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Friday, May 21, 2010

Biking to work good for health, environment

From an article by Jake Miller in the Marshfield News-Herald:

Four dollars a gallon was enough inspiration for Steven Uthmeier to ditch the car.

Several years later, and in the midst of national Bike-to-Work week, the 56-year-old still bikes to work almost daily, huffing it into Marshfield on an old Schwinn that's made for a commute, not for looks.

Uthmeier cruises in from Hewitt, making a round trip of about 11 miles each day to and from home and his desk at Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital.
Inhumane gasoline prices sparked his interest, but how Uthmeier feels after a ride has kept him going. He's refreshed and refocused.

"After I got into it, I felt better," Uthmeier said. "Then I was actually doing it for the exercise also, and I found on the way home after I finished a day of work it was very decompressing and relaxing."

Biking to work is by no means the primary mode of transportation and it isn't without inherent risks. There's the off-chance you'll be hit by a car, or you may get a flat at the most inopportune time.

Marshfield has continued to develop its network of bike trails, which for people like Uthmeier, has made the ride nearly as safe as it's going to get. He's only riding in traffic for about a mile before he reaches the path along Veterans Parkway.

"You do have cars going 45 (mph)," Uthmeier said, "but as soon as you get to the boulevard it's just beautiful."

He typically bikes to work from April to October, unless a heavy rain or snow storm hits.

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