Meet Jon Wergin: Adventure Cycling Intern

July 14, 2015

Jon Wergin quit his job, sold his car, and rode his bike across the country. A year later he is working as an intern at Adventure Cycling and earning his degree in transportation planning. Meet Jon, the newest member of our crew who will be contributing a series of blog posts about bicycle tourism topics in the coming months. 

Tell us about your background.

I grew up in Richmond, Virginia and moved to Washington, DC in 2006 to pursue an undergraduate degree in architecture. After graduating, I worked for a solar startup for about four years until one day last summer I quit my job, sold my car, rented out my apartment, and flew to San Francisco to start a bike trip back to DC. I'm currently halfway through the Master of Urban & Regional Planning program at Virginia Tech in Alexandria where I'm focusing on transportation planning.

How did you find out about Adventure Cycling?

In 2005 I biked from Richmond to Philadelphia with my dad and step-brother using Adventure Cycling's Atlantic Coast route. Since then, I've spent a lot of time on the interactive map, planning trips I hope to take one day. Several of my friends have recently taken up bike touring as well, and I really enjoy helping them any way I can. By working at Adventure Cycling, I hope to do the same but on a larger scale.

Tell us about your experience bicycle touring.

Along with the two trips already mentioned, I've biked the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal trails from Pittsburgh to DC, along with a trip around Florida. I love bike touring because I get to see places and meet people that are usually passed over. To quote Hemingway, "it is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and can coast down them." The Great Divide is next on my list.

Tell us about your interest in bicycle advocacy.

I love cycling and hope to make it easier for others to bike and receive all the benefits as well––whether for sport, running errands, or touring. 

What are some of your hobbies?

I watch a lot of soccer after living in Rome for a bit. My neighbors sometimes ask if everything is OK after hearing someone yelling in Italian next door at 10 o'clock in the morning. I also spend a lot of time working on bikes, usually on a fifties Schwinn single-speed tandem that seems to get no faster despite all the work that's been put into it. It probably weighs 100 pounds. 

Unique and quirky things?

I have a large collection of funk and soul records and will spend hours crate-digging in record shops.

A perfect world would be…

One where it's easy for everyone to use a bicycle as their main mode of transportation. 

Photos courtesy of Jon Wergin. 

BUILDING BICYCLE TOURISM is written by Ginny Sullivan and Saara Snow of the Travel Initiatives Department and focuses on the growing national movement to build bicycle tourism, including economic impacts, bike friendly tips, multimodal travel, and resources for destination development and marketing.

 

Comments

George September 27, 2015, 7:14 PM

Hey Jon, don't know if you'll see this. I'm going to Virginia Tech and am getting into bike touring. Would love to connect sometime, maybe at the alternative transportation office?

Jacob McClure July 15, 2015, 6:56 AM

That would be a perfect world. All the best on your endeavors.

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