Foreign Languages Professor Bikes to Work

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By Jacqueline Escobar

Staff Writer

Marco Codebo, associate professor of Ital-ian and French in the department of English, philosophy, and foreign languages, is as dedi-cated to his health as he is to his students. Although most professors and students drive to school, Codebo prefers to bike.

“I bike to work from either Westbury or Manhasset,” he said. “I live in Sunnyside, Queens and I carry my bike on the LIRR, and I bike from the arrival station to campus.” The distance for Codebo is more or less nine miles from either station, although he prefers the road from Westbury, which he says is much better for cycling. This month, Codebo made the trip all the way from Sunnyside to Post.

Professor Marco Codebo with his bike

He bikes for many reasons. “I have been an active cyclist throughout my whole life; the first time I put a foot in this country in 1988, it was for the bike trip of my life: biking across the continent from Seattle to Maine,” he said. He was younger and more fit back then and was able to make the cycling trip in 44 days. He documented his trip in an article titled, “American Dream” on adventurecy-cling.org.

Thirty years have passed and Codebo isn’t as fast as he used to be, but he still enjoys the sensation of riding his bike. “Every time my bike is on the road, I can smell adventure in the air and not only that, on a bike, you feel the season change and you can spot the first flowers in spring and the last rusty leaves in fall; you shiver through the wintery air. In a word, you are more alive than ever on a bike,” Codebo said.

Codebo has another reason for biking – to protect the environment. “I love my planet and worry about it, the air, water, trees, and grass are common goods. They belong to all of us even if, too often we behave as though they belonged to none of us. I want to take care of the goods I share with my fellow human beings,” Codebo said.

Codebo says cycling to work is just like recycling. “Small actions that become important when repeated many times and shared within a community,” he said.

Codebo believes the university should lobby local governments for bike lanes on Long Island. He said bike lanes would essentially be fun for a lot of people on the weekends and can make life better for bike commuters like him on working days.

Codebo offers this advice to students: “Take some time for yourself, just for yourself, each day. Time for checking your plans, seeing what good or bad you have done, reminding you of the important things in your life. You do not need hours to do this, just a few minutes, but just do it every day. Turn off the noise in the world, screen yourself from all the distractions, and focus on what you want to do with your life. I need a bicycle to do it, but I bet our students are smarter than me and can think without pedaling.”

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