Jul 09 2012

Guest Post by Michael Heffler Cycling and Open Space – A Natural Alignment

Bike in NatureLately I’ve been educating myself on the open space around Lambertville.  A major reason that I moved to Lambertville was to get away from the ever- growing traffic and population in the suburbs.  

If someone had asked me “Do you enjoy the open space around here?”  Up until recently I would have said: “I don’t know.”  That answer, like my youthful one, was out of ignorance.  The concept of open space wasn’t one I was familiar with.  As much as I appreciated seeing them, the farms, the woods and fields were just there. 

 For someone who has led rides with titles like “More animals than cars”, you would think that the preserved land in this area would be something I knew about.  The area is beautiful.  There are scenic vistas, open fields, and forests. More open space means less traffic, less traffic means more enjoyable cycling.  It took a while for me to find out that open space organizations are working to make sure this area retains its beauty and rural character.

I’m not sure that ignorance is bliss but I am sure that knowledge provides the ability to appreciate our blessings and act wisely.   I have never heard a cyclist say: “If only there was more traffic where we cycle!”  More open space creates better cycling. 

I’ve cycled in France, Italy, the Berkshires and Oregon the last few years.  Each time I came home, I realized our area is just as beautiful.  We can help keep it this way.

There are problems in the world that don’t impact most of us directly and there are problems that affect us.  We don’t always know what we can do to solve some difficult problems like a broken tax system and climate change.  There are other problems we have to solve, like paying the bills.

Keeping our area beautiful, for our selves and our children, is a problem with a ready solution, much like taking care of our health and the health of our families.  With some action and forethought, we can all contribute to preserving open space. 

There are local open space organizations whose staff and volunteers steward the open space and keep our area beautiful.  This work benefits everyone, but it’s mostly invisible to us.  When open space gets developed we notice.  Developed land tends to stay developed.

There is a natural alignment between open space and the enjoyment of cycling.  Giving your support to the local open space organizations is a great way to make sure we keep the area beautiful.  Support your local open space organizations.  It’s a great way to make sure you continue to live in a place where you want to keep pedaling.  See you on the road!

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