Bikes-Why I ride mine

I usually reserve this blog to write about books or the store. But today it’s all about bikes. I love riding a bike. It’s fun. It provides great exercise and it gets me to work and back inexpensively. Living in a small town with two colleges means there are a fair number of bikes in town. During a recent discussion of transportation issues on Locallygrownnorthfield.org, the former president of the Northfield Chamber of Commerce stated:

“Let me be explicit: Motorized transportation is the Chamber’s priority. All this discussion about bikes and sidewalks does not further a complete transportation discussion. The Chamber would like a full discussion of vehicular traffic, especially on Highways 19 and 1. These are significant “commerce” roads that need attention before significan78datsunb210.jpgt funds are spent filling in the gaps in bike trails. “

Now I’m not militant about biking. I own a car, in fact, I have owned four cars in my lifetime including a 1978 Datsun B210 GX. Mine was orange like the picture at the right only it had a lot of rust. I do believe the city of Northfield needs to improve our roads, particularly highways 1, 3 and 19. If we are going to encourage businesses to locate here, these arteries are essential. But I also think all changes to our transportation system should be comprehensive and include non-motorized options like cycling and walking.

As a business owner, non-motorized transportation is critical to the success of my business. Walk by traffic drives a healthy percentage of my sales. The bike racks downtown are usually full, especially in the summer. For the Northfield Chamber of Commerce to take up a position that is so opposed to bikes and pedestrians is absurd in my opinion.

Lance Armstrong is opening a bike shop in Austin TX called Mellow Johnny’s. I’d like to see more stories about Mellow Johnny’s and fewer about how cycling detracts from serious discussions about transportation. Bill Ostrem writes about bicycling on his blog. Bill hajerrysbiketires-001-tn2.jpgs more expertise with regard to these issues than I do. He chairs the Northfield’s Non-Motorized Transportation task force.

I just like to ride and I prefer to have safe roads where I ride. Here is a picture of me and my bike. Ross Currier wrote this story about my bike tires. I believe the more people ride bikes, the safer the roads will be. Bicycling.com published a story explaining this rationale recently.

Let me know what you think. Am I nuts?

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6 Responses to Bikes-Why I ride mine

  1. Bill Ostrem says:

    Jerry, You are an inspiration to us all! Thanks for riding, even in the winter! And thanks for pointing us to the article on Lance Armstrong’s efforts to promote commuting by bike.

  2. Andy Alt says:

    Comparing you to the rest of the world, I’d implicitly state that no, you are not nuts.

  3. E. Schned says:

    Yes, you’re nuts. But it has nothing to do with two wheelers.

    Seriously, I like this post (your blog is look good, too) as I like a business owner willing to jump into the discussion even if it does not pertain directly to the goods he or she “peddles.” The Chamber comment — wow. I am glad you pointed that out. When does pollution and global warming enter the conversation?

    As for biking, I recommend a blog — http://cycledork.blogspot.com — written by a former Northfield resident. And I don’t even ride bikes.

    By the way, where can I get a copy of that sweet poster?

  4. monkeyread says:

    Mr. Schned,
    I call you mister as I do not know your first name, is it Elinor? I realize I am nuts, but yes, it has little to do with the bike. I own a bookstore for crying out loud, nuff said.

    You should meet the employees, talk about nuts. Both of them try to make a living as writers. One is currently in Mississippi writing ingredient labels for Hostess snacks. What’s in a Twinkie in 10,000 words or less.

    Global warming, schmobile warming would be the Chamber reply I believe. It would be bad for business.

    The poster I found on Al gore’s invention, the internet. Personally, I wish I still had the car. It was a peach. Mine had a lot of rust. It has been said the B210 rusted at the mere sight of puddles. I got $25 in trade for it. $25 more than I paid, guess I’m not nuts.

  5. E. Schned says:

    You do speak truth. Anyone who would work for you must have questionable intellect. As I understand it, you don’t offer health insurance. Also, employee efforts to unionize have thus far been dealt a hand so harsh and heavy that would make Wal-Mart executives proud.

    No first name — just E.

  6. Jerry Bilek says:

    thanks for the kind words E. Any luck on the lawn mowing gig with Brett Favre? He might offer insurance.

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