How appropriate that my first post is about biking! As everyone knows, cycling is great for your waistline and your bottom line, as in saving the $4 a gallon cost of gas and the $6,000 overall annual cost of owning and operating a car. Also great for helping to clear the air of all those nasty pollutants that emanate from internal combustion engines. Finally, it’s much easier to greet your neighbors on a bike than in a steel box.
May 18 was National Bike to Work Day, and we did it up big in New Haven and around the state. Kudos to Sandy Fry from BikeWalkCT, who shepherded the statewide organizing that resulted in a dozen towns and cities holding events – some were small, but ours were small, too, when we started six years ago. Today we signed up 121 folks, including a whole bunch of kids from Cold Spring School who rode over with their parents. That’s a record for us, but Hartford still beat us with 150 – awesome! Perfect weather helped.
Director of Transportation Jim Travers stopped by to read a proclamation from the mayor, and Lisa Fernandez, prez of the Farmington Canal Rail to Trail Association – this month’s sponsor – extolled the virtues of the trail for commuting and for inter-city recreational travel.
The state DOT, under Jim Redeker, is coming into the 21st century with its support for mass transit and cycling – he issued a nice proclamation too.
Heard from my dear old (Boston) friend Steve, who’s been living outside of Asheville, N.C. for many years, frustrated by the difficulties of biking into town over narrow, hilly roads with cars whooshing by at 50 mph and nowhere for bikes to be, plus having a DOT that has no interest in promoting cycling. That’s tough. I’m really glad I’m part of a state and city that’s trying to do the right thing, and part of a vibrant and growing cycling community.
Sometimes I get frustrated about climate change, the obesity epidemic and increasing asthma rates due to our polluted air. Biking isn’t the solution to everything, but it’s on the positive side of the ledger for all the things I care about. As we like to say to each other, Ride On!