Newspaper journalists make it their business to be informed and to provide sound advice for citizen readers.
So I'm encouraged by a recent spate of pro-cycling columns written by newspaper staff in the local papers:
- First was a wistful look back at Forecaster editor Steve Mistler's carefree bike-commuting glory days, and some resentment for their car-dependent lives in Vacationland: "We spend a lot of time in the car. We both hate it," he writes. But he still manages to ride his bike from time to time on his 34 mile commute from Falmouth to Bath.
- Also in the Forecaster, journalist Kate Hayes writes about a recent Sunday bike ride on which she encountered as many bikes as cars. "The price at the pump may be a reality check for our national economy, but it is also forcing us to check our personal realities," she writes. "If that means less time in the car, and more time outside, less time spending frivolously, and more time with family, there is some good to the bad."
- Last but not least, in today's Press Herald, editorial writer Greg Kesich declares himself a bike commuter. Kesich lives on Munjoy Hill and has a much shorter ride than his counterparts at the Forecaster: "I roll down Congress Street on a beat-up old hybrid with my tie flapping over my shoulder," he writes. Sounds like a lot of fun.
I've written before about how many of the Forecaster's staff would be happier workers and better connected to local news stories if they had an in-town newsroom, instead of their isolated suburban office located behind a car dealership in Falmouth. Even though I work in a walkable village center in Yarmouth, I still envy Greg Kesich's short bike commute through the heart of Portland, and I'd bet that Mistler and Hayes would feel the same way.