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Bike to Work Week

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My morning highway for Bike to Work Week

My morning highway for Bike to Work Week

Mornings can be stressful in my house. Between school lunches, a 9-year-old who moves at the speed of sloth, and a never-ending battle with broken high heels, I often start the day feeling rushed. Add to that the school car line and morning traffic, and, well, you get the idea.

But the best days are the ones where my son and I hop on the bikes and pedal to work and school. We have to leave the house a little earlier and plan a little better, but it’s worth the extra effort. This morning was one of those mornings.

Today was the first day of Bike to Work Week 2015. I made lunches, stuffed backpacks and clicked helmets. My son and I took off into the brisk morning down neighborhood streets, pedaling through puddles and listening to birds. My third-grader found an empty spot on the nearly full bike rack at Westwood Elementary, then it was my turn to zip around the streets of Springdale. As I neared the library, I saw a teenager waiting at his bus stop wearing a Razorback Greenway “On Your Left” t-shirt. After a quick shout out to the hip kid on his great fashion choice, I headed downtown to the Greenway.

I filled up on water at Shiloh Square, then cruised south to Lake Fayetteville. The creeks were roaring after days of rain, turning the dam at the lake into a miniature version of Niagara Falls. Later, I stopped to watch a dozen goslings pad down to the pond at Locomotion before setting off toward Johnson.

Bridge over Clear Creek

Bridge over Clear Creek

I passed by several walkers, runners, and other cyclists – everyone nodding or saying, “Good morning.” Civility is an experience lacking in most morning car commutes, but it was alive and well this morning on the Greenway. The ultimate bike commuter whizzed by me at one point, his right pants leg rolled up and bike speaker pumping out Journey. I watched in awe as he blasted up a hill and “Don’t Stop Believin’” faded into the morning breeze.

I rode back onto the streets in Johnson, crossing the railroad tracks and climbing the final push to the office. By the time I sat at my desk, I had 10 miles of biking under my belt, had burned off the breakfast calories and warded off my “nature deficit” for the day. I can’t ride to work every day – some days I need my car, or good hair. But when I can, it’s magical.

More than 75,000 Northwest Arkansans live within a half mile of the Razorback Greenway and many more work within a half mile of the trail. Make this Bike to Work Week your excuse to give a bike commute a try. If you need help with routing, email me at misty@nwacouncil.org and we will try to find a way that meets your needs.

Cut out some stress by making the Greenway your freeway this week!

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