Letters to the Editor

Happy and healthy on my bike

Editor, The News:

Re: Don’t waste money on building more bike lanes (Letters, July 12).

Joan Carr, I beg to differ with you and other people with your mindset.

I’m pretty sure your little trips on Abernethy Way’s walking and cycling path aren’t done 24/7, so you really have no idea how many cyclists use this path.

This is part of a cycling network that will be extended once past 224th Street, where it currently ends.

Abernethy is a commuting route as well – for motorists and cyclists – and bypasses the heart of Maple Ridge’s wonderful shopping district.

As for the dikes – do you know how many people come from out of town by car with their bikes to ride there or walk? Lots.

Did you also notice that 99 per cent of those cyclists drive their bikes there?

Why? Because it’s dangerous to cycle there.

You should try it, if you don’t believe me.

What the heck is wrong with having bike lanes and separated bike paths for people to ride and walk on safely?

Our health and well-being are not a waste of time.

I cycle and I shop. I can carry up to 90 pounds of groceries and goods on my bike with a trailer and panniers and I do it in the rain. When it’s too inclement, I take the bus (much less healthy, but cheaper than paying for gas, insurance), and what’s wrong with that?

Do you think I’m the only one? No.

Take your blinders off and realize that our aging population is going to cost our health care system billions of dollars in the next 10-15 years, and why?

Mostly because most butts are either glued to the Lazyboy or the car seat, and why is that?

Because we’re a big oil-funding machine, that’s why.

Perhaps you should broaden your scope and ride further and shop in town too.

It would be nice to have bike lanes and separated bike paths, which cost a fraction of what a single lane of road costs (including sidewalk).

Do you think fuel prices are going down? No.

Do you think people get healthy by sitting on their butts and yammering on? No.

Don’t equate me with yourself and your little bit of riding.

I shop at Fremont Village in Port Coquitlam, Langley, Coquitlam Centre and MEC in Vancouver, to name a few places, and you know what? I do it all by riding my bike.

I am 56 years old and a grandma of three and bought a bike two years ago after not having ridden one for 20-plus years. I used to smoke, was obese, had high-blood pressure, arthritis in one knee and breathing problems, and I drove everywhere and had a sedentary job.

I no longer suffer from those health problems anymore and it’s 100 per cent due to my riding a bike.

I started out small and found I like to tour (marathon trips), and because I ride a bike (even if it’s for 20-30 minutes every other day), I’m probably a lot healthier many ever will be.

There’s more people in this world that need to get healthier and riding a bike is one of the many economical ways to do so.

Tracey Eide

Maple Ridge

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