Gaynor starts green trend
Published: Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 15:10
Maybe you've seen P.J. Gaynor around campus lately.
You can't miss him.
The 6-foot-8-inch senior forward for the men's basketball team, who averaged 4.8 points per game last season on 51 percent shooting, has traded in his large, gas-guzzling Ford Expedition for a bicycle.
So if you should see a rather tall individual riding a bike around campus, you'll be witnessing firsthand what Gaynor says is part of his decision to go green.
"Besides not having to pay for gas, I wanted to do my part and help the environment," Gaynor said.
Gaynor, who says he is also making a conscious effort to recycle as much as possible and try to learn more about ways he can live more environmentally-friendly, says he really started to take notice of things going on with the environment following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year.
"That's really what made me start thinking differently [about the impact people can have on the environment]," Gaynor said.
Since then, he looked for ways to do his part, and deciding to let his SUV collect dust stuck out as a way that would be mutually beneficial.
Gaynor says he is saving about $60 a week now.
As a recognizable figure around campus, by way of height and being a member of the Knights' basketball team that was ranked in the top 25 last season, Gaynor is hopeful more people will give commuting by bicycle a shot.
"I'd like to get more people riding bikes," Gaynor said. "If people live within two miles of campus, then why not?"
Gaynor says he's seen at least one fellow Knight follow suit. Walk-on junior guard Bobby Horodyski has also taken to bicycling around campus.
"Growing up I've always rode my bike to school," Horodyski said. "This is the first year I've actually had a car and gas hit me hard over the summer, so I got a cheap bike."
Horodyski, who played his freshman season with the Marshall Thundering Herd, admits his reasoning is predominately financial, but not entirely.
"Honestly, it's probably more about saving money, but it's definitely good to lower the carbon footprint," Horodyski said.
Horodyski says people don't realize how efficient a bike can be for someone living near campus.
"I can get from my apartment to the gym faster with my bike then I can with my car," Horodyski said. "I ride my bike and with the breeze, by the time I get there, I'm not even sweating."
Both Horodyski and Gaynor see other benefits besides saving money and helping the environment, mainly some extra exercise, more fresh air and being able to "park" their bikes virtually anywhere they want on campus.
"I can ride up basically to any building I want," Gaynor said. "When I do have to drive … it's a line at every parking garage and a fight for every spot."
Perhaps most importantly though, the senior says he isn't self conscious at all about the way he looks on a bicycle, despite his height.
"I think I can pull it off pretty well," Gaynor said. "I might look pretty big on this bike … I'm sure people notice me coming."
Gaynor and Horodyski hope they do notice and then consider commuting by bike themselves, leaving one less car on the road.
As of Tuesday, the pair's green movement had done just that. Horodyski said on Twitter, "On the way to get a a bike with [freshman basketball forward Kasey Wilson]. He is joining the green movement."