Bert Groenenberg is an avid cyclist who enjoys riding his bike for freedom and fitness. Groenenberg appreciated the bicycle-themed sculpture in downtown Rossland on a road trip. (Photo submitted)

Bert Groenenberg is an avid cyclist who enjoys riding his bike for freedom and fitness. Groenenberg appreciated the bicycle-themed sculpture in downtown Rossland on a road trip. (Photo submitted)

COLUMN: Sharing the Cariboo roads

Why I ride ~ a cyclist shares his motivation behind biking daily

This column is an imaginary correspondence between Maddie the Motorist and Byron the Bicyclist. It is meant to educate as well as entertain the reader.

Dear Byron the Bicyclist;

I have another question. You point out quite a few dangers in riding a bike. But yet you do it. Why?

Signed: Maddie the Motorist

Dear Maddie;

The biggest reason I bike is because I enjoy it.

I have enjoyed bicycling since I got my first bike at eight years old.

It was a used 24-inch wheel blue girls bike that later went to my younger sister.

Where did I go with my freedom machine? Everywhere I could.

Some Saturdays, I visited friends in rural Ontario four and five miles away.

Other Saturdays, I collected pop bottles on roadsides earning two cents each. I was rich!

Bicycling gives me fresh air, the wind in my face and some of the exercise I need.

I have to get to work anyways. It feels good to be human pedal powered, not fossil fuel powered.

And we get by just fine with one vehicle saving us thousands of dollars every year. Who said going green is just too expensive?

Precautions. My first precaution is riding defensively. That means paying very close attention to what is going on around me. For that, the mirror is essential. My right hand fingers are over the brake.

I wear a bicycle helmet and a florescent safety vest. And I have battery powered lights, reflectors and a bell.

What makes people notice me the most? The orange safety vest is how most motorists notice me.

Defensive drivers sometimes give me right of way, even when they can go first, which I am very grateful for!

Signed Byron the defensive Bicyclist

Bert Groenenberg is a cyclist and pedestrian who has mainly biked or walked to work on Oliver Street for 30 years.

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