Our local paper is doing a week-long series associated with a bike-to-work week. The series follows three riders: a novice, a recreational rider, and a frequent commuter. Two graphs this morning quoting the recreational rider are, I think, relevant here as one more example of barriers to more riding and ways of dealing with them.
The "Augustana" reference below is to the college where the recreational rider teaches. The Quad Cities Transportation Advocacy Group is a small but, in my opinion, smart and effective advocacy group with a mission statement of "improve the quality of life in our communities by promoting a balanced approach to transportation that encourages walking, biking, and public transit."
Another thing that crossed my mind this morning as I was biking to Augustana was that compared to a year or two ago, I feel much more comfortable riding my bike on the streets than I did before. I usually just ride on rural roads or on the river trail in order to train for the couple of sprint triathlons I do every year. I typically stayed away from the "urban" streets because I was scared of traffic.
But recently, I have done a couple of "metro" rides with Quad Cities Transportation Advocacy Group and I have gotten a better feel for riding around town (thanks guys!). Those rides have increased my confidence and I feel much safer now that I have a better grasp of the rules of the road and know which streets are better than others to bike down.