Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The case for biking

BWL Column
The News-Press, 10/26/2017
by Ken Gooderham

Image: courtesy
The temperatures and humidity are starting to creep downward, albeit slowly. And with the county finally getting its head above water in debris pickup, bike lanes and paths are emerging from the vegetation piles to become rideable again. With all that, I’d like to make the case for biking.

This is not pushing you to hop in the saddle and pedal a century, metric or otherwise. Rather, I’d like to pose some of the reasons that making your bicycle a part of your day every day is a worthwhile thing to do.
  • It’s good for your health. Physical exercise boosts your spirits, your mental awareness, your physical health and more… and bicycling is easy, accessible and possible for people of all abilities.
  • It’s good for our roads. Every trip made by bike is one less vehicle on our roadways… and, since traffic is getting crazier earlier this season, every vehicle not driven helps.
  • It’s a great way to see your neighborhood (and neighbors). Flying down the road at 30 mph with the windows up doesn’t offer much chance for interaction with the people around you. But pedaling down the road at 8 mph does.
  • It’s a great way to explore new areas. Things you miss while driving through some place new are easy to take in from a bicycle seat… and
  • You don’t have to hunt for a parking space… just a bike rack (or a sturdy place to lock your ride).
  • It saves wear and tear on your vehicle. The short jaunts that work perfectly on a bike tend to be the toughest on your car or truck.
  • It saves wear and tear on your nerves in season traffic. Even on a bike you still need to pay attention… but at least you get a little respite during the bike-only portions of your ride.
  • It’s a great way to limit your shopping list (and load). If all you can buy is all you can carry on your bike or back, that discourages the impulse buyer in all of us.
  • It makes every trip an adventure – not a drudgery. The change in perspective keeps things fresh, and you’ll find yourself planning your ride and enjoying the process of transportation a lot more than in your car.
  • You just might have a lot of fun… perhaps the best reason of all!

Why not give yourself a break this season, and reach for your bike helmet instead of the car keys the next time you’re headed down the block.


Two notes of import to local runners from the Fort Myers Track Club (FMTC) website:

“River Roots & Ruts Date Change: Due to storm damage from Irma, most of the half marathon course (at the Caloosahatchee Regional Park) is currently closed and not expected to re-open until late winter to early spring. This race will be held at a later date, tentatively March 4, 2018. Caloosahatchee Regional Park plans to host several volunteer days. The FMTC will be organizing a group to volunteer on one or each of these days. Please keep an eye on the website and Facebook page for more information as it becomes available.”

“After thoughtful deliberation, Hooters of South Florida has decided to make last spring's 2017 Hooters to Hooters Half Marathon the final event. The Fort Myers Track Club would like to thank Hooters South Florida for their dedication to 10 years of the Hooters to Hooters Half Marathon. It was a pleasure working with the Hooters organization as well as the City of Fort Myers, sponsors, volunteers and dedicated runners that made the Hooters Half a truly special event and runner favorite. Thank you all.”

Ready to ride or run?

Run? A full schedule on tap, with a variety of distances to choose from: Oct 28 brings the FISH 10K on Sanibel, the LCEC 5K in Cape Coral and the Monster Dash 5K in Naples. The following weekend includes a marathon/half/5K combo in downtown Fort Myers and a 5K at the First Assembly of God in Fort Myers. Details at,, and

Ride? Look for the regular Critical Mass rides: Cape Coral is Friday night, followed by the Saturday morning Slow Roll in downtown Fort Myers. Nov. 3 brings the downtown night ride. For night rides lights are required, helmets recommended, and details and sign-up info is online at For a more traditional ride, there’s the Hurricane Irma Relief ride on Oct. 28, with 50- and 20-mile courses starting in downtown Bonita Springs. Proceeds benefit the Bonita Springs Assistance Office and the Guadalupe Center of Immokalee. Details at

Both? You’ve got time to train for the Dec. 17 Christmas Duathlon & Triathlon set for Sugden Regional Park in Naples. Otherwise, check or for statewide events/


Have a favorite route you like to bike, or a unique walk you’d like to share with others? Tell us about it at, and maybe we can feature it in an upcoming column.

# # #

Ken Gooderham writes this on behalf of BikeWalkLee, a community coalition raising public awareness and advocating for complete streets in Lee County — streets that are designed, built, operated and maintained for safe and convenient travel for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Information, statistics and background online at 


No comments:

Post a Comment

BikeWalkLee is not responsible for the validity of any comment posted at this site and has the right to remove any comment at any time.