I applaud the commuter bicyclists I saw [pedaling] around Harrisonburg in the midst of winter weather. Riding a bicycle benefits ourselves, community and world in dozens of ways. It is good for our health, pocket book and sheer pleasure.
Even a short three-mile commute, studies show, dramatically reduces obesity and increases heart rate. A reliable used bicycle costs little and zipping down hills is a delight.
Biking also reduces traffic and saves our city money by reducing wear and tear to our roads and tax dollars spent on costly parking facilities. Cycle analyst Todd Litman notes that commuter bikers save cities ten[s] of thousands of dollars annually.
Lastly, cyclists contribute to a better world. Each gallon of gas not burned stops 20 pounds of CO2 from entering our atmosphere, reducing climate change.
So here’s to you, winter weather bicyclist, bundle up, obey the rules of the road and keep up the momentum!
-Tom Benevento, Harrisonburg
Tom is one of the founders of the Northend Greenway and currently serves on the Steering Committee. Most days you can find him on his bike or at New Community Project, an educational center and incubator of sustainable projects like the Greenway and the Sustainable Living Center.
Letter to the Editor is reposted from Daily News-Record, April 2, 2013: http://www.dnronline.com/article/kudos_to_cyclists_for_winter_pedaling