Faculty and Staff Celebrate Bike Month  

On May 16, faculty and staff bike enthusiasts gathered at Centennial Commons to celebrate National Bike Month over breakfast. The Climate Justice and Sustainability Hub hosted the event to help support faculty and staff cyclists, both those just starting to ride as well as long term bikers. The Hub partnered with the Human Resources Department to encourage people to participate in the Bike Month Challenge through Virgin Pulse, a health platform for employees. During the Challenge, faculty and staff could log their bike rides and earn activity points in Virgin Pulse and have a chance to win a prize at the end of the month.  

Faculty and staff across the university networked and shared their love of bikes. While some staff members can bike directly to work, others spoke about biking to their local train station before taking that into their respective offices. Between biking, ridesharing and taking the train, employees and students alike opt for sustainable modes of transportation, whether to beat the Boston traffic or get their exercise.  

“When people choose to bike rather than hop in their car, they are reducing their impact on our environment, benefiting their own health and having fun while doing it,” said Megan Curtis-Murphy, the Director of Campus Sustainability and Engagement. 

Northeastern University has a plethora of bike parking and three bike repair stations, one in West Village and the other two near ISEC and Columbus garage.  

During the event, local nonprofit Bikes Not Bombs performed free safety checks and NUPD helped cyclists register their bikes to fight theft. Muffins, coffee, and fruit from the local grocery store Tropical Foods provided a filling and healthy breakfast to attendees. A map of all the bike racks and repair stations gave people a chance to voice their opinion about where more bike racks were needed. Common answers included Krentzman Quad and Curry Student Center.  

In total, 39 people rode all 20 days of the challenge, which lasted from May 12 to May 31. Over 370 employees participated, 278 of which rode six or more times. The challenge was available through Virgin Pulse where participants could enter their miles per day to be entered into a raffle. The raffle winners will receive bike related prizes including a U lock, a bike repair kit and other gear. 


One of the raffle winners was Professor Courtney Pfluger of the Department of Chemical Engineering. She has been biking for many years and used to bike to work when living in Jamaica Plain. Now that she lives further from campus, she does not bike to work but still enjoys the health benefits and uses it as a bonding activity with her seven-year-old son. Additionally, she likes to be less reliant on fossil fuels and sees biking as a sustainable alternative.  

“Teaming up with Human Resources on National Bike Month provided a broader platform for how we could support cyclists across the Northeastern Global Network,” Curtis Murphy said. “Though we celebrated faculty and staff in person who rode to work on the Boston campus, we were also able to recognize anyone who chose to ride during the Challenge, and we even had raffle winners from both coasts!” 

Bike riding has numerous health benefits as well. It targets multiple muscles in your legs without overstressing joints. Biking also promotes balance and coordination while helping to lower cholesterol levels. Additionally, like any exercise, biking can help people’s mental health and releases endorphins to lower stress levels.  

Biking is popular amongst faculty, staff and students. Northeastern has a competitive cycling club for students and a triathalon club. The Climate Justice & Sustainability Hub also hosts an annual Sustainability & Bike Fair for students each fall featuring sustainability related student organizations and bike resources including free safety checks and registration.  

In the future, the Hub hopes to continue to connect with faculty and staff and exist as a resource for members of the university system interested in climate justice and sustainability.  

Written by Renée Abbott, June 21st, 2023
Photos by Sofia Long

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