Read More Like This
- September 29, 2023
- September 6, 2023
- June 14, 2023
- Off the Clock: Maria Uriyo started a nonprofit robotics group and competes in tournaments with her familyMay 23, 2023
- Off the Clock: Caroline Masakayan makes a difference as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) for childrenApril 13, 2023
In This Story
Life is much more than time spent on the clock. In this series, we highlight the unique hobbies and volunteer activities of Mason's talented faculty and staff.
As term associate professor of statistics, course coordinator for STAT 250 (the quantitative reasoning course in the Mason Core), and academic advisor, Kenneth Strazzeri stays busy teaching about 300 students each semester. He teaches courses both in-person and online and has worked at George Mason University since January 2012.
Beyond his passion for teaching, Strazzeri discovered two new interests in recent years: running and biking. He has competed in duathlons (run-bike-runs) and even won two.
This hobby is now his major mode of transportation, as well: commuting to Mason by bike has offered Strazzeri motivation and an opportunity to improve as an athlete.
How did you first get started with running and biking?
I began biking regularly during the pandemic as a way to socialize and interact with friends safely outdoors. In addition, the City of Fairfax ran a pandemic promotion at many local businesses, and I purchased my first pair of running shoes for 50% off through a gift card. I decided to start running as well.
After about nine months of training, I competed in my first duathlon. A sprint duathlon includes a 5K run, a 20–25K bike ride, and another 5K run. I have competed in six duathlons since fall 2021, as well as several road running races.
How did you decide to bike to work? Do you take advantage of any of Mason's biking resources/programs?
Once my children graduated from Mason's Child Development Center, I decided to cancel my parking pass and ride my bike to work (since I did not need to drop off my child). I was now in far better physical shape and felt like it was a great way to get outside every day and save gas and the money I paid for parking. Once I discovered Mason's Bicycle Commuter Choice program where I would get paid to ride to work, I was hooked.
How far is your commute? What do you do on bad weather days?
I am lucky that my commute is just under two miles, and on a good day, I can get to my office faster than I could driving (six minutes is my record). Bad weather days can be accommodated with the parking passes you earn from the Bike Commuter Choice program. I have enough warm wear to handle the cold for my short ride; however, there were very few days with temperatures below freezing this past winter.
What has been the most meaningful or memorable experience you’ve had in this hobby?
Personally, I am accomplishing things that I thought I might not be able to do. It has kept me young, physically fit, and healthy.
With my family, I am far more able to keep up with my kids. We can take bike rides together or I can run next to them when they ride.
Lastly, I have met some wonderful people in the biking and running community, including our amazing bike transportation staff at Mason. Find me on Strava (an exercise tracking app) or even better, let's meet up for a ride. I would love to meet and ride with other Mason community members.
What lessons have you learned through this experience?
If I can do it, anyone can do it. It cannot be a fad, but a lifestyle change. For those who think you do not have the time, an evening ride around the Mason loop is quite enjoyable and very well lit. A sunrise run around Burke Lake is also a lovely experience. Whether you like running, riding, or any other physical exercise, do it for yourself, but also for your family and loved ones.
Any safety tips for cyclists and drivers out there?
Bike riders, wear bright colored clothes, and be safe while riding with cars around. Mason's loop does have bike lanes, but I do wish all drivers would stay out of them. Also, drivers, please use turn signals.
Learn more about biking resources at George Mason University, including the Bicycle Commuter Choice program, bicycle/scooter registration, Patriot Bicycle Checkout Program, and more. Check out this video featuring members of the Mason community who bike to campus.