A New Perspective From The Bike Lane

  • The cycling community in Springfield has expanded over the years by maintaining bike trails, creating bike lanes, and promoting bicycling on the college campuses.
  • “Commuting by the bike through Springfield can be a challenge, but there’s no other way to see the city. Cycling brings a fresh view of the streets,” said Austin Hess, an employee of Sunshine Bike Shop.
  • While Springfield has embraced cycling, the city still has miles to go with issues of sharing the road with cyclists.
  • There are multiple bike shops and clubs to get people involved in the bicycling community including Ozarks Multisport Club and Queen City Cycles.

 

People meeting at Kingdom Coffee and Cycles.
A group of people meeting together at Kingdom Coffee and Cycles, a combination coffee shop and bike shop in downtown Springfield.

From traveling to your hometown from college or simply going to work, driving can be a taxing task. With gas prices fluctuating, it can be the difference between eating spaghetti and eating Ramen noodles for the night.

Using your legs is no walk in the park either. While walking is great exercise, it can be time consuming and not the most convenient option.

The city of Springfield has created an environment for bicyclists to enjoy. Parallel streets and numerous bike routes are available for bicyclists to travel safely to and from their destinations.

One of the many cycling shops in the Springfield area is Queen City Cycles. For 11 years, Queen City Cycles has catered to bicyclists in Springfield, especially college students who need to travel at an affordable rate. The bike shop’s location is the cherry on top for the commuters in downtown who also need an affordable alternative to driving.

Located at the corner of Walnut and Patton, Queen City Cycles sells the top branded bicycles and provides full services.

“Bikes are some of the most efficient machines out there to get around,” said Jeff Anderson, a Queen City associate.

A bike ride was held downtown, topped with food and live bands for their ten year anniversary in October of 2014.

“Commuting by the bike through Springfield can be a challenge but there’s no other way to see the city.” said Austin Hess, an employee of Sunshine Bike Shop, another cycling store located on East Sunshine. “Cycling brings a fresh view of the streets.”

He says that while he has a car that gives him the convenience of driving, he prefers the ride.

 

Springfield seems to understand that bicycling is good for more than just an easier mode of transportation. There are numerous health benefits that come with the convenient exercise.

Thomas Altena, kinesiology professor and avid cyclist for over 20 years, said cycling can improve cardiovascular and respiratory health, along with reducing chronic diseases like diabetes.

“I think there are some real issues with this town and cyclist,” said Altena. “The bike lanes are a start but the issue has more to do with acceptance.”

According to Altena, drivers don’t seem to understand that cyclists are a moving vehicle as well.

To add to the cause, Springfield has enacted a “Ride Your Bike to Work Week”. Ozark Greenways simply asks that everyone takes one day that week to leave their cars in the garage and commute to work or school on their bicycle.

With the bicycle shops, the clubs, and the amount of avid bike riders, there are multiple ways to get involved in the bicycling community of Springfield.

Two cycling clubs in Springfield are Ozark Multisport Club and Springbike Bicycling Club. Springbike also offers a monthly newsletter called “The Tube.”

To get more involved with the bicycling community of Springfield, take the survey that the Missouri Department of Conservation offers.

 

Written by Tyler Hatten

Video Graphic by Jassie Lee

Social Media and Layout by Leona Zitting

Interviews by Sadie Ferwalt

Editing and Interviews by Alex Calvillo