Personal tools
You are here: Home Stories Bike Lure
Document Actions

Bike Lure

Jean Jackman relates how a bicycle ride lured Alan Jackman to teach at UCDavis

Submitted by:  Jean Jackman, 2/2007
This entry relates to the past, present
Category(ies) of this entry:  Bicycle, UC Davis, Coming to Davis

I’ll bet everyone in Davis has a coming-to-Davis story.  And I hope to get a chance to hear yours.  Here’s mine.

My husband Alan and I were living right outside of Washington DC in 1970.  I was a new mother, doing volunteer work and member of a dance group.  Alan was the breadwinner in a job that no longer felt satisfying for him. And we both disliked living and dealing with all of the traffic in Washington DC.

 His University of Minnesota advisor was in town and came for dinner.  Alan he asked, “Have you ever considered a teaching job?”  No, he hadn’t.  “Well, there are three jobs open right now – in Davis, CA, in Oregon and in Chicago. Why don’t you apply?” My husband applied and went out to Davis to interview.  The man who showed up to meet him at the Econo Lodge, came riding a bicycle with a second one held out to his side as he rode.  Alan thought that was the coolest thing and immediately wanted to work at UCDavis.

He got the job, dusted off the bicycle I bought for him in 1966, and started riding it everyday to work, rain or shine.  While he rode, he multitasked and flossed his teeth while riding no handed.  He did that religiously for 36 years still riding the same bicycle, a 3 speed Raleigh.  He has had to work hard to keep it going.  But that bike is an old friend.  He just retired in July 2006, but sometimes still goes to the university on the old bike – and flosses his teeth.

Luckily, though he had never considered teaching, the job of being a professor of chemical engineering was a perfect fit and he received several teaching awards.

This site provided with the assistance of the Davis Community Network.