#bikewalkprovostories “Hidden Gems of Provo” was the name of the social bike tour that enticed me to brave the busy city traffic on a bike and mingle with the biggest crowd of people (50) I’ve been in since Covid hit over a year ago. Winding through downtown Provo’s streets among fellow bikers strung out in a line for blocks like a giant serpent, I finally felt like I could “people” again. Pedaling and chatting it up with strangers was the most fun way to emerge from a year of social isolation – especially remarkable for an introvert like me. The feeling of a restored camaraderie with humans wasn’t the only cool thing about this ride – I learned a different side of Provo that made me fall back in love with it: -There are people who are making Provo streets more friendly to bikes and pedestrians by getting the political backing and funding to create bike lanes and safer intersections. Check out their newsletter for what they are up to and for more social biking tours and events scheduled for May (and beyond!). -People of all kinds of backgrounds and ages and interests can get together and have fantastic get-to-know-you conversations. -Cars treat me a lot nicer when I’m on a bike rather than in a car – nobody cut in front of me, some cars stopped and urged me to cross the road while they waited, and sometimes I even got smiles. -Provo does indeed have hidden gems in the form of beautiful historic homes in the blocks around the tabernacle/temple – homes built by the captains of industry during the Mormon founding of the city. And there is the Startup Building populated with entrepreneurs – the movers and shakers of a new generation. Canons in the park on Center Street, murals, trees – everything looks more fascinating close up as you slowly pedal by instead of rush past in a car, impatient to get to your destination. -The greatest surprise to me was how easy it is to get around on a bicycle. From children to millenials on up to the over-50s – it didn’t take much exertion for anyone in my group to get around. And after the ride was over I had more energy the next day to apply to the new possibilities of life that Provo has to offer. -Brenda Goates

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