Lexington Resident Does His Part on Two Wheels
Dangel is lead organizer for upcoming MassBike Summer Century and Family Ride.
Lexington resident Bob Dangel is an environmentalist's dream. By day, he works to design wastewater treatment facilities and puts just as many miles on his bicycle that he does on his car while doing so.
To call Dangel simply a cycling enthusiast would be a vast understatement. He's certainly not the average weekend pedal pusher.
"They both came in around 6,200," Dangel said of the mileage he put on both his car and bike last year.
For the past five years, Dangel has served on the board of directors for the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike), a non-profit organization that is involved with advocacy for cycling causes. MassBike works with legislature on cycling issues, teaches courses for cyclists and motorists on sharing the road and holds rides and events.
One upcoming event is the Summer Century and Family Ride, taking off from Lexington High School on Aug. 14. Various rides will be offered, from a 12-mile family ride to a 100-mile ride, and all include arrowed routes, maps, clue sheets and a post-ride lunch. The longer rides include rest stops with water and snacks.
Thanks in part to Dangel, this will be the first time in three years that MassBike has held its main summer event, which has been moved from Concord.
Dangel, who also serves as the board's treasurer, took over organizing the event this year. As treasurer, Dangel helps set the organization's annual budget and works to make sure finances are in order.
"I'm an avid cyclist and knew some people on the board," he said, about joining MassBike. "I figured I should get involved with the community seeing as though I ride a lot."
The previous organizer had moved on from her duties following the 2007 ride, Dangel said, leaving the event in limbo for the past two years. He stepped in this summer to put it back on the road.
For the past three or four months, Dangel said he's worked with the town to gain permission, set up food and rest stops and has plotted the routes for the 12-, 22-, 45-, 62- and 100-mile rides. The 100 miler passes into New Hampshire, while most of the others encompass many towns neighboring Lexington.
"We want to be visible to the community and this is one way to do it," Dangel said. "I've been involved in organizing events that are outdoor-related for a long, long time, so this seemed like a natural thing to step into.
"We just hope there's good weather, people come and enjoy themselves."
Dangel should know many of routes well. Much of the mileage he put on his bike last year came from commuting to and from work each day. Dangel is a chemical engineer at CDM Engineers and Constructors, located in Cambridge's Kendall Square.
It's a 25-mile roundtrip, and each way takes Dangel about 40 minutes, he said. But even commuting by bike can't avoid rush-hour traffic. Dangel said the ride home is a bit longer because he takes a different route to avoid the rush.
"More than half of (the 6,200 miles) was just commuting to work," Dangel said.
Not like he minds the extra time on two wheels, though.
The Summer Century and Family Ride costs $15 for MassBike members, and $20 for non-members through Aug. 11. Day-of-the-event registration is $25. Children under 16 accompanied by an adult are free. Proceeds benefit MassBike's advocacy programs.
More information and registration is available at MassBike's website.