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August 8, 2016

By Ned Barrett, Trails Coordinator at Partners for Active Living

Most folks know I ride my bike to work and around town. That said, I don’t think of myself as a cyclist. I don’t own any fancy lycra clothing, I only own one bike, and I don’t shave my legs.

That’s the image of cycling most of us have, and with good reason. We have a very active recreational cycling community here in Spartanburg, with as many as 60 people showing up for some of the many weekly group rides. (Find a list at www.freewheelers.info).

But this weekend I pedaled to the Hub City Farmers’ Market. The streets were quiet and the weather was cool. There were several other bikes parked at the Market, as usual.

We often think of people riding to work when we think of “transportation cycling.” But I find some of the most enjoyable riding I do is riding downtown on a Friday evening to one or another of the many events we have each week, whether Jazz on the Square or RJ Rockers or whatever. I see bikes parked at the library on a Saturday, and imagine families riding to undertake that most anachronistic of activities, book reading. I often see bikes parked at one or another of our grocery stores or convenience stores. These days, a ride to the ice cream shop seems best suited.

These are important rides. I think of “transportation cycling” as a ride that replaces a drive. According to the most recent report of the National Household Travel Survey, nearly half of all trips are less than three miles, and 28% are less than a mile. Most (like nearly 98%) are car trips. If you choose to ride (or walk) some of those, you’ll save money on gasoline and improve your health at the same time.

Take the challenge: replace a drive with a walk or a ride. You may just develop the habit.

For more about Partners for Active Living and bicycle commuting, visit www.active-living.org

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