Monday, May 17, 2010
Bike week interview
KANSAS CITY, MO - The Kansas City metro area is so spread out, and have so few bike lanes, it's not exactly the most bike-friendly place to live. But as Bike Week kicks off in Kansas City, one metro man says that he didn't just give up his car for a week, he's been car-free for a whole year.
Bill Poindexter says that he's living proof that not only is it possible to get around the city on bike, it's actually pretty fun.
"Last year I rode around 9,000 miles," said Poindexter. "I just said to myself 'Why do you need this car? You're not using it, it's a waste of money'."
Poindexter says that Kansas City are usually friendly, but he'd like area to have more bike lanes.
"If we had a city where more bike lanes were available, I think more people we would be comfortable using bike lanes," said Poindexter.
Metro bicycle advocacy groups say that they are pushing for changes to make the area more bike-friendly, but until then cyclists should focus on safety.
"It's very important for people to take bike safety in their own hands, like wearing a helmet and riding in a predictable manner," said Sarah Shipley of the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation. "Those things are important to bike safety."
The average commute in Kansas City is around 20 miles, so bicycle advocates don't expect everyone to switch to cycling full-time. But advocates say that there are ways for people to change their daily habits.
"If you can carpool, ride share, walk, take the bus, we just want you out of your car and moving," said Shipley.
Poindexter says that in the 10 years he's been cycling, he's lost 130 pounds. He also says that he loves doing his part to help the environment. But the real reason that he says he does it?
"The main reason I do it is fun," said Poindexter. "It's like being a kid again."