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Richard Fahlander


Since my tricycle days in Ohio, I’ve never stopped riding my bike. I’ve always enjoyed getting someplace under my own power in the fresh (or sometimes not so fresh) air. It gives me good exercise and time to cogitate, although it has it hazards. I’ve dodged dogs in Baltimore in the 1970s, competed with cars in Cambridge in the 1980s, and pedaled to school with my son through rush-hour traffic in the 1990s. I’ve done long charity rides, spandex centuries and crack of dawn loops to Boston and back. Today, I take a more casual approach with saddle bags (panniers for the chic-chic set) to carry library books, swim gear, groceries and an occasional six-pack. On a trail I find wonder around every bend. I gain a granular appreciation for the beauty of our community. On the road I wave to neighbors and stop to chat. But, then, as I huff up a hill, a six-wheel dump trunk pulling a landscape trailer races by missing me by inches. I know in my gut why so many people are wary to bike on Concord’s mostly bucolic roads. I also realize that the more of us who get out and ride the safer it will be for us all. I want everyone to get the chance to appreciate the benefits of hitching ourselves to such an extraordinarily humane machine.

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