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Leave the car at home

By Julie Norman

Even though there are often Letters to the Editor or You Said It entries of drivers criticizing road bikers, or entries from road bikers criticizing drivers, Grand Junction is actually a pretty easy place to bike around, if you know where to go.  I started biking to work a few days a week several years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed it.  Not only do I save on gas and wear and tear on my car, I get some exercise too!

I live in town, so I use side streets like 3rd, 5th and 10th (North to South) and Colorado, Gunnison and Walnut (East to West) to get around.  Most of these streets have bike lanes, and even others, like 7th, do in places. Main Street has a bike lane too. Between these and the Riverfront trail, most people actually have way easier access to town via bike than they think.  Riding from Palisade is easy and riding from Fruita is getting even easier.  You can stay on the Riverfront trail almost the entire way!

Just yesterday I was leaving the Sentinel and not one but TWO trains were on the tracks.  Knowing one of them would have to stop eventually and sit there for a while, I turned around and headed for the Riverfront trail. I knew I could take it all the way to Grand/Hwy 340, go under the bridge and come up on the North(?) side of the road where the pedestrian/bike paths are along side the bridge and overpass.  I took this all the way back into town with NO problems at all! It's so easy to follow the path, hit the "walk/don't walk" buttons at the intersections and just move on my way without worrying about traffic.

In fact, I had such a nice ride going that way that I stopped and took this photo between the bridge over the river and the train overpass:

So the next time you're headed to work, to the store for one or two small items, or even to dinner, think about your options: Can you just ride your bike instead? You might be surprised at how much you like it!

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