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 significant 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 has 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?