Letters: Riding a Bike to Work

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Liane Hansen reads comments from listeners on last week's feature on bicycle commuting by Rebecca Roberts.

LIANE HANSEN, host:

Time now for your letters, and many of you wrote in about Rebecca Roberts' story last week on biking to work.

Jan Gunnes(ph), who listens to WHYY in Philadelphia, writes: Many thanks to Ms. Roberts for her story on National Bike to Work Day and cycle-commuting. It was a welcome change to hear a news story about cycle-commuters that actually humanizes them and highlights the daily hazards of taking to the streets on two wheels.

Richard Saugh(ph) of Los Gatos, California adds: I listened carefully to the excellent feature on Sunday morning, but nowhere did I hear any advice to put on a bicycle helmet.

Ellen Kirko(ph) of Portland, Oregon also wrote in: I started biking to school in February. I'm 31 years old, and this was the first time I've been back on a bike since I was a child. I had returned to school after working as a letter carrier, and I needed some way to exercise that didn't cut into my study time. Biking was scary for me at first, and, of course, it was raining, but I worked up from riding one day a week to riding every day. Now, I feel confident on my bike and look forward to my ride. I feel like I know the city better and have a sense of connectedness that I haven't felt in any other places I've lived. The city of Portland has made the transition from driver to biker easier by creating bike lanes on most major routes and printing free maps with suggested bike routes through the neighborhoods. I still drive my car occasionally, but now I consider myself a biker, and I love it.

However, Brandon McCarthy(ph) of Warwick, Rhode Island writes: I feel strongly that bike paths are a bad idea, as they encourage drivers to think bikes should be limited to bike paths and lanes and not be treated as equals on the road.

And finally, Marcia Deihl from Cambridge, Massachusetts sympathized with Rebecca as she attempted to navigate around a delivery truck blocking the bike lane.

REBECCA ROBERTS: This is definitely the most pushed-around I felt on this stretch, made worse by the Oddenberg's(ph) Bakery truck in the middle of the lane.

NED WHARTON: Yeah. And this is not good.

ROBERTS: Yeah. I'm not liking this one little bit.

HANSEN: Marcia Deihl is a folk singer, and she phoned this in, offering apologies to Woody Guthrie.

Ms. MARCIA DEIHL (Listener): (Singing) This lane is my lane. This lane's a bike lane. If you don't get off, I'll ring your head off.

(Soundbite of bike bell tinkling)

Ms. DEIHL: (Singing) This lane's a bike lane. This lane is my lane. This lane was made for bikes like me.

HANSEN: You can get in touch with us. Go to our Web site, npr.org, and click on the Contact Us link.

(Soundbite of song "This Land is My Land")

HANSEN: This is NPR News.

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