Sci-cycle in Action!

by | Nov 2, 2017 | Blog, Curiosity Piqued

I live in San Rafael, about 24 miles from the Randall Museum. 2–3 days each week I ride in to work on my bicycle and take the ferry back home. Biking to work is such an energizing way to start the day. Morning exercise really wakes up my body and prepares it for the day ahead. I started riding when I moved to Marin from SF and also to train for my first AIDS LifeCycle last year! I have been addicted since.

Halfway point on AIDS LifeCycle between SF and LA

Besides all the healthy aspects of riding regularly, I greatly enjoy how my morning ride inspires so many scientific thoughts! Commuting on the paths through Marin County is truly a unique experience. There is so much life around us. Just the other day I saw deer, egrets and wild turkeys in a single ride!

An egret at the Bothin Marsh preserve

The best section of the path I take is through the Bothin Marsh Preserve in Mill Valley. Here I get to see egrets almost everyday picking through the water for their breakfast. This area always gets me thinking about animal habitats and just how resilient certain species can be. These marshes are not very deep and the water level changes significantly with the rise and fall of each tidal cycle. Some days the water is almost up to the paths and everything smells fresh. Other days the water has receded and the muddy bottom is exposed. You can see all the little bottom dwelling animals hopping about and it smells pretty bad. But the animals here thrive in these conditions. They have adapted to great change that occurs just about every 12 hours.

The tides may have an important effect on the marsh habitats, but they are not nearly as impacting as humans. It astounds me that animals continue to thrive next to the highway, or near new buildings. We humans constantly shape the landscape. It settles my soul to know that many bird and insect species are so resilient, but I feel troubled still. I hope, that as populations continue to grow, we keep in mind just how important wild habitats are; not only to the animals who live there, but to our own well-being.

So science friends, I encourage you to get out into nature and stretch your legs. Biking, running and any other cardio allows for us to turn chemical energy into kinetic energy and get some of the jiggle from our middle. But it also allows us to make a connection with nature, whereas sitting in a car insulates us from the world. Science is all around us and being in motion can expose you to so much more than being stationary. Besides all the wonderful effects, consider the graphic below!

Bike Diagram

Stay active, stay healthy and never stop exploring.

Marcus Wojtkowiak

Marcus Wojtkowiak

Science Program Coordinator

I LOVE learning new things. More than I love learning new things, I love sharing awesome discoveries about our world with others.

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