Sunday, September 24, 2017

bikes for basic transportation and as mobility devices

I was having a conversation with someone yesterday about the problem of drivers who think that bikes are only for recreation and should be out of their way, off the street. People who only drive and don't ride often fail to grasp the basic reasons why many people ride.

I know quite a few people who use bikes as their primary transportation and don't own cars. For them, a bike is for visiting friends, hauling groceries, taking young children to day care or school, and many other purposes.

Some people I know choose bikes for other reasons. If someone has a medical condition that makes it unsafe for them to drive (such as epilepsy or poor vision), they may ride because driving is not an option. Riding a bike gives them freedom and allows them to get around without having to depend on someone else to give them a ride.

A growing number of seniors use utility trikes as an alternative to driving - for grocery shopping, going to socialize with friends, to visit the library, etc.
Utility trike

Recumbent trike
I recently met a woman with multiple sclerosis whose ability to walk is very limited. She rides a recumbent trike and straps her cane on the side for use when she gets off the bike. She is able to drive, but she likes having another option that lets her gets some aerobic exercise and enjoy fresh air. A friend with epilepsy uses a recumbent trike as her favorite form of exercise and transportation.

Our bike infrastructure and traffic laws should accommodate all types of riders, regardless of what they ride and why they ride.

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