Paul L. Caron

Saturday, April 28, 2018

How Berkeley Law School Dean Set The World Cycling Record

MollyGreat article about Molly Shaffer Van Houweling (Wikipedia), Harold C. Hohbach Distinguished Professor of Patent Law and Intellectual Property, Associate Dean for J.D. Curriculum and Teaching, and Co-Director, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology at UC-Berkeley Law School:  ESPN, How Berkeley Law School Dean Molly Shaffer Van Houweling Set the World Cycling Record:

Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, an associate dean at the University of California, Berkeley law school, teaches classes on intellectual property and serves on the board of a number of legal and technology organizations.

And in her free time, she has set national and world records in track cycling.

In September 2015, she broke the cycling hour record that had stood for 12 years by riding 46.273 kilometers (28.75 miles) in 60 minutes around a track in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Suddenly the international cycling community was wondering: Who is this professor?

"I feel very fortunate to have a hobby that I really love and a job that I really love," she says. "I use the techniques that any busy, multitasking person uses." That means creating detailed schedules, plotting her training into her calendar and sometimes cramming in work in the car on long drives. So far though, it has paid off.

It was Molly's husband, Rob, a professor of political science at Berkeley and a former bike racer, who suggested she go for the hour record. It suited her strengths and was something she could train for in between her other commitments.

She thought he was crazy. But then he bought her a new track bike and started aerodynamic testing bikes, tires, helmets and clothes. Molly, 44, does not have a professional cycling contract, team doctors or high-end sponsors, but she does have Rob, who loves playing around with various mechanical details. ...

At the law school, there's a class Molly teaches right now called "Satisfaction in Law and Life." She has spent a lot of time thinking about happiness and productivity and efficiency. She talks to her students about making it all work. Even when she's not training, it's not as if she finally cleans the closet, she jokes to them. She's happier and more productive when she has a cycling goal pushing her.

Yes, every now and again, she feels overwhelmed, and quitting the sport has crossed her mind. "But I keep coming back to it," she says. It's always been about seeing just how far she can go on a bike.

(Hat Tip: Jeff Bliss.)

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