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If you think you've been seeing a few more bicycles than usual in the streets this week on your morning commute, you aren't imagining things.

It is bike week in Bozeman, an annual event aimed at promoting the use of bikes for transportation. And it's become an increasingly popular observation. Volunteers and donors have been offering free bike maintenance advice and helmets for kids. And there have been plenty of takers.

If you're new around here or just hadn't noticed before, bicycles are a big part of the Bozeman ambience. When you visit most other cities of similar size to Bozeman, you'll notice there usually aren't as many bikes on the streets. Even in the dead of winter, Bozeman has a hardy contingent of bicyclists.

The popularity of cycling has shaped city policy in very positive ways. The city is laced with trails and bike lanes on streets that make cycling much easier and safer. And the bike-friendly nature of the city contributes to the overall quality of life that continues to draw newcomers to the area.

There's still time to take part in some of festivities of bike week. There will be a bike-from-work party from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday evening in Bogert Park. And donated bikes will be accepted Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the non-profit Bike Kitchen in the garage behind the house at 425 E. Aspen.

But whether you're a bike week participant or not, consider the benefits of cycling – for transportation and recreation. Lots of bicycles on the streets mean fewer cars. And fewer cars mean less pollution. Cycling is a great way to shrink your personal carbon footprint.

Cycling is also an excellent form of exercise, and it offers the emotional satisfaction of self-sufficiency. And it can be a very inexpensive endeavor, with lots of options around town for used, affordable bikes.

The damp spring weather will come to an end soon. Get yourself a bike and use it. You'll be glad you did.


Editorial Board

  • Mark Dobie, publisher
  • Michael Wright, managing editor
  • Bill Wilke, opinion page editor
  • Richard Broome, community member
  • Renee Gavin, community member
  • Charles Rinker, community member
  • Will Swearingen, community member
  • Angie Wasia, community member

To send feedback on editorials, either leave a comment on the page below or write to citydesk@dailychronicle.com.

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Editorial Board

  • Mark Dobie, publisher
  • Michael Wright, managing editor
  • Bill Wilke, opinion page editor
  • Richard Broome, community member
  • Renee Gavin, community member
  • Will Swearingen, community member
  • Angie Wasia, community member

To send feedback on editorials, write to citydesk@dailychronicle.com.