In honor of Earth Week we’ve been sharing stories from Sonic Foundry employees who avoid driving whenever possible. So far we’ve introduced you to Dave Boivin who bikes year-round rain, snow or shine, Markus Schumann who saves $100 a month on gas by biking and Rob Chandanais who sold his car in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. Now let’s meet Software Quality Engineer Jeff Roller. 

At Jeff’s first job out of college in Madison, he learned a valuable lesson. Avoid driving if at all possible. 

He had a seven mile commute to work each day and after one week of driving on the busy Madison Beltline (highway), he thought to himself, “This is terrible.” 

After that first week he traded his car keys for a bike helmet and for the past three years he has never looked back. In fact, he’s even said that he’ll never commute in a car again. 

“I would always find a way to bike. Dave Boivin is an inspiration, too, and proves that you can bike in all elements,” Jeff says. 

Now Jeff only has about a mile commute – about 15 minutes of walking or seven minutes of biking -- to Sonic Foundry, so he bikes, walks, runs and occasionally takes the bus, a routine that not only saves tons of money on gas and is good for his carbon footprint but it also makes exercise easy. 

“When you include exercise into your commute it disappears in your schedule. I need to get to work and I need to exercise, so I’m killing two birds with one stone,” he says. “It’s also a release of anxiety because it’s relaxing.”

A side perk? It’s even rekindled his love of reading and audiobooks, because he can listen while he commutes. 

Jeff says if people work relatively close to work there’s no reason why they can’t bike/walk/run/take a bus. He says don’t assume it’s too far, because you might be surprised by how easy it really is and how much better you feel mentally and physically. 

Check back tomorrow for our final post with Quality Assurance Lead Andy Genné.