. I rolled away okay; my front tire, not so much. ”

“What is failing in Houston is the aggressive driving that is pervasive here. Enforcement of existing laws would help, but so would structural changes on street, which can get people to slow down. I hope the Bike Plan will bring more attention to the latter as a way to make the streets safer for everyone. The Houston Bike Plan will bring critical connections, provide better signage and more clarification about where drivers should expect people on bikes. To put it another way, I think and hope the Bike Plan will clarify for everyone (drivers and bikers) where the bike routes are in the city, and ensure these are connected and as comfortable as practical for people on bikes.”

“The first thing the city should do is clearly mark low and slow traffic neighborhood streets as a bicycle thoroughfare. I think that new riders (and people considering riding) have trouble figuring out where to ride in Houston; those little green ‘bike route’ signs are easy to miss.”

“I learned to ride my bike as a child but I rediscovered the joy of biking my freshman year of college. I was a bit restless one day during finals week, so I hopped on the mountain bike that I got for Christmas when I was about 12. This was not a fancy bike. I started riding, and ended up riding all the way around Lake Mendota, which is about 20 miles. It was a long ride for me at the time, and a great way to relieve some stress. When my old bike broke I discovered my dad’s vintage road bike hanging in the garage over winter break, and convinced him to let me take it to replace my busted bike. I fell in love with that bike and started using it to get everywhere.”

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