Since this past October, I've been a certified bicyclist. I enjoy being outdoors, I enjoy the exercise, I enjoy saving gas, and I enjoy not having to pay for a parking permit at work. But most of all, I enjoy seeing new areas of Centre County from a perspective only someone on a bike can enjoy.
In these times of environmental focus and high gas prices, it doesn't make sense to drive around aimlessly looking at the scenery through your window. On a bike, however, you get the full 360-degree experience. You get the sounds and the wind and a special form of freedom that automobiles can't provide.
This morning I went out for a 20-mile bike ride and even though I've enjoyed our area's extensive system of bike paths before, I especially loved them today. I was on a quest to find Stormstown. I had never been there and I've recently met folks who live there and thought it'd be fun to seek it out.
I started through the Holmes-Foster Highlands Historic District to West College Ave. and up Science Park Road. It was a tough ride, but I eventually found it. During the return trip is when the bike paths were a glorious sight for sweaty eyes.
I was on 550 north and took a right on Meeks Lane. To be honest, I don't remember where I went after that, but I was zigzagging through neighborhoods and running into a lot of dead ends. I could tell I was getting tired, the day was getting hotter, and the dead ends were a cause for major aggravation. Then, with I-99 roaring in the distance, I spotted a bike trail quietly sitting behind a set of houses. I quickly rolled onto the friendly black pavement and glided all the way down until I ran into Valley Vista Road.
How lucky are we to live in an area with such an impressive system of bike paths? They are everywhere and can get you anywhere. They are filled with smiling faces, they connect you to parks (Oh man, do I want to play Frisbee golf [aka frolf] at the Circleville Park frolf course), and they provide a nice sense of order for bikes, runners, and walkers.
I would like to send out major props to the borough and surrounding townships for maintaining this great feature in our area. I don't think many people who live here realize how ubiquitous these paths are. So, if you haven't already, get on the hold two wheels and enjoy this magnificent summer by hopping onto one of the many bike paths and see where they take you.
Photo Credit: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/2/1810571_0a0264250e.jpg