Trail Ramblings: Have Your Cycling Habits Changed?

Reading articles about how commuting habits and mass transit have changed in larger cities has left me wondering how Lincolnite’s cycling habits have changed.
I know some now work from home and no longer have their daily commute at all. They have to get their rides in in other ways. One I know has a beautiful new grocery hauling rig that can double as a trail bike. That’s certainly a motivator. Of course in Europe where the cities are dense, the 15 minute city is a reasonable goal. That’s where all nearly all essential services can be had in a 15 minute walk or bike ride. Still, in the U.S., as stated in the previous article, 60% of our car trips are 6 miles or less, certainly doable by bike or e-bike. Denver is a leader in this regard. “In July, Denver unveiled its new Complete Streets design guidelines, explicitly noting for the first time in the city’s history that it intends to give pedestrians, cyclists, and micromobility users the same safe street conditions that motor vehicles enjoy.” I’ve ridden some of Denver’s trails, they’re beautiful and can even take you all the way to Boulder.

Like Lincoln, many of Denver’s trails follow waterways.

That’s going to take a little longer to happen in Lincoln, as we need to get the four-wheeled street users behind us and supporting it. The safer the streets, the more people ride, and the more people ride, the safer the streets are, as motorists get used to seeing us. Since you can’t get everywhere on a trail, the streets are an essential part of the equation. Even in the winter. Many in Lincoln are fair weather riders because it hasn’t occurred to them that cool and even cold weather riding is possible, and even enjoyable with the proper gear and a little knowledge. This time of year more people are using online cycling subscriptions, connecting their bikes to a power meter and riding virtually. It is a useful tool in bad weather to keep in shape, since it’s not always fun to ride in sleet.

Out on the trails and in the parks, I am noticing more newer cyclists getting to know the terrain. This is a great sign. Actually, I’m noticing more mountain bikers in general, maybe because, slowly but surely, there are more places for them to ride as trail networks expand. Unfortunately it seems cyclocross racing may be on hiatus for the time being in Lincoln. All it would take is a few energetic people to recruit racers to get that going again, though Covid-19 may have something to do with it. All that yelling, you know.

Have you seen some of the changes in Wilderness Park recently?

Yes, it’s finally raining a bit, but the second half of the week looks like it’s going to be great, so make some outdoor plans for the holiday and weekend. It will feel great to get out on a ride to burn off that Thanksgiving dinner. And how far should you ride? Here’s another article that has something to say about that.