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Pedaling to Work
Now might be a good time to dust off your old bike and give it a tune-up. New signs are going up and lanes will give cyclists room to pedal on a handful of streets in Bismarck.
"I guess it`s been about a year and a half to two years in the making," said MPO Transportation Planner Ben Ehreth.
And why not? It`s not like gas is getting any cheaper. Ok, so it is, but you can still save when it comes to the daily rat race.
"Bismarck is a community where it`s big enough, but it`s not too big to do a daily commute which will take you 15-to-20 minutes to get to virtually anywhere in town," said Dennis Kemmesat with Epic Sports.
Kemmesat, who`s owned Epic Sports for ten years, says before you go shopping for a bike, think about function and where you plan to ride it.
"Lots of times, people will buy a bicycle thinking its a one-size fits all type of thing."
Kemmesat says you don`t need to spend a lot to get a comfortable and durable cycle. If it`s maintained properly, a bike can easily last for decades.
"Lube the chain. Make sure the brakes are working properly."
No matter where you ride, lock it up. If you ride on the busier streets, you`re going to need a helmet. One time getting hit by a car is one too many.
"It`s saved my head a few times riding around on some of the off-road trails in town," Ehreth said.
Want another reason to cycle to the office, especially if you work downtown? No parking tickets. Compare that to moving your car five times during business hours, you`re getting about an extra hour of productivity every day.
"When we get into the downtown, it gets pretty tight and narrow," said Jeff Heintz with Bismarck Public Works.
"Makes sense from a standpoint that downtown Bismarck is one of the highest concentrations of employment in the area," Ehreth said.
Finally, riding bike is not a permanent fix, especially in winter. But it`ll burn some calories and give you some unexpected energy once you reach the office and it may even save you some change in your pocket.
Biking not only builds muscle mass, it also lowers blood pressure and can reduce stress.