Today’s Picture: Hugh A. Bowling, Sr. is 51 years of age. He lives at Dupont Circle, near Baptist East Hospital. He leaves his home at about 4:30 a.m. to make an 11 and a half mile bicycle ride downtown to the Transit Authority of River City (TARC) central station on Broadway at 10th St.
Hugh is a TARC driver. His work day starts at 5:45. He likes the bike-on-board racks on the front of all the TARC coaches as much as I do. “I use them in the evening because I’m not much of an evening-traffic rider. I ride in the morning for the exercise and to save gas. And when I get off in the evening I usually put my bike on the TARC and TARC back home.”
But I caught Hugh on a beautiful March afternoon with the temperatures hovering at about 60 degrees. “Today I’m riding the bicycle because it’s so nice. I always have that option. It’s great,” he said.
The 11.5-mile bike commute is an ideal workout that Hugh has been taking advantage of for about four years. “This is my second bike, said Hugh, as he pointed out the safety equipment on his Jamis Citizen 2, a no-nonsense hybrid with front and rear lights, and a cargo rack. “My first one was a Jamis Citizen I rode for about three years,” he said.
He spent about $400 for the new 2010 bike he rides today. We did some quick math to discover that Hugh saves enough on gas alone to pay off a new bike in less than two months. “If I drove my Chevy Silverado Truck, gas would be about $60 or $70 a week,” Hugh said.
“I use the bike for running to the grocery store. I ride to Canaan Christian Church early on Sundays to start the vans up for the van ministry. That’s about two and a half miles each way. So I use my bike for everything I can think of. I usually ride from my house to 18th and Garland for a haircut on Saturdays – and that’s about 12 miles each way,” he said.
Remember to watch out for Hugh and other invisible bicyclists. I call them “invisible” because while you’re switching music in you CD player, eating breakfast on your way to work, chatting on the phone or texting a friend, you may not see cyclists like Hugh – especially at 4:30 a.m.
Grace. Peace. Bicycle grease.
PS: Remember, every lane is a bike lane.
Share the road.
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Enjoy the ride home.
© Copyright, Kirk M. Kandle, MMXI
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