East Hartford celebrates Bike and Walk to Work Day

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
East Hartford - posted Wed., Oct. 2, 2013
East Hartford Bike & Walk to Work Day
Dave Daley enjoys the health benefits of riding his bike to work. Photos by Lisa Stone.

The East Hartford Town Hall parking lot was the starting point for the Bike and Walk to Work Day on Sept. 27.  The event was co-sponsored by the town of East Hartford, Bike Walk Connecticut, Pratt & Whitney, Goodwin College and the Capitol Region Council of Governments.

The director of the town’s Parks and Recreation Department, Theodore Fravel, encourages people to exercise more, and to slow down and enjoy life. “People need to become more active and drive a little less,” said Fravel. “We want to inspire people to be a positive part of the community. We want people to take time to have fun and be a part of something good.”

“We have had approximately 25 bikers today,” said Sylvester Frazier, of Parks and Rec. “Even though the weather is threatening to rain, people are happy to be a part of this program.”

Goodwin College has orchestrated a bike loan program, to encourage students to ride more. “The idea is that if students want to go from campus to campus without driving, they may borrow one of Goodwin’s brand new bikes,” explained John Wyman, a representative for Goodwin. “It will be along the same theory as borrowing a book from a library. Someone would sign the bike out and be responsible for the condition of the bike while it was in their care. Goodwin hopes to open a coffee shop that is just down the road from our 403 Main St. campus. If students go from that campus to the coffee shop and possibly the 1137 Main St. campus, they can use one of the bikes to save gas. Also, some students don’t have vehicles, so this would help them get around.”

David Nielsen works at Pratt &Whitney. “There are many bikers that work there,” said Nielsen. “When the weather is warm, or gas prices go up, the bike racks fill up quick. I have been riding my bike to work for 13 years. If the weather is good, I prefer to bike to work.”

Dave Daley, from Manchester, said, “I work at Pratt along with several other bikers. I really like the feeling I get from riding. There are several health benefits to riding a bike to work verses driving. I am in great shape. I rode my bike at least 100 times in 2012. I intend to continue riding as long as I can.”

Kevin Kunak lives in South Windsor near Evergreen Walk. “I have only been riding to work for a month,” said Kunak. “My girlfriend and I ride together at night sometimes, but I love riding to work in the morning. I work at the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in Hartford. I don’t mind the ride, but one scary part is Capital Avenue. I definitely benefit from all the exercise. I am planning on doing this as much as Mother Nature will allow.”

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