Commuting with Flint Bike Share
Janet VanDeWinkle is a Genesee County Parks Employee working closely with the Flint Riverfront Restoration Project. We asked her to write a guest blog for readers about her experience with the Flint Bike Share Program. Here is what she had to say.
Most days I drive to work, especially during the winter. But now with summer here, my goal is to ride a bike to and from work at least once a week. My bike at home is a hand-me-down and needs a little work. Luckily, we have a Zagster bike-share station here at Genesee County Parks at the Administration building and there is another station near my home in downtown Flint. The Zagster bikes are cruisers which make for an easy ride, plus they have baskets so I can put all my work gear in it!
What makes my biking commute even better is that I can take the Flint River Trail, which is part of the statewide Iron-Belle Trail, all the way to work from my house. Being able to ride on non-motorized trail instead of the road is so great! First of all, the route is much more direct than any road could take me to work, and it’s also much safer. But to me the best part is how beautiful it is. The trail follows the Flint River all the way up to Mott Lake, and continues to follow Mott Lake in the Genesee Recreation Area.
It’s really a cool experience being able to go from an urban area and feel like you’re “up north” by the time you get to Stepping Stone Falls. I frequently pass turkeys, bunnies, turtles, and all kinds of birds and geese. Not to mention, I also see a lot of people on the trail too! A lot of people are either taking a morning or evening walk, or heading out to a favorite fishing spot.
The drive to work takes me 17 minutes and is 11 miles. The bike ride takes me 45 minutes and is 8.6 miles. The days where I ride a bike are usually my most energized and productive. It’s great to see some of the work that my colleagues do to maintain the trail and the parks. It’s a big job but I know how much other trail users including myself appreciate it. Needless to say, having the option to rent and ride a bike to work is one of the many reasons I love my job.
If you want to check out the trail on your own, you can go to our website to learn more at: http://geneseecountyparks.org/explore/trails/ and if you want to learn more about the Zagster Flint Bike Share program, go to http://bike.zagster.com/flint/