Bike Commuter Journal – All in the Mind(set)

Friday, May 23 by JerryFoster

Please welcome Jim Angelus as our guest commuter this week – if you?d like to share your commuter experiences, contact wwbikeped@gmail.com.

Everyone has an experience that births the compulsion to begin and end the work day on a bicycle.

Until ’98, my commute was limited to the overcrowded and undersanitized Lexington Avenue line in lower Manhattan. I was born in the city and lived there for 35 years commuting to ad agencies, where I was a creative director. Living in Hopewell 20 years later, a stark contrast – I rise at 6, am out the door at 7.

It wasn’t until taking *mandatory* retirement from my marketing job at Merck that cycling took over. It was 2001. I was out of a job with newly born twin boys; retirement at 45 not an option.

Time to redirect, refocus, narrow down, be practical, and use time wisely. I had been cycling the Sourlands, up through Frenchtown, Holland, and Lebanon townships trying to plan next steps.

Fortunately, logic and sound thinking didn’t reign – however, a self-absorbed plan to cycle cross-country with a close friend in ’02 did. This 3,215 mile/25 day ride from Point Reyes, CA to Keyport, NJ was the perfect gestation cycle that gave birth to the “third wheel” in my marriage.

A decade later in ’12, my German friend joined me once again, as we cycled from Seattle, WA to South Seaside Park, NJ – 3,300 miles/37 days later.

Today, I ride to work in South Brunswick, on Rte 518 into Rocky Hill, up the hill by the quarry to Rte 27. My ride home varies as does my mood. Sometimes a detour up Lindbergh Rd, other times Aunt Mollie Rd serves me well. Decisions! Decisions! My single speed wheels are picky and I must keep them happy.

Whit is planning a Lewis and Clark Trail excursion in ’15. Three’s a charm – I may just ride home…

A version of this post appeared in On the Move, the blog for the Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association.

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A Gamble on Bicycle Friendliness Pays Off

Thursday, March 10 by silvia

Twin Bridges, Montana camp siteWe just have to share this heart-warming story of a small town that built a camp for cyclists pedaling through (often on the TransAmerica or Lewis and Clark trails). It all came about because one resident realized the business they could bring to this Montana town.

“All the bike riders passing through were like gold going by in a river,” that man, Bill White, said. “I started thinking about how to make Twin Bridges more than a place to get a cup of coffee.”

The result: residents raised funds to build a shelter in the park that would draw in riders, provide a free shower and a place to set up tents on the grass. Most riders in turn leave donations that cover the cost of utilities and cleaning supplies. And they spent money in town, which gave the local economy a boost.

Other communities haven’t gone as far as building a shelter, but they, too, are learning that bicyclists bring tourism dollars. Long-distance routes, mapped and (hopefully) signposted, are a magnet that everyone can profit from.

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