Meet the 71-Year Old Librarian Who Commutes to Work by Rowing

(Photo: Matt McLain/Washington Post)

Gabriel Horchler is the Head of Cataloging at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. He likes to row. 15 years ago, he realized that most of his daily commute from his home in Cheverly, Maryland, ran parallel to the Anacostia River. He could drive through heavy traffic . . . or he could row along the almost vacant river.

Now, even at the age of 71, Horchler begins his day by biking to a neighborhood park, then pushing his rowing shell into the water. He pilots it down the river to a community boathouse, where he keeps his second bike. He takes that bike to the Library of Congress.

The entire trip takes him 90 minutes. He loves it, and the daily workout has kept him in fantastic physical condition. The Washington Post reports:

Some say he’s insane. In Horchler’s mind, the daily ritual of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic is what’s insane.

“I don’t feel that I’m superior to these people in the traffic jam, but I definitely appreciate the quiet and . . . the water and the sound of the oars in the water,” he said. “It changes every day. You see different wildlife. . . . The quality of the water, sometimes it’s filthy, sometimes it’s amazingly clean. And then, with the seasons, the vegetation changes. It’s wonderful.”

-via Jessamyn West

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...much like the Fermilab scientists who bike to work every day, rain or shine or snow or whatever. My kids and I take their same route to school, and we play a version of Slug Bug: "Fermilab Scientist!" [air slug]
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