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Them Willses are bike riding folk

Matt Wills is one cool cat. It is always a pleasure to ride with him and man can he ride. He is one of those who do 100 + mile rides on a single speed like it is a trip to the store for a soda. Heck of a huge article in the LJS talking about how his family gets around by bike most of the time.

Today, Matt, a 37-year-old architect, and Karen, a 37-year-old assistant student involvement director at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, pedal virtually everywhere.

They commute to work. They use their bikes to run errands. They take turns transporting their two children, ages 6 and 3, to and from day care, swimming and ballet lessons.

Wills rides his bicycle year-round, regardless of the weather. He grows a beard in the winter to protect his face from the harsh Nebraska winds.

“When it snows 4 to 6 inches, it can be difficult,” he said. “Once last year it was too deep, so I ran to work with my backpack. I like running.”

People tell Wills they think he’s “insane.”

“Most of them view bikes as toys,” Wills said. “But to me, they’re about transportation and recreation.”

Then a letter to the editor today about the article

Let’s all try biking more

Thanks for the excellent article on bikes as transportation in the Sunday A.M. section on July 20!

Matt Wills and his wife are wonderful examples of how we can have fun, get exercise, avoid polluting and save money by biking — to work, to the store, to day care!

I applaud Matt and Karen Wills, Bob and Mary Torell, Matt McClure and all the others who bike to work. I urge others to consider trying it just for a couple of days.

For those who worry about danger, I point out that you can cut your risk by 80 percent by following the rules of the road — stopping at stop signs and red lights, riding on the right with traffic, yielding when entering the street or turning, using the full lane when it’s too narrow to share, riding in a straight line, and being careful.

Also, more than 80 percent of the bike collisions with cars in Lincoln occur when the cyclist is riding on the sidewalk — it’s two to eight times more dangerous to ride on the sidewalk. Collisions to cyclists riding in the street are actually very rare.

Bicycles are not toys — they’re legally vehicles — and very useful ones! Get out on your bike and ride!

Bob Boyce, Lincoln

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