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The Lake News Online
Walking and bicycling for transportation, fitness, and fun
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About this blog
By Rachel Ruhlen

My bicycle is our second car. I love to bicycle in all weather, for all distances, and on all routes. Bicycling has brought so much joy to my life, and I want to share it with anyone who is interested. I will use my soapbox to tell you about the ...

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Bicycling and Walking Around

My bicycle is our second car. I love to bicycle in all weather, for all distances, and on all routes. Bicycling has brought so much joy to my life, and I want to share it with anyone who is interested. I will use my soapbox to tell you about the joys, the freedom, the benefits, and, yes, the challenges of bicycling and walking for transportation.

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In 2 excursions, I've thoroughly explored downtown and around Brashear Park.
In 2 excursions, I've thoroughly explored downtown and around Brashear Park.
By Rachel Ruhlen
July 20, 2013 3:34 p.m.



I set a goal to bicycle all of Kirksville. The City of Kirksville maintains 97 miles of roads, according to the web page. I estimate about 30% inefficiency because of dead end roads, cul-de-sacs, and necessary repetition in grid layout sections.

I started the project a couple weeks ago, with two one-hour rides. The first day I focused in the area around Brashear Park. The next day I had some lab work to do so I covered downtown. Both sections are set out in grid patterns, but downtown has a more regular layout and required less repetition of streets to cover it.

In my daily travels, I ride on only a few streets, over and over. I know those streets really well. But even those streets take on an unfamiliar air when approached from a new direction.

The residential streets around Brashear Park hide interesting little treasures. Signs of last summer's drought are evident in dead trees. Someone got creative with their dead tree and painted pink and teal stripes. It looks like something out of Dr. Seuss. Signs of this spring's wind blast are prevalent too, in jagged broken limbs and oddly shaped trees. Perhaps it was the surfeit of wood chips from all the clean-up that inspired one resident to do the entire yard in wood chips. It's not the most attractive yard, but it doesn't have to be mowed!

pink and teal striped tree

I did not find as much of interest in the downtown grid, perhaps because I'm more familiar with it, perhaps because I was tired that day, perhaps because it's not as interesting. I did see some pretty graffiti on a brick wall and a large umbrella in the middle of the street made a bright rainbow.

griffiti on a brick wall

Each outing was about an hour, and I've covered 20 miles total. With 30% inefficiency, I've knocked out about 12 miles of the 97 miles of Kirksville.

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