Teen Talk 7-23

By Gianni Risper

As the summer months fade away and fall has fallen, winter is around the corner. This means that it’s starting to get colder every day and less and less people will be riding bikes.

During the summer, everyone was riding bikes. Easy and eco-friendly, biking during the summer just seemed like a part of it all. I started biking regularly in late June-early August. That’s the best time to start riding because the weather is just right. I used my bike for getting from Point A to Point B for free.

The bike was originally given to my mother to ride from the “Borrow a Bike” program, which is run by Pat Harrington.  She has begun to interview bicycle riders and walkers after a story that she did on a young girl, Jasmine Miles, who was tragically killed while walking home from school.

My mother hadn’t ridden a bike in years and Mr. Harrington offered her a borrowed bike.  My mother only got to ride it a couple of times because I had it.  There are safety rules that you must follow and it is a good idea to wear a helmet.  More importantly, drivers need to pay more attention to those who are on bikes.

Besides the practicality of owning a bike, I love biking.   One of my favorite places to ride for pleasure was the river trail. Many of the people of Lansing take this magnificent beauty for granted. During the summer, the river is most beautiful, but you could never see such beauty from the street in your car or even walking down the sidewalk. The most beautiful parts of the river are hidden from plain sight, which makes them a sight worth seeing. Even for people who utilize the river trail only see parts of it.

When I started riding my bike, I took the river trail more than was necessary, I was astounded by the amount of nature you could see. I started my ride in a place that was known by many, The Adado Riverfront Park. From there on, I noticed that the farther down river you went, the more you got away from civilization and its just you, the trail, and your bike.

From the Riverfront Park to downtown East Lansing, you somehow get the feeling of how big the world really is and how much we have changed it. I went under bridges, past people in boats, past playgrounds and schools, past businesses and all through nature.

While riding down the river trail, you’re never to far from society.  However, it’s so evident that you are experiencing a different world.   It is amazing to view the world you came from through a different perspective. You can go from being surrounded by trees to riding next to a busy street and back again. It is truly a marvel. I rode the river trial near and far on my bike and it was never boring. Everyday the river changes because it is teeming with life, and life always changes.

Outside of riding the bike because I enjoy it, I used my bike to get to class on time and to travel downtown. Not only is it a quick, easy and free way to travel nine blocks every day of the week, it’s healthy exercise and builds your leg muscles to a massive extent. Biking is just a smart choice for the summer months. But as winter is around the corner my bike will have to be put away until spring. But trust me, as soon as the snow drifts disappear I’ll be biking again.

I’d like to thank the Pat Harrington from the Borrow a Bike Program for my bike and Chad Of Spin Street Cycles in Old Town for fixing my bike with the utmost care.

Gianni Risper is a 16 year old student at Lansing Community College in Lansing, MI.