From TMP to gas free
Andrea Hoesl (left), Harold Mueller (right) along with additional DPW employees show off their efficient new means of traveling around the installations. The organization recently reduced their fleet of Transportation Motor Pool vehicles by six, replacing them with bicycles in an effort to reduce the ecological footprint within the Army.

USAG GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- The feeling of self-propelled freedom you get from riding a bike is unlike anything else, but for U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr Department of Public Works employees, it's more than the thrill of the ride; it's a necessary form of transportation.

The organization recently traded in six transportation motor pool cars for a fleet of bicycles, reducing their carbon footprint and providing a more efficient, economical way for employees to commute within Main Post and Rose Barracks.

These transient travelers can be found peddling around the installations on shiny white bikes tagged with the DPW logo, heralding praises of the new system.

"This is just the beginning," said Christian Richter public utility specialist. "We are setting an example and hopefully we will see more organizations adopting a bicycle policy in the future."

While it's easy to habituate to automobile routes and fall into the belief that there is no other way to travel, DPW is proving that bicycling is just as effective.

"Many times it's faster than driving a car," said Yvonne Schreglmann, contract compliance assistant, adding motor and pedestrian traffic and parking obstacles can make a short commute in the car longer than expected.

"Biking is an efficient form of transportation on top of the many health benefits," she added.

Bicycle riding can garner immense physical benefits including improved cardiovascular health, muscle strength and balance. In addition, riding provides positive psychological boosts.

"After sitting behind a desk all day, a bike ride can do wonders for your mind and body," said Andrea Hoesl, program manager.

Elisabeth Prem, an environmental engineer, agreed.

"You notice the small things when on a bike," she said. "Things you would never notice in a car."

With this new initiate the garrison moves toward achieving the Department of Defense Energy Conservation Program goals, one pedal at a time. For the DPW employees involved, being "green" is as easy as riding a bike.

Page last updated Fri August 20th, 2010 at 09:46