Starr Road resident Kate Reagan often chooses to bicycle or walk places instead of driving and she was doing just that on an uncharacteristically mild day in late November last week.
"When the weather is good I prefer to ride my bicycle," says Reagan, who works at City Court in Cortland.
This means she will often hop aboard her Specialized bicycle for the 1.5 mile trip to her job, rather than her 2007 Chrysler mini-van.
"I love to not burn fossil fuel when I don't need to and I love to move and to get the endorphins going," she said.
Reagan has always enjoyed biking and her family also enjoys the activity. Her three daughters also ride, her daughter-in-law is an avid cyclist, and her husband, Mike Reagan, even rode as far as Nova Scotia when he was younger.
To support her habit, Reagan invested in a good hybrid bike years back, purchasing it from Action Sports.
"I got the cheapest one that fit me," she said.
The saddlebags were a must. They close tight so nothing falls out, and they easily pop off the bike rack and convert to a handbag when needed.
With the change of seasons, Reagan sometimes prefers walking to riding. Slippery leaves or ice make her leery of riding to town, but when the weather is right it's her preferred mode of travel.
And her health has benefited from the activity. At 60, Reagan still powers up the incline on Starr Road and she considers herself fortunate and "blessed" to be in good health.
And Reagan isn't alone-the research is clear, biking to work (or anywhere really) is good for you.
According to a 2017 study from the British Medical Journal, cycling to work is associated with significant health benefits. The study results showed commuters who cycled to work had a 46 percent lower risk of developing and a 52 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and a 45 percent lower risk of developing and a 40 percent lower risk of dying from cancer.
One part of the trip always makes Reagan nervous, however. The left-hand turn off of Port Watson Street into the parking lot by the Cortland Repertory Theater.
"You have to be right in traffic, I do not like being right in traffic," she said. "We're kind of sitting ducks."
But the benefits of riding are multiple-she enjoys her commute, gets a workout, improves her health and relaxes a bit.
"I just think it feels so good to move. And I can, some people simply can't and I can," she said. "I just think it feels so good."