It’s the question with which our eight-year-old daughter begins most summer days. She wants to have a plan. My suggestions of cleaning, cooking and other house or garden work don’t usually satisfy her. She and her younger brother want to ‘do’ something or go somewhere. We recently returned to the city after living in the county for a couple of years. It’s easier to go someplace now that many places are within walking distance.
Just within the past week she added riding bicycle without training wheels to her list of accomplishments. We also bought a larger bike for her brother and he is confidently riding around the alley. The other Sunday evening we went over to the elementary school close to our house and they rode their bikes on the basketball courts. While it’s fun to watch them ride and enjoy being independent on bikes, we know that the joy of riding in circles won’t last forever. Pretty soon we’ll be hearing, “We want to ride our bikes somewhere.”
That’s where the Northend Greenway comes in. My husband and I ride our bikes often enough to know that our city doesn’t have many safe streets for children to ride on. The multi-use path will give us a place to safely ride as a family, for enjoyment or to reach a destination. My husband grew up riding bike and both of us find it more relaxing to walk or hop on the bike rather than using the car for things like going to the park, grocery store, work, etc. We enjoy spending time outside, interacting with the environment and with other people. We will be able to do all those things when the Greenway becomes a reality. It will add to the quality of life for everyone living along the path as well as others who choose to make it a destination.
Crystal Trost lives in Harrisonburg. She is passionate about many things including spending time outside gardening, watching her children ride bike, walking to her favorite places around time and playing ball games her children invent. Crystal serves on the Northend Greenway’s Education Committee and looks forward to many family bike rides on the Greenway.