To the editor:
Tuesday was the unofficial start of fall, a really pleasant and beautiful bicycle commuting season in Kansas. The dramatic drop in temperature brought out scores, probably hundreds, of cyclists on the paths and highways over the long weekend. Walkers and runners were out in profusion as well.
On my morning commute I could feel my legs working and the blood circulating just a bit faster. On the way home I smelled suppers cooking. I stopped to look at the amazingly long seedpods on a catalpa tree in Marvin Grove and listened to the carillon. I made it to and from work with a negligible effect on global warming and on the streets and used no oil from the Middle East (or the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or the Everglades — thank you very much for the offer, Ms. Bachmann). Riding a bicycle or walking won’t save the world, but you will enjoy it. Besides, making that small change in thinking about what is necessary for your life may lead to other changes. It might lead to demanding some changes from national leaders.
So, join the cycling community. Get out the bike, pump up your tires, put on a helmet. If you ride in the dark, you need a light in front and back and as much reflective stuff as you can get. Stay alert. Assume drivers often will not notice you. Stop where you are supposed to. Avoid the busiest streets but enjoy the ride. It’s easy and it’s fun.