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Two-Wheeled Commute

IOWA CITY, Iowa (CBS 2/FOX 28)-More people in the Corridor are turning to two wheels to run errands or even for their commute to work.

To keep up with the growing number of bikers, Jodie Plumert, a psychology professor at the University of Iowa is looking into bike safety.

"We're seeing a rise in the use of bicycles for both adults and for kids," she said. "So we really want to understand how kids are riding to traffic compared to adults."

Plumert and her team use a bike simulator that shows them how a biker crosses the street in traffic.

"They have to look for a good gap to get through before they get hit by a car," Plumert said.

But taking two wheels for a spin is no question for Matt Starns.

A graduate of UI, he rides his bike over 40 miles per week.

But when he delivers sandwiches for Jimmy John's, he calculates around 150 miles.

"It's a lot more fun to have the wind in your hair," Starns said.

He said he prefers to ride his bike instead of driving his car, whether it be going to grab groceries or get to work.

"It's easier to hop on a bike," he said. " It's easy to rack up miles when you are running your errands."

He isn't the only one.

Iowa City, also known as the "bike friendly" city, has seen a rise in bikers not only to grab groceries but also to work.

Plumert understands that when there are more adults riding bikes, there are also kids learning from their parents to ride too.

But the studies show that kids get a delayed start compared to adult bikers.

"They say I can't cross, I can't cross," Plumert said. "But once they cross the first intersection they get it."

The bike simulator, she says, is a real-life experience that she hopes will help improve both bike safety and education.

Safety precautions that Matt says he learned at a young age and continues to keep in mind as he bikes to and from work.

"It's really important to wear a helmet," Starns said.

The University of Iowa isn't the only one looking into bike safety.

Iowa City and Cedar Rapids are also continuing efforts to make the roads safe for bikers.

Cedar Rapids is looking into protective lanes for the city.

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