On May 8, the Greater Arizona Bicycling Association (GABA) held its Third Annual Payson Ride.Each year, GABA enjoys the support of your fine Manzanita Cyclery Shop and some of your local road bike enthusiasts who lead the way.
On a clear-skied Saturday morning, we were 70 cyclists streaming along in every color under the rainbow, trying our best to blend with local traffic. Your local drivers were friendly and courteous, and we thank you. Friendly people, nice hotels and restaurants, great place to visit.
But, one thing does occur: With so much going for it, including scenery and great terrain, why hasn't Payson City Hall awakened to what real "bike planning" could do for your community and its citizens--not to mention your local economy?
Has Payson's golf promotion been a positive? If so, think bicycles and multiply it.
Payson sits as a "jewel within a rock" and all it needs is a wee bit of cutting and polishing to become, perhaps, the best road bike mecca in Arizona. But for civic awareness of the potential, you have all the ingredients.
Being a "bike friendly" community holds untold advantages, and would make living in Payson even more enjoyable. Besides the health and recreational dividends, there is also the cutting down on traffic which could become an overnight reality if given a fair chance to happen.
What a positive difference biking could make in your town!
Thomas O'Leary, Scottsdale